Thousands thronged to central Delhi on a dull, smoggy afternoon last Sunday to celebrate the 10th year of the LGBTQ+ Pride. Colourful balloons, dresses and headgear punctuated the grey day as 5,000 bedazzled, joyous, loud, emphatic participants flooded the streets with cheers and music, in what was perhaps the youngest Pride parade Delhi has ever witnessed. Brimming with colour, music and smiles, the participants walked from Barakhamba Road to Parliament Street – a change from the usual route because of a ban on protests at Jantar Mantar.
This year marks the 10th milestone of the LGBTQ+ community’s collective struggle to fight back against homophobia, transphobia, shame and stigma. “Bi Bi Haters!” proclaimed one placard, while another said, “Closets are for clothes – fabulous, fabulous clothes!” Another cheeky placard took a dig at the city’s pollution levels along with the draconian IPC Section that criminalises homosexuality in our country, proclaiming, “PMO Level 377 Hazardous for Homosexuals”!
Homosexuality is still illegal in India, and these Parades are testament to our indefatigable spirit – because even though we know that the Section 377 will not be done away with through these marches, we celebrate ourselves, our lives, choices and dignity as proudly as we can each year. We Are Queer and We Are Here!
Photographs by Aamir Khan:
Aamir is a passionate street photographer and founder of the initiative “Anybody Can Photograph (ABCP)