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Lucknow hosts queer pride walk

The walk was organised for the LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex and asexual) community against the oppressive attacks and varied forms of discrimination.

lucknow Updated: Feb 12, 2018 11:21 IST
Deep Saxena
Deep Saxena
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Members and supporters of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) community during Awadh Queer Pride Walk in Lucknow on Sunday.(PTI)

Rainbow hues covered the streets of Lucknow on Sunday as the city witnessed 400 people gather for the second Awadh Queer Pride ‘Walk for Equality’.

The walk was organised for the LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex and asexual) community against the oppressive attacks and varied forms of discrimination, said organiser Darvesh Singh Yadavendra.

The members took out the march from Rana Pratap Marg crossing, and as it progressed, their numbers swelled.

An overcast sky and drizzle failed to dampen their spirit as they sang ‘There’s nothing wrong with loving who you are’, from their ‘anthem song’ Born This Way by Lady Gaga.

With confidence and spunk, members of the community danced and hugged each other, and shouted slogans against IPC section 377 (that criminalises unnatural sexual activities).

Flashing the symbolic flag and posing for shutterbugs, Lisa of Humsafar Trust from Delhi, said, “Last year’s Lucknow pride walk was my first and I am happy to see that love is in the air in this city of culture. I hope and pray that the city becomes more sensitive and supportive towards the community.”

Annu, a cross-dresser whose real name is Subhash, became emotional. “Love is flowing like blood in my veins. It is a big occasion for us and hence I am dressed up like a woman. I am proud of what I am.”

Many men were seen wearing lipsticks, nose pins, large nath, bangles, lehenga and other feminine ensemble.

Abeer, a Lucknow native currently working in Varanasi, came to take part in his second walk. Priyam came all the way from Delhi.

“Nawabi queers will crush the patriarchy,” said one of the placards.

Another placard read, “All parents should be aware that when they mock or curse queer people, they may be mocking their own child.”

“We celebrated the judgment on right to privacy but legal rights are valueless till the society accepts it. In a larger perspective, we raise voice again discrimination on the basis of gender, class, caste, religion, ability, race, tribe, ethnicity and sexual orientation,” organiser Yadavendra said.

Sanatkada founder, Madhavi Kuckreja voiced her support to the cause. “Everyone should have a right to be the way they want to be. Last year also my team was here to support them,” she said.

Apart from members of the community, supporters of the cause also turned up in good numbers. “These allies are our support system. Their gesture means a lot for us,” said Megha Nandi, working in a private firm, and Nalini, BTech student.

“As for those who do not understand our beliefs, I request them to not hate us,” they said.

The walk culminated at the General Post Office crossing amid tight security with the participants raising the placards reading: ‘Love has no gender’, ‘We exist’, ‘Homophobia has to go’ and ‘Pink is not gender colour’.

The state capital also witnessed a solo play by Mona Ambegaonkar — ‘Ek Madhav Baug’. The community members gathered together amid placard reading, ‘I’m beautiful in my way; ‘Cause God makes no mistakes; I’m on the right track, baby I was born this way’.

(With ANI inputs)

First Published: Feb 12, 2018 11:20 IST

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