What started out a tiny group of people marching from Regal Cinema in 2008 has today become a massive celebration of all LGBTQ Indians in the heart of the nation. Yes, the tenth annual Delhi Queer Pride has just come to a close, and it was a lovely, vibrant, clamorous occasion, as people came out in hordes to fly the rainbow flag high.
One of the things that we love so much about Pride are the creative, witty, snarky, assertive, colourful posters that bob along over a sea of heads. And we couldn’t not document them for posterity! So here are our picks:
Autonomy has always been at the centre of LGBTQ rights. Every queer individual should have the final say on what they wish to do with their bodies – be it dressing a particular way, expressing their gender and sexuality, and choosing their partners. Thanks to Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, the community has been denied their right to their own bodies.
Religious intolerance has forced many queer people underground, and left many others feeling torn between their faith and their sexuality. But folks at DQP 2017 were here to right that wrong.
There were multiple affirming messages from people who practiced various faiths.
Folks were here to say that no matter what your religion, compassion and love should be at the centre of what you preach!
Our idea of the ‘self’ is often rooted in how people around us see us, and the way the general public perceives queerness is not kind. So it was great to have queer people reminding each other to be confident in themselves, rather than conform to stifling social norms.
This year’s Pride march saw members of various invisibilised communities – such as bisexual people, agender people and many others. In addition to that we have here a demonstrator representing queer folks from the North East!
Even before the SCOTUS ruling on marriage equality came to be, the LGBTQ community all over the world has fought against the double standard that values unions between heterosexual people, but demonises same-sex couples.
And here are two marchers holding up one our posters too!
Queer people were totally owning it with puns and jokes like these!
And don’t forget the asexual community’s brazen brand of humour!
Not only were people proudly declaring their sexuality, demonstrators also tied up LGBTQ issues with larger human rights issues around the world. Why? Because all oppression is linked, that’s why!
Posters about Section 377 were aplenty. Even though the Supreme Court had a chance to secure equal rights for the community, they really dropped the ball four years ago by overturning the Delhi High Court’s progressive judgement.
We’re suckers for analogy, and boy does this one make sense!
Perhaps the best note to end Pride on is to remember just how radical it is for queer people to come and occupy public spaces, revel in each other’s company, and keep fighting for recognition, political representation, equal access, and lives free of discrimination.
A full 10 years is no easy task. To have sustained the Pride march for so long, the Delhi Queer Pride committee has done an incredible amount of coordination and collaboration, for months in advance. This year’s march began at 3pm, and covered the short distance from Tolstory Marg to Jantar Mantar, concluding with an evening of live performances, speeches, and badges and flags being distributed to the crowd. There were hugs and kisses all around as people met up with friends, danced, and took selfie after selfie. And needless to say, everyone’s outfits were on-point.
This year, we left Pride feeling energised enough for another 10 years of smashing the cisheteropatriarchy, and by the rainbow, we’ll do it!