Central India’s first pride parade was organised by sexual and gender minorities and their supporters on Wednesday in Bhopal to give a befitting reply to doctors and sorcerers who claim that LGBTQIA community people are ill and can be cured by a shock treatment and black magic respectively.
The parade was organised on International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia to focus on equal rights, freedom and acceptance of transgender in the society.
A community member Deepanshu Goswami said, “In small cities like Bhopal when youngsters disclose their orientation in front of their family members, they are taken to sorcerers and doctors for treatment. Now, the understanding among doctors towards LGBT community has increased but black magic practitioners are still harassing us.”
A good number of community people from Bhopal participated in the parade in the traditional clothes to make people aware that they were not influenced by western culture and that the community existed in the Indian mythology too.
Sumit Pawar from Mumbai, who was dressed like ‘Kamdev’, said, “Our mythological books and architecture prove that LGBTQIA community existed in the ancient India too. In Khajuraho, architects freely made sculptures of lesbian and gay but now people feel awkward in discussing such issues.”
Many disclosed their gender orientation for the first time in the parade.
A student from a reputed college of Bhopal realised recently that she was bisexual. “I recently realised that I am bisexual. I was trying to gather courage to tell others. This parade is really a big platform for people like me to disclose their sexual orientation.”
According to Kakoli Bhattacharya, one of the organisers, the event is meant to bring awareness in society towards the rights of LGBTQIA community and promote their social acceptance irrespective of gender, caste and status.
LGBTQIA stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual communities.
The Bhopal Pride Parade voluntary group and NGOs-Mitra Shringar Samiti and Anmol Sewa Sanstha.