As Delhi was enveloped in smog and everything seemed hazy, it was a beautiful sight at the corner of Barakhamba Road where hundreds of people gathered together to dance, flirt, love and share their rainbow feelings on the streets of Delhi, demanding the right to choose who they love and who they are. This Pride was a representation of a milestone ten years of collective struggle to battle all forms of oppression and exclusion.
The demand of the Pride was to build a proper system of hate crime legislation which conceptualizes all forms of violence against minorities as a punishable offence. The demand of the 10th Delhi Queer Pride was to make changes in the laws that are hindrance towards the goal of equality, like tear down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, repeal Karnataka Police Act 36, Hyderabad Eunuch Act and remove the marital exception from the rape laws which should offer redressal to all victims/survivors of sexual assault irrespective of gender.
The message of the Parade was to build a culture of acceptance for personal expression and love and sex in all its consensual forms, across the barriers of gender, caste, class, ability, religion, nationality and language. Hundreds of people marched towards the Jantar Mantar to forge a collective solidarity in tearing down the structures of hierarchy that produce the mutual alienation and fear among the minorities.The evening ended with a promise of hope, resistance towards the power structure and a vision of the future where everyone will find their space in the society as equals and will be accepted for who they are.
All images courtesy Shruti Janardhan.