Gays, lesbians take to the streets | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Gays, lesbians take to the streets

delhi Updated: Jun 29, 2008 20:51 IST

In a rare display of unity, hundreds of gays and lesbians on Sunday paraded the streets of Delhi, Kolkata and Bangalore, pressing for changes in the law to end their stigma and discrimination.

Dressed in colourful clothes and adorned with tattooes and body piercings, the marchers shouted slogans against Section 377 of the IPC which defines un-natural sexual practices and annnounced their sexual preferences in the forms of gays, lesbians, bi-sexuals and transgenders.

The marchers participating in the "Delhi Queer Pride 2008" rally, the first of its kind here, walked for an hour from Barakhamba Road to Jantar Mantar in the heart of Delhi.

In Kolkata, lesbians, gays and transexuals marched through the streets from College Square to Esplanade East on a 'Rainbow Pride Walk' watched by milling Sunday crowds.

Sunday's marches were the first display of gay pride in Delhi and Bangalore.

"This pride march has got a historical connection. Same day in year 1969, police in New York raided a gay bar called Stonewll Inn, as they humiliated and even arrested the people present in the bar. But the people, showing rare courage for the first time, protested", Shayani Mullick, a gay rights activist, said.

Dancing to drum beats, drag queens (men dressed in womens clothes) and others wearing "masks" carried a large "rainbow" flag while they held placards reading -- Hindu Muslim Sikh Isai Hetero Homo Bhai Bhai, Proud to be queer, be thyself love thyself and 377 leave India.