Photos: Sec 377 Quit India, Cries LGBTQ Community at Mumbai Pride
Members of Mumbai’s LGBTQI community walked the streets of the city for their annual ‘Pride March’ on 3 February 2018. The theme of the parade was ‘Section 377 Quit India’ calling for a second movement to completely do away with the section of the Indian Penal Code which criminalises sexual acts ‘against nature.’ Interestingly, this is the 10th Pride March in Mumbai and the 75th year of the Quit India Movement.
The march began from August Kranti Maidan, where significantly, Mahatma Gandhi called for the first Quit India movement. It was the culmination of a month’s worth of events for the LGBT community including plays, fashion shows, badminton matches, street performances, parties and more. All of this was organised by Queer Azadi Mumbai, a platform for individuals and organisations that advocate for the rights of the LGBTQI community.
I identify as female, male and pansexual. I’m marching because people are so far from even beginning to understand how that can be. Everything I do or talk about becomes about my gender, and I’m sick of it. I’m marching because it’s my life and at the end, love is love.A protestor at the Mumbai Pride March 2018
Apart from the very confident, provocative and free loving LGBTQI community and its supporters, special protestors included a group called Sweekar, formed by parents of LGBTQI children; a group called ‘Jai Bhim’ that fights for queer rights of Dalits, Adivasis and Seenagars; and a group of older gay men who came to march and share their experience of depression and loneliness. Many foreign nationals also joined the march, adding an international appeal to the event.
The march included differently-abled people, with sign language interpreters and cabs to ferry them to and from the Pride venue. Last year’s march in Mumbai saw 14,000 protestors and while the final numbers are yet to be declared, this year’s event seemed even bigger, louder and vibrant.