Bigger, better and brighter — the ninth edition of Delhi Queer Pride Parade managed to gather hundreds at Tolstoy Marg in Connaught Place on Sunday. Fighting for their rights against the Section 377, the LGBT (Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community came out with balloons, placards, props and more to celebrate the spirit of freedom. This year, the parade got immense support from around the world, including nations like the United Kingdom, Canada, Taiwan, Germany and the United States of America. The parade also had participants from various embassies and some visitors had flown down specially for it. “I have been to many pride parades in and around the UK and this feels very familiar, but what makes it much bigger is the strong meaning attached to it,” said Patrick Mannion, a resident of UK who was part of the parade.
Another participant from Taiwan, Celine Bara was overjoyed to see such a huge gathering and said, “I am here with my husband and my brother. At first my brother was apprehensive, but I cannot find him now. He has been dancing, meeting different men, making friends and being himself. I love the vibe here and the spirit of freedom. I love how my brother doesn’t have to wear a mask or hide himself here.“
Mohnish Kabir Malhotra, the man behind the parade too was overwhelmed by the growing numbers and shared his plans for the 10th Delhi Queer Pride Parade which will take place next year. “Before acceptance comes tolerance and pride, and that is exactly what we are here for. The parade in its 9th year has got bigger, the feeling is overwhelming. I am really happy that the authorities have been super supportive,,” he said.
“I told them (the authorities) that next year, I will be breaking all the rules and taking the parade to the inner circle of Connaught place, and surprisingly they said that they shall work something out,” he added.
The massive gathering — the aim of which was to highlight the communities’ concerns — comprised DU (Delhi University) students, foreign nationals and people from around the country. Kanika Katyal, an M.Phil student of DU said, “For me registering my presence here is important because I see this as a celebration of love and equality. It’s a very simple philosophy really, equality is not a new concept that must be introduced and learned. It’s a necessity! If a section of people are marginalised, then it means that the society is screwed up, it’s out of balance, because why should some people have more freedom than others? It’s a claustrophic picture which needs to be fixed.”