Gays celebrate one year of Delhi High Court judgment
A joyous and flamboyant crowd of Delhi's gay community gathered Friday evening in the heart of the city to celebrate the first anniversary of Delhi High Court's judgment decriminalising homosexuality.
The Delhi High Court July 2 last year overturned the 150-year-old section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which penalised people voluntarily engaging in "unnatural sex" with imprisonment up to 10 years or life.
The participants of the one-year-celebration at Jantar Mantar seemed much more flamboyant and open, not only in their attire, but also behaviour.
Many couples were openly kissing each other in front of around 50-60 policeman as well as numerous bystanders without any hesitation or fear.
"The situation is changing drastically. As you can see that the police and the public are not concerned with what we are doing. Moreover, the commercial players have also taken notice of us, that's why for the first time Archies have launched same sex greeting cards," said Mohnish Malhotra, an activist whose pink t-shirt read "Not all men are fools, some remain bachelors".
Many were holding rainbow coloured balloons, wearing vibrant masks and wigs and almost all of them were attired in brightly coloured clothes.
"I am jubilant because of the freedom that we have got now. This judgment has affected queers back home too. Many more gays are coming out of the closet in Jaipur too," said Honey Singh, a beautician from the Rajasthan capital.
Similarly, lawyer Aditya Bandhopadhyay pronounced that he foresaw "a great future for ourselves and now is our time to celebrate".
Dressed in a white chikan kurta, American tourist Matthew Stief, who had also come from Jaipur to celebrate the anniversary, said: "I got to know about this through Facebook. It is for the first time in my life that I am attending such an event and doing it in India makes it all the more special."