Colourful masks, drum beats and jubilant dancing lit up Saturday evening in the heart of the city. Hundreds of people from the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community, along with their supporters, gathered at Jantar Mantar, to celebrate the second anniversary of the High Court verdict decriminalising gay sex among consenting adults in India.
Some shed inhibitions, indulging in public display of affection, while many others did not take off their masks, refusing to be identified. “There’s a long way to go, the society still doesn’t accept us with open arms,” said a participant who wished not to be named.
Even though the evening witnessed stage performances, shouting out of slogans and even belly dancing, many felt the energy paled in comparison to last year. “We enjoyed a lot, but there were lesser people this time around,” says Dhwani Mathur, 25, a supporter. But the day spelled profit for the chana, papad and ice-cream vendors in the area. Unlike last year, the police this time, winded up the festivities before things got raunchy. The participants too, seemed more kicked about the after-party than the celebrations at the venue.