A parade, not a mask-erade

Queer march organisers hope more participants will throw off their masks and identify themselves today, as the community will walk with an added spring in its step, thanks to recent developments 

Queer Azaadi Mumbai (QAM) will host the ninth annual Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride parade in the city at 3 pm on Sunday, starting from August Kranti Maidan.

The LGBT rainbow flag is all set to be flying high at Pride 2016, today. PIC/PTI
The LGBT rainbow flag is all set to be flying high at Pride 2016, today. PIC/PTI

This Pride edition will be special, since it comes on the heels of the Supreme Court referring the gay sex ban to a five-member constitutional bench, earlier this week.

Equal rights activist Harrish Iyer says, “There is so much enthusiasm that I think nobody will cover his or her face with a mask. Many more LGBT people will come out of the closet and have the courage to be themselves at this Pride.”Several Pride participants wear masks at the parade as they do not want to be identified, especially as there is heavy media presence.

The Pride march will commence from August Kranti Maidan to Opera House and then proceed to Kennedy Bridge and back to August Kranti Maidan. “The mood is cheerful and celebratory. There will be lots of colour in the parade. The rainbow flag will lead the Pride, and will be held by members of the QAM organising committee, who will also hold the QAM banner,” says Darshil Sh of Yaariyan, Humsafar Trust’s Youth Wing.

Qgraphy, the queer photography club will be taking official pictures of the event. “We are photography enthusiasts rather than hardcore professionals. We took pictures of Pride last year too. It is more about candidly capturing the LGBT community and celebrating it through photography,” says Kartik Sharma, one of the founders of Qgraphy.

There are some Bollywood stars that are expected to show their support. The Aligarh (a film based on real life incident, featuring a homosexual professor) team is also expected. Celebrities though are for the shutter-happy, Pride has always will be about the larger LGBT community in Mumbai.

“Anwesh Sahoo, Mr Gay World India will also be there attending his first LGBT event since he was crowned last month,” Pallav Patankar from Humsafar Trust signs off. They have a ticket to Pride.

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