Thousands march for LGBT pride in Mumbai
Young LGBT people and straight allies speak on stage in Mumbai on Saturday to show their support for Pride, similar march in Hyderabad on Sunday
Mumbai was colored rainbow on Saturday for the fifth Queer Azaadi Mumbai pride march.
Two-thousand people marched for LGBT rights urging the Indian government not to overturn the 2009 Delhi High Court decision to decriminalize gay sex.
‘Today we March ! Pride is here!’ said one of the organizers Pallav Patankar on Facebook on Saturday.
‘I march as a queer citizen of the world’s largest democracy to let people know that even I exist!’
The march started from August Kranti Maidan (August revolution ground) where Ghandi delivered his historic Quit India speech to the British colonial rulers and finished at the same place with speeches.
‘More young people come up on stage and speak about their sexuality, we also had straight allies come up on stage and support us,’ Patankar told Gay Star News.
Queer Azaadi Mumbai organizers had to petition the city’s traffic control after authorities originally refused permission for them to march on the streets. Five of the organizers met with the Joint Commissioner of Police Traffic, and he eventually gave them permission to march.
Queer Azaadi (meaning ‘freedom’ in Hindi) Mumbai has been held in the city since 2008, with a month of performances and parties leading up to the parade. The first pride march in Mumbai was in 2005.
A pride parade was also held in the Indian city of Hyderabad on Sunday. Police had initially refused the activists permission to march, but last month organizers were told the march could go ahead.
‘Such rallies are important for our community members because it provides us an opportunity to raise big issues impacting LGBT community,’ said Andy Silveira during the march, The Hindu reports.
‘There is a need for the society to seriously consider same sex marriages in India. This will definitely help stop discrimination of LGBT members.’
Watch a news report about the Queer Azaadi Mumbai parade on Indian TV channel Times Now: