On November 27, 2016, the manicured roads of Central Delhi got a huge splash of colour, as hundreds came out for the Delhi Queer Pride (DQP), from Barakhamba Road to Jantar Mantar. The familiar rainbow arch made up of a gazillion balloons swayed at the head of the march, the dholwallahs had everyone dancing, e-rickshaws with Pride banners cruised along for folks who couldn’t march the full stretch, and the mood was as energetic as ever. But what really highlights the political platform that it has always been are the posters that folks hold aloft as they walk down a designated public street. These are as diverse as the people who carry them, and at this DQP, we saw several posters raising loads of important points. And these were some of our favourites:
This one cleverly comments on the ridiculous move to ban Pakistani artistes like Fawad Khan (who played a gay character in “Kapoor And Sons”), when homophobic public figures like Baba Ramdev continue to retain a place in Indian society.
And how can we forget the current government’s 2014 election promise of “Acche Din,” when it hasn’t added up for LGBTQ people in India?
In fact, loads of people decided to play on things that members of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party have said, like when they targeted Muslims in India with their “Ghar Wapsi” campaign. So from one minority group to another, here’s an inspired poster!
And of course, there had to be a mention of demonetisation!
It was also a good time to recognize and support people challenging the cisgender status quo!
And stand up against erasure of ‘lesser known’ queer identities:
As well as draw on other social justice movements, because all forms of oppression come from the same kinds of prejudice.
We also saw that the Marvel fandom was present, showing some love for pop-culture that’s all queered-up, because representation is important!
And finally, a remark about how the pollution in Delhi has taken a turn for the worse, and is not unlike the oppressive haze of gender binaries!
These and other posters that really made us smile, or think more deeply about issues, are a huge part of what Pride is all about. Every Pride has its own unique flavours, drawing on various current events, and often packing a mean punch in its critique of social systems. And we can’t wait to see what next year will look like!
Do you have any cool photos from Delhi Queer Pride 2016? Tweet ’em to us at @thecakeofficial, or email us at [email protected]!
Featured Image Credit: Lipi Mehta.