Gays, lesbians to march in pride today | india | Hindustan Times
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Gays, lesbians to march in pride today

india Updated: Aug 16, 2008 00:45 IST
Pratik Ghosh
Pratik Ghosh
Hindustan Times

It's a march to freedom for the sexually oppressed and marginalised.

At least 500 people of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) communities, along with their families, friends and colleagues, will take to the streets on Saturday to make their demands heard.

The Queer Azadi March will start at August Kranti Maidan at 2.30 pm and proceed to Nana Chowk, take SV Patel Road till Sukh Sagar to end at Chowpatty.

Actress Celina Jaitley and sociologist Nandini Sardesai have agreed to be a part of the march organised by 14 groups, including Humsafar Trust, Aanchal Trust, GayBombay, Salvation Star, Astitva, Dai Welfare Society and Humsaaya.

“For the first time so many groups have come together with a common agenda,” says Nitin Karani of Humsafar Trust. “We would want the regressive Section 377 of the IPC, which penalises homosexuality to be read down. It is used as a tool to harass gays, lesbians and transgenders.”

The march also calls for an end to forced marriages of LGBT people and discrimination on the grounds of sexuality or gender. “We want an end to homophobia and transphobia — an end to violence and hate within families, in educational institutions, at workplaces and public spaces,” Karani added.

“It’s far from being a silent march as activists and supporters will shout slogans demanding their rights and wave flags on their way to Chowpatty,” said Geeta Kumana of Aanchal Trust and Integrated network for sexual minority.

This event follows the pride marches in Kolkata, Delhi and Banglaore simultaneously on June 29. Delhi is currently hosting the Nigah Queer Fest, which will end on Sunday.

It took Mumbai a long time to organise an event of this magnitude. Kolkata organised the first-ever Queer March in 1999.

“It isn’t that the marginal communities of the city have not been doing their bit. The Humsafar Trust has been organising a march on World AIDS day and on August 16 for two years,” said Karani.

“In 2005, some six groups assembled at Flora Fountain to voice their demands. After three years, many more groups joined hands to give momentum to the movement,” said Shalini of Lesbian and Bisexuals in Action.