New Delhi- Sunday afternoon, the streets of Central Delhi was filled with musical beats, drums and gaggles of laughs. People of all races, caste, class, gender and sexual identity gathered together to celebrate the 13th edition of Delhi Queer Pride.
The Mooknayak attended the pride parade not only as a part of media, but also as an ally to lend support to the otherwise marginalized communities. The march began at Barakhamba-Tolstoy intersection and went till Jantar Mantar, where many people put up performances to showcase their talent.
Among the sloganeering, one common sentence which was spoken by majorly all queer people there was the feeling of safety. One anonymous attendee said, “I love how safe it feels. I can dress however I want and hold the hand of whoever I want. I can be loud; I can be flamboyant. I can be me. Not scared of any judgements right now.”
People from the LGBTQIA+ community feels the sensation of pairs of eyes looking and judging them and others often passing remarks at their cost. Such situations also have a chance of becoming violent, which is mostly observed in the case of trans people who are visibly queer. India’s executive body lack the regulations and sensitisation that is needed to safeguard the folks. But in Pride, everyone looks different and rightly so. People who are visibly queer are dancing on the streets which on other days remain scary to them.
Another attendee spoke to The Mooknayak about expressing their body at Pride. They said, “I am gay so I cannot express myself back at home. I feel like myself at Pride and this is the only place where I get to feel and be who I really am. Pride is everything to me. It is a warm environment; I have supportive people around me.”
For many, Pride marches becomes the only place they can express their gender and identity. Pride gives a space to individuals to be the most flamboyant versions of themselves and wear any sort of clothing, without judgement.
One particularly heartbreaking moment at the Pride was observing Aarti, the mother of Arvey asking for justice. Carrying a banner with her son’s face and various news clippings, the emotional mother was marching to make her voice heard. She said to the media, “Because of bullying and homophobia, I lost my child. It has been 2 years since my son [Arvay] attempted suicide. I still am running place to place for justice. Today, I am walking at Pride in support of my son and all the other queer children who face the same stringent situations. There are many children who unfortunately have lost their life to bullying and harassment.”
Arvey, a student of Delhi Public School, Faridabad, was bullied and sexually assaulted, owing to his “effeminate nature” and identity. The high school student could not take it anymore and committed suicide by jumping from the fifteenth floor of his society’s building.
Arvey, unfortunately, is not the first child to do so and will not be the last. Recently, 16-year-old Pranshu from Ujjain of Madhya Pradesh hung himself because of constant bullying. The child had put up a reel on Instagram wearing a Sari, which garnered a lot of negative attention from homophobic and transphobic people who trolled him. The Pride March also had various posters with their face on it, standing in solidarity with the young content creator.
The Pride March took place on 26th November, started from Barakhamba-Tolstoy intersection at 12:00 PM and ended at Jantar Mantar at around 5:00 PM.
In order to make Pride accessible and inclusive for everyone, there were sign language interpreters for the entire event, electric rickshaws for those in need and volunteers in reflective vests for support.
Since 2008 Delhi Queer Pride has been an autonomous, community-led space, created by a collective of queer and trans individuals, upholding the principles of queer liberation. It is funded via donations from community members and our allies. All organizing is done on a purely voluntary basis by individuals, with no affiliation to external parties.