Even as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) groups paint the world in rainbow colours to celebrate June as the gay pride month, there’s no buzz on Delhi’s streets. Reason — there’s no rainbow without the rain, say activists. “While we respect the international gay pride month, we will not have any parade this month as the heat is killing. Whenever we organised gay pride marches in June earlier, it was difficult for many, specially old people and kids, to participate. That’s why we have pushed the parade dates to November,” says Monish Kabir Malhotra, one of the organisers of the annual gay pride march in the Capital.
Other groups agree, and have resorted to indoor activities instead. Rupika Dhillon, LBGT activist and lawyer, SPACE (Society for Peoples’ Awareness, Care & Empowerment) says, “It’s very difficult to come out on the roads in the month of June. People sweat profusely, some have even fainted in the past when we had events in June. So we are celebrating the month with indoor events.” SPACE is running contests such as condom art, rainbow hair colouring, and graffiti contests at its Delhi Dost centre in Majnu Ka Tila. “We may not be out on the streets, but are sending our advocacy groups to various police stations to take up cases of abuse. We will also be gifting pink roses to Delhi cops.”
Another LGBT rights organisation, Development Advocacy and Research trust (DART) has a body painting contest going on. Jatin Kumar, project head, shares, “We are trying to help people fight homophobia through skits and poetry recitations.” Meanwhile, some city restaurants and beauty parlours have also joined the celebrations by offering special discounts to the gay community. While Hair N Shanti salon has declared a special 20% discount on all beauty services, Hops N Brew, Gurgaon , is offering a 25% discount on beer throughout June for LGBT guests.