Sexuality Minorities march with pride June 29, 2008Posted by qmediawatch in English, Pride 2008, Pride 2008 - Bengaluru, The Hindu.
Bangalore: In the first-ever event of its kind in Bangalore, the sexuality-minority community of the city came together for a “pride march” to celebrate their sexuality and demand repeal of laws that discriminate against them.
The march — which was at once a protest and a festival — started from National College grounds in Basavanagudi and culminated at the Town Hall.
The marchers shouted slogans against the system that criminalises them as they sang and danced all the way. Sporting T-shirts with messages like “I am the pink sheep of my family,” and multi-coloured headgear and masks, they turned the occasion into a festival. Messages on placards read “Repeal IPC Section 377”; “Give us access to public distribution system”; “Love knows no gender” and “Nodi swami navirode heege” (Look sir, this is the way we are).
Speaking at the meeting in front of Town Hall, Arvind Narrain of Alternative Law Forum said that the archaic Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code criminalised all sexuality minorities, and the fight would continue until the law was revoked. Manohar of the NGO Suraksha said that sexuality minorities were harassed by the police in the name of preventing trafficking. He demanded that they get all their entitlements as citizens without discrimination.
The response of the onlookers along the march was varied, ranging from interest and curiosity to looks of disapproval. In fact, while some read the pamphlets distributed along the way, there were others who refused to even take the leaflet. But none of this diminished the spirit of the marchers.
The “pride march” has its origin in New York and it marks the day (June 29, 1969) police raided a bar frequented by sexuality minorities, which led to a protests. The first “pride march” in India was held in Kolkata in 1999, and the city has hosted this march every year since 2003.