Don’t Take Away The ‘Pride’ From Queer Pride March.

Participant at Queer Azaadi March 2019
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By denying permission for Queer Azaadi March at August Kranti Maidan, the Mumbai Police, and the Maharashtra state government has taken away the Pride from the Pride March.

By Varun Singh

By denying permission for Queer Azaadi March at August Kranti Maidan, the Mumbai Police, and the Maharashtra state government has taken away the Pride from the Pride March.

Every year for almost a decade now, the Queer community from the city of Mumbai and several other parts of the country comes together to hold a pride march. Pride March by the Queer community is a walk that would start from August Kranti Maidan, then proceed to Nana Chowk, and take the Rail Over Bridge and back to August Kranti Maidan.

The pride march all these years have been peaceful, and not even once there has been any report of violence, misbehaviour or damage to to any public property. The members of the Queer community while leaving the venue of August Kranti Maidan would even collect the litter.

However, on Wednesday, the Queer community woke up to a letter from the Mumbai Police, which has categorically denied holding the QAM event at the August Kranti Maidan.

The reason cited is they fear there would be Anti-CAA and central government slogans raised at the rally. Immediately volunteers of the QAM came together and met the police. They even started talking about shifting the venue to Azaad Maidan.

QAM is not a protest rally, it is a pride march. A march where the members of the Queer community come all decked up to show to the World that they exist. The Walk through the streets of Mumbai is to let people know that the Queer community is thriving in the city.

All members go the Queer community holding their heads high, with pride walk at the pride march. It isn’t a protest, because what theres to protest in once existence? Instead it is celebration of the existence.

By confining it to Azaad Maidan, firstly the march will be gone and with that will be gone the pride. The pride that the queer community showcased while walking the streets of Mumbai will be missed at Azaad Maidan.

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QAM has given voice to the faceless, and also showed the World that the gay community, the lesbian community, the trans people, the cis genders and others who form the LGBTQ+ aren’t minuscule minority.

QAM has shown the world that the LGBT community is a group of live people, who also need equal rights. The walk cannot be confined to a maidan, it is for the World to see, when the community walks with pride.

As a journalist who has covered almost all the QAM rallies, I can tell you all that it has helped break many barriers. I remember for one of the rally, the senior inspector of Gamdevi had told me, that he had asked all his staff to be sensitive and supportive towards the members of the Queer community that would be walking the pride march.

In another instances, I had spoken to the people from different strata of the society that saw the Pride march walk and what was their opinion. Most men and women who witnessed the pride march were farm more accepting. The society at large it seemed had accepted the fact that Queer people exist and even felt that they be given their rights.

The Crowd at QAM 2019, August Kranti Maidan,

Last year’s QAM was huge, there were thousands of people. The sea of people from queer community came to thank the Supreme Court for reading down section 377, which now has decriminalized sex amongst two consenting adults of same sex.

The QAM needs to be held, not only for the queer community, but also for the growth of an inclusive society, which is far more accepting, and tolerant.

Also Read: Office Accommodation For She & Her Girlfriend.

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