After the Supreme Court re-criminalised homosexuality earlier this month, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in the city has raised an amount of Rs 2.02 lakh within 20 days, for the Queer Azaadi Mumbai (QAM) march, which will be organised in the city the last week of January. The clutch of events that are part of the freedom march culminate in the gay pride parade.
The sum of money is large, considering that there were no more than 44 contributors. The donors included heterosexuals, and on an average, each person chipped in Rs 4,600. The donations were raised online. The funds will be diverted to various programmes that are part of the event, such as flash mobs, theatre, film screening and posters.
People associated with QAM claim that they have achieved their target for funds, and are expecting more people to donate. Equality rights activist Harish Iyer, who is associated with QAM, said, “We have reached our target of Rs 2 lakh. Thanks for standing up with the ‘minuscule minority’. We still have our donation channels open. The money we get henceforth will be used for the pride in 2015 and for protests against section 377.”
Adding that the pride has been reinvigorated with new zest this year, he said, “I see no reason to hold back our pride. The time is relevant now, more than ever, to take to the streets to celebrate our sexualities. I am particularly overwhelmed at the support we are receiving from heterosexual citizens.
It’s truly remarkable that unlike our court that has left us disappointed, we find acceptance in the hearts of people. The minuscule minority is out to have a mega celebration everyone is invited, irrespective of gender, sexuality, race, caste or creed.” Sibi Mathen, coordinator of Yaariyan, a social networking group for the LGBT community, which is linked to QAM, said, “We collected Rs 2 lakh from online crowd-funding and nearly Rs 1 lakh from events like parties and so on.”