Donning rainbow-coloured scarves and attire and gyrating to drumbeats, hundreds of people from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community created a carnival-like atmosphere yesterday at central Delhi's business and shopping hub of Connaught Place as they marched in the fourth edition of the Delhi Queer Pride Parade.

The parade that commenced from Barakambha Road and culminated at Jantar Mantar caused a major stir as passers-by and traffic came to a halt trying to catch a glimpse of the colourful participants.

Pink pride: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender community members
and supporters attend the fourth Delhi Queer Pride parade in New Delhi.

Like each year, free masks, rainbow coloured scarves, flags, badges, whistles, candies etc were distributed. The masks were particularly for closet gays � those who have not disclosed their sexual orientation or gender.

For 25-year-old Anshuman Singh, the masks were a must till last year's parade as he was a closet gay. But after revealing his sexual preference to his family earlier this year, he has "broken the shackles".

"I am proud of who I am and I don't fear anyone now. I am confident and have broken the shackles of the society," said Singh. Agreed Rene Khan, an 18-year-old lesbian who said that society needs to change its perception towards the LGBT community.

"We have this one day in the year when we walk the roads wearing our sexual orientation on our sleeves. Why can't we do this everyday? Why can't people leave us alone?" said an emotional Khan.

According to the organisers, the rally was not all about amusement and addressed some serious issues.

"Queers in India face violence, discrimination, forced marriages, blackmailing and do not enjoy health services.

We need the government to take some serious actions," said Mohnish Malhotra of Queer Delhi.