The fourth anniversary of Pride walk by the LGBTQ community started from Panjab University Student Centre on Sunday to finally end at Sector 17.
At the walk, members of the LGBTQ community that stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer individuals/identities celebrated - publicly and proudly - the diversity of gender and sexuality that marks their lives.
Indeed, one was reminded of the words of poet Faiz as one looked at the parade.
“Speak, for your words are free; Speak, for the words are still yours; Speak, for the truth is still alive; Speak, all that you wish to speak,” go the poet’s words.
“We celebrate the gains we have made towards our collective dignity. However, our celebration is also part of a protest against continuing discrimination against transgender, lesbian, gay and intersex and queer people. Protections for transgenders remains poorly implemented even as Section 377 remains a blight on our laws,” said Dhananjay Chauhan, president, Saksham Trust, an NGO that works for the interests of the LGBT community.
He added that in their everyday lives too, many of them remained fearful of being ourselves in homes, schools workplaces, hospitals and the public spaces of our city.
“This year more than ever, we march in solidarity for a whole range of freedoms that are under threat. Intolerance and violence towards Dalits, Muslims, women, advocates of free speech, rationalists and those voicing dissent, surrounds us,” he said.
He added that queer freedom was inseparable from a broader culture of respect for dissent and different. “Many movements have stood by the queer struggle in the past, we stand by them today,” they said.
* Enactment of comprehensive anti-discrimination laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of age, sex, class, caste, religion, tribe, ability, ethnicity, gender identity and sexual orientation.
* Effective implementation of the provisions of the Supreme Court judgment in NALSA versus Union of India on the rights of trans people.
* Stringent action against violence against minorities and the silencing of freedom of expression and dissent
* Repeal of Section 377 (unnatural offences, sex against order of nature) of the Indian Penal Code.