The Delhi Queer Pride on November 25 was the first such annual march by the LGBTQ communities after the Supreme Court decriminalised consensual gay sex.

#LegalNow: Seen and heard at the Delhi Queer Pride

The first Pride march in Delhi after the Supreme Court decriminalised consensual gay sex

By Furquan Ameen in New Delhi
  • Published 26.11.18, 1:03 AM
  • Updated 27.11.18, 8:37 AM
  • a min read
  •  

At the Delhi Queer Pride on Sunday, there was joy that a milestone had been reached. But there was also a loud message for right-wing detractors of LGBTQ rights. A man came in saffron robes, just to mock the colour. The poster calling to "Smash Brahmincal Patriarchy", which got Jack Dorsey and Twitter into trouble a few days ago, made a reappearance. Allauddin Khilji too was in the march. Here are some of the voices:

Javed Sultan
Photo Credit: Javed Sultan
Sagar Rastogi of Delhi did not forget to thank the Supreme Court judges for the September 6 verdict.
Javed Sultan
Photo Credit: Javed Sultan
Deepansh Goswami calls himself Queer Baba. He turned out to be as political as he may be queer. Asked about his unusual attire at the Pride, Deepansh said: "It is a political statement against religious groups who supported (Section) 377 and said gay sex is unnatural. Now that the Supreme Court judgment is here, we have to follow the rule of the law.” He also turned a communally charged Hindutva slogan on its head. After demolishing the Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992, kar sevaks leaving Ayodhya had shouted: "Yeh toh sirf jhanki hai. Kashi, Mathura baki hai (Ayodhya is just the beginning. Kashi and Mathura are next)." Deepansh's twist: "377 sirf jhanki hai. Same sex marriage abhi baki hai (377 is the beginning, same sex marriage is next)."
Javed Sultan
Photo Credit: Javed Sultan
A slogan heard at the Pride: "Ek tha kanoon sabse battar, jiska naam tha teen sau sath-attar (there was once an unjust law, it was called 377)."
Javed Sultan
Photo Credit: Javed Sultan
Until last year, the LGBTQ communities and their supporters gathered at the Pride to demand equal rights from the government and to criticise IPC Section 377. On Sunday, everyone gathered to celebrate.
Javed Sultan
Photo Credit: Javed Sultan
He is Manoj, but prefers to answer to Kalindi. This Pride was different, so Kalindi dressed differently. "Whenever I have gone to a pride parade, I’ve worn jewellery. This year, this is my gehna (ornament),” he said, pointing to the words “LEGAL NOW”. He had written the words in the shape of a necklace. The words were framed by two hearts.
Javed Sultan
Photo Credit: Javed Sultan
Allahuddin Khilji walked straight out of the Padmaavat sets, and into the march, or so it would seem. For several months before the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's film on January 25, the Rajput outfit Karni Sena held protests because they thought Padmaavat would insult sentiments of the community. When the film released, the biggest surprise in the plot was Khilji's bisexuality.
Javed Sultan
Photo Credit: Javed Sultan
Gerry Takhallambam hails from Manipur but Delhi has been his home for 11 years. Gerry was one of the colourful butterflies in the crowd of several hundred. “I have been preparing for this since last year and waiting eagerly since September,” Gerry said. It was important for people to accept themselves as they were, before society accepts them, he said.
Javed Sultan
Photo Credit: Javed Sultan
The poster that made Jack Dorsey and Twitter nervously apologise popped up at the Pride on Sunday. Law graduate Shushant Singh stood on a scooter holding the "Smash Brahmincal Patriarchy" placard. Twitter co-founder Dorsey, who was seen holding an identical poster in a photograph recently, faced a backlash on his own social media platform because some of its users thought it would divide India along caste lines. Shushant said such lines exist in the Queer community too and divides should be smashed.
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