Just like the first lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) pride parade that was held in the city last December, this year’s event too lacked the dash of glamour.
Besides, there were no celebrities or prominent personalities to boost the morale of one of the most isolated sections of society.
Around 150 people participated in the parade, out of which some 20 people had come from Mumbai to ensure the event was a success.
Nakshtra Bagawe of Gay Bombay said, “We have come here to boost the morale of people belonging to our community. But unlike Mumbai, things are quite different here. There’s no glamour, which is an intrinsic part of LGBT pride parades held in our city.”
Bagawe added that the timing too is important when it comes to organising such events. “Visibility is quite low in early mornings, as compared to that one gets during the later part of the day,” he added.
Likewise, Inder Vhatwar, who had also come from Mumbai along with his friends, felt that the lack of glamour was the reason there was little buzz about the event. “Mumbai is bold, and so is Bangalore. The conservative nature of the people is the reason why the parade was not as successful as it should have been. I think people living here should come out of their closet,” he said.
Seconding Vhatwar’s views, Savita Kumbhar, a lesbian, said, “This is the first time I have attended such a parade. Initially, I was scared to take part in th march but I feel good now. Just like me, several of my friends too wanted to attend, but they are anxious to come out in the open.”
However, Vivek Anand, CEO of Hamsafar Trust, who was present as chief guest, said, “The pride march held in Mumbai six years ago was similar to the one held in Pune today. It takes time for the city to know and adopt such events. I’m sure that a few years down the line, even Pune’s pride marches will see more people; there will be more glamour and the celebs too will make their presence felt.”
Bindumadhav Khire of Samapathik Trust said, “There is a need to create more awareness, and such pride marches are serving the purpose. Considering it as the initial phase, we saw a good response. We have improved since last year. This year we allowed people to wear masks so that the ones who haven’t come out in the open about their sexuality can still participate in the march.”
Khire added that they are planning to change the route and the agenda in the coming years.