On May 17, observed worldwide as International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT), members of the LGBTQ community in Bhopal, along with allies, held the city’s first ever Pride Parade.
Organised by Citizens Action Network, Bhopal the parade was the culmination of several events that began on May 13, including an arts exhibition, poetry sessions, and a talk by gay-rights activist Harish Iyer. The parade itself began at 5pm from Van Vihar Gate, ending 2 km away at Hotel Lakeview Ranjit, where noted trans activist Kalki Subramaniam addressed the gathering.
The folks from the Bhopal Pride’s organising committee shared photos of the event with Youth Ki Awaaz. So if you’re in the mood for some rainbow love and solidarity, scroll on!
The parade also received support online from non-binary poet and activist Alok Vaid-Menon, and Alex Matthew, known professionally as Maya the Drag Queen. The two sent across this video message on Facebook:
Bhopal has joined Lucknow as a first-timer doing Pride Parades. It’s an encouraging feeling to see the LGBTQ community coming out on the streets in more and more Indian cities. And we hope it only gets bigger from here on!