Eighteen years ago, breaking all social norms and barriers, the city of Calcutta hosted the first queer pride walk in India. To think it was almost two decades ago feels a coon’s age has passed by, but a lot has changed over these eighteen years.
The society has undergone a metamorphosis of pandemic and societal characters. But now truly the libertarians of this great nation can rejoice, as the First Queer pride walk of Lucknow was taken out on Sunday. The Awadh pride parade is the first of its kind in the state. A great leap to humanitarian victory. A victory of the nation. A victory for its people.
While the LGBTQIA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, Queer, intersex and asexual) community has always faced a social apartheid from the people of its own contiguous, it was breaking of all fences, as the rainbow flags were upheaved and fluttered in the broad daylight. Over 15000 people of LGBTQIA community and it’s supporters joined hands in the first Queer pride walk of Lucknow which started in Sikanderbagh crossing to Gandhi Park at Hazratganj, covering over 1.5 kilometres in distance.
“A country where queer people are free is truly free and everybody can walk with dignity, so we are here to celebrate the diversity of gender and sexuality, against any discrimination,” said Darvesh Singh Yadavendra, the organiser of the Awadh Queer Pride Committee.
Slogans were raised in the ecstasy of the march, like ‘I am gay, it’s Okay’ and ‘Hey hey, ho ho, homophobia has to go’, and placards reading ‘I am a queer Muslim, get over it’. In the truest sense, it was a sight to behold.
It is with much pride that I declare that my country has come a long way from the xenophobia and segregation. Yes, it is true that there are many places and corners in the society of this country which are still soiled by bigotry and hatred towards the queer.
But even a small event or cavalcade condoning the LGBT community can bring a big change to the mindset of this country. It is this small yet significant effort from Lucknow, that makes me restore faith in the future of this country.
Here’s hoping that the First Queer pride walk of Lucknow will inspire many more cities in India, to adopt such similar events, to integrate their segregated into their culture.
All pictures used in this article are credited to BCCL.