More than 10,000 turn up for the Queer Pride March in Mumbai

The LGBT community took to Mumbai's streets to show their numbers this year at the Queer Pride March

The beat of the Nashik dhol and chanting of slogans reverberated in the air as the LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender) community came together for the Queer Pride March on Saturday. “This year, pride is not just about celebration, but also protest. It is heartening to see so many straight people here to support us as well as many community members showing their faces with pride,” said Pallav Patankar from the Humsafar Trust.

A gay couple shares a moment at the march. Pics/Bipin Kokate
A gay couple shares a moment at the march. Pics/Bipin Kokate

Many chose to wear Indian costumes with the Modi jacket being a huge hit. Darshil Sh from Yaariyan, Humsafar Trust’s youth wing, said, “We wanted to convey that the LGBT idea is very Indian. We feel our sexuality from within, and it has nothing to do with any foreign influence.”

Actor Manoj Bajpai (second from left), director Hansal Mehta (second from right) and Rajkumar Rao (extreme right) came out in supportActor Manoj Bajpai (second from left), director Hansal Mehta (second from right) and Rajkumar Rao (extreme right) came out in support

Mr Gay World India, Anwesh Sahoo, also opted for an Indian look with a Rajasthan-inspired mirror-work outfit. He said, “I wanted to run wild with colours, and also be authentically Indian. Seeing so many others in Indian wear makes me feel proud of my choice.”

As the crowd began to fill up outside the August Kranti Maidan at Grant Road, some community members and supporters chose to paint their faces and bodies. Gayatree Joshi, the artist, said, “Rainbow dream catchers, flags in multi-coloured hues and Section 377 were some of the common things people opted to paint.”

Sr Lillyann Joseph, a Catholic nun, who is part of AHF (Aids Healthcare Foundation) India, a Navi Mumbai-based NGO that provides free HIV treatment, was there to support the LGBT community. She said, “I work with many people present here. So, I am here to support them.”

The NGO was distributing condoms to all those gathered. Bismay Raulo from Delhi, who was part of Impulse India, a sister NGO of AHF India, said, “This idea was a success at the Delhi Pride. So, we decided to replicate the idea in Mumbai. We have given out more than 7,000 condoms.”

According to organisers, the turnout was around 10,000 this year.

Watch the video of Queer Pride March held in Mumbai in the year 2011

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