Namma Pride: Rainbow Revelry on Full Display at K’taka Queer Habba
The LGBTQ community held the Pride parade in Bengaluru on Sunday, 9 December. 
The LGBTQ community held the Pride parade in Bengaluru on Sunday, 9 December. (Photo: The Quint/Arpita Raj)

Namma Pride: Rainbow Revelry on Full Display at K’taka Queer Habba

Originally supposed to coincide with Delhi’s Pride Parade, the queer community and its allies in Bengaluru finally got a chance to revel in #NammaPride on Sunday, 9 December.

The first Pride march after the Supreme Court verdict that decriminalized homosexuality earlier in September saw thousands of people come out on the streets, declaring their love, celebrating with their loved ones and standing tall in front of the world.

Rio (left) and Mario celebrate in Bengaluru.
Rio (left) and Mario celebrate in Bengaluru.
(Photo: The Quint/Arpita Raj)

From colourful signs, an array of attires and the spunkiest attitude, celebrations started early in the state capital as participants revved up to march 5 km. Drum beats and cheers echoed in the city as people celebrated the first Pride march after the SC verdict.

Getting ready with a little help from friends for the Karnataka Queer Habba.
Getting ready with a little help from friends for the Karnataka Queer Habba.
(Photo: The Quint/Arpita Raj)

Also Read : “Love is Unconditional”: Voices at The Delhi Queer Pride Parade

The crowd displayed colourful and rebellious signs as people voiced their support for the LGBTQ community and underscored its absolute freedom. Nothing was too cliche.

A man holds a placard at the Pride parade.
A man holds a placard at the Pride parade.
(Photo: The Quint/Arpita Raj)
The more colourful the sign, the more in theme. 
The more colourful the sign, the more in theme. 
(Photo: The Quint/Arpita Raj)

Rosa Felicia had an important political statement to make. Hailing from Kerala, the resident of Bengaluru wanted to smash “cis Brahmanical patriarchy.”

“As a trans person who is also Dalit, our alienation is doubled. Not only do we have to deal with caste bias, we also have to put up with homophobia. The atmosphere in the country is so politically-charged at present that all of us, from all inter-sections, need to come and show our face and grit to be represented.” 
Rosa Felicia
Rosa Felicia (right) found someone else who somewhat shares her worldview.
Rosa Felicia (right) found someone else who somewhat shares her worldview.
(Photo: The Quint/Arpita Raj)
Participants of the Pride parade in Bengaluru. 
Participants of the Pride parade in Bengaluru. 
(Photo: The Quint/Arpita Raj)
A woman holds a placard that says, “Labels belong in the store, not on my sexuality.” 
A woman holds a placard that says, “Labels belong in the store, not on my sexuality.” 
(Photo: The Quint/Arpita Raj)

A More Inclusive Pride Than Recent Years

From senior citizens to young children staring in awe, there was a tangible change in the parade after homosexuality was decriminalized.

From supporting their family and friends to standing up for what is right, there were myriad participants and good vibes.

Many people found common ground and forged new friendships at the Habba.
Many people found common ground and forged new friendships at the Habba.
(Photo: The Quint/Arpita Raj)

Ms ‘Kohinoor Diamond’, who had iridescent lashes and a folding-fan in hand, had quite a bit to say about the subtext of her name.

“She’s been away from India but now she’s finally back in her homeland. She’s been cut down by society many times but she’s come back shining even brighter and so she is here to show her solidarity with equality of people of all kinds, of all genders and sexualities.”
Ms Kohinoor Diamond
Ms Kohinoor Diamond during the Pride parade. 
Ms Kohinoor Diamond during the Pride parade. 
(Photo: The Quint/Arpita Raj)

But the cutest Pride participant was a furry friend who was getting mobbed for selfies.

With rainbow-hued ribbons tied around her neck, this participant stole the limelight at the parade.
With rainbow-hued ribbons tied around her neck, this participant stole the limelight at the parade.
(Photo: The Quint/Arpita Raj)

Change Was in the Air

There were several children at the parade, some of them too young to do anything but observe, and others bearing placards while sitting on adults’ shoulders.

A child sits on a woman’s shoulder at the Pride parade. 
A child sits on a woman’s shoulder at the Pride parade. 
(Photo: The Quint/Arpita Raj)

‘Because we Are a Queer Family’

This was the first time that Shakti (left) and Rupa had brought their kids Shaurya and Pranav to the Pride march.
This was the first time that Shakti (left) and Rupa had brought their kids Shaurya and Pranav to the Pride march.
(Photo: The Quint/Arpita Raj)
“Because we are a queer family... the kids need to see everything from when they are this old. It’s better because there’s so much exposure. They sometimes help me understand things better because they’re more accepting.”
Shakti and Rupa

‘It’s the Little Things That Have Changed’

For 19-year-old Susmit Bansode from Pune, it’s being able to walk freely on the streets that matters the most.

“Pride means a lot to me. It’s like expressing my joy and freedom. We do matter, we want to clear misunderstandings about us and spread joy. You can’t hold your partner’s hand and walk. You can’t kiss someone of the same gender because there was a fear. Its now easier to love whomever we want, where ever we want.”
Susmit Bansode
Susmit says he is happy that he is now able to “love freely.”
Susmit says he is happy that he is now able to “love freely.”
(Photo: The Quint/Arpita Raj)

The Images of Hope and Happiness

“Love is love” – a woman holds a poster at the parade.  
“Love is love” – a woman holds a poster at the parade.  
(Photo: The Quint/Arpita Raj)
Take pride, don’t hide, find your vibe, join the tribe – a clarion call.
Take pride, don’t hide, find your vibe, join the tribe – a clarion call.
(Photo: The Quint/Arpita Raj)
People celebrate at the Pride parade in Bengaluru.
People celebrate at the Pride parade in Bengaluru.
(Photo: The Quint/Arpita Raj)

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