On September 6, India will mark the one year anniversary of the decriminalisation of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, the Imperial-era law that made consensual same-sex intercourse "unnatural" and "illegal". 'The victory was long overdue and came after a decades-long fight in which voices from the queer community and otherwise joined forces to bring an end to the draconian law.
However, this year, September is a month of joy and festivities for the queer community of India. It marks a year to the end of an oppressive law. To mark the day, several institutions have organized events dedicated to the LGBTQIA+ community. There's something for everyone.
If you are looking to celebrate the one-year anniversary of Section 377's decriminalisation, here are events happening in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru that you may attend and enjoy with friends and loved ones on September 6.
The Lalit group & The Keshav Suri Foundation in New Delhi would be celebrating Sep 6 as Queer Freedom Day to mark the anniversary. In fact, Suri's foundation has organised a week long extravaganza, culminating with a celebration at Kitty Su, the inclusive pub and bar at the LaLit that is famous in Delhi for organising diversity and LGBTQIA+ events in the capital. Suri was one of the petitioners against Section 377 and he will be joined by other eminent queer personalities and influencers. Friday's event would be part of the week-long "Freedom Tour" being organised across the cities of Mumbai, Bengaluru and Delhi and would be graced by eminent queer performers. If you want to infuse yourself in the rainbow of festivities while addressing some serious discussions in the domain of queer rights and inclusive practices, this is your spot. According to KSF, the day should be commemorated as the day that the queer community in India got freedom, much like August 15 when India celebrates independence.
Party to the nines
The Gaysi Family is organising a fun night of musinc, dancing, partying and reminiscing in Mumbai SamBar Pub and Kicthen on Friday from 8 p.m. onward. The pub is situated inmumbai's Khar West and has the distinction of being the city's first :South Indian" themes bar. The event, called, "2x2 Bar Nights Presents "Dil Maange More" - A Year Since 377" promises to offer participants a fun night in a safe space where members of the queer community as well as others can join like-minded people in celebration of their shared victory and experiences. If you are in Mumbai, be sure to drop by with friends or loved ones.
If music and poetry are more your thing, head to The Yellow Chilli in Mumbai's Dadar on September 7 for an evening of free-flowing verses and words by the queer community. Called "आज़ाद Parindey: Queer Voices Showcase & Open Mic", the event is being hosted by Impulse Mumbai and aims to commemorate the anniversary by bringing together queer voices from across the spectrum to share their stories and experiences. The event, which is completely free-of cost, will include refreshments and also an free and confidential HIV testing booth. So if you are feeling lonely, head over to Dadar this Saturday for a warm, fun-filled evening.
On Friday, the Humsafar Trust has organised a half-a-day long event called "Time for Celebration - 1st Anniversary of SC Judgement on Sec377" to celebrate. The event will start at 3 pm and continue till 7.30 on Sep 6 in Mumbai's Mantha Plaza in Santacruz East. The event will be dedicated to
Delhi Queer Pride is gearing to celebratethe 11th Pride March in Delhi in November and the "Pride 2019 Planning Meeting" has been scheduled froms Sunday, December 8 in Delhi. Head to the meeting to meet like-minded people and connect with others from Delhi's queer community while discussing strategy and plans for Delhi Pride 2019.
Every year, St Joseph's College (Autonomous) in Bengaluru celbrates its annual fest "Pratibha". However, this year organisers decided to turn the fest into a week-long celebration for the first anniversary of Section 377 decriminalisation. The college, which boasts of gender-neutral bathrooms and a commitment to diversity has always supported the scrapping of Section 377. The week long event would see students taking part in cultural events and discussion of queer rights, freedom and the way forward for the community.
So put on your rainbow capes and hit the streets this Friday. After all, it isn't every day that one gets to celebrate freedom.