Lutyens’ Delhi was immersed in hues across the spectrum as thousands of members of the LGBTQ community took to its streets to join the 13th year of the Delhi Queer Pride March after almost a three-year lull due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The annual march from the Barakhamba Road to Jantar Mantar was celebrated with dancing to drumbeats, sloganeering and carrying rainbow flags and placards.
Noor Enayat, a volunteer, said thousands of participants joined the parade this year. “Due to the pandemic, the parade was not held for the last three years. This year, people gathered in large numbers braving the winter chill," she told PTI.
Despite the winter chill, more than 2,000 people participated in the march. In a statement, the organisers said, “We march against the oppressive attacks and discrimination against… transpersons, lesbians, gays, bisexuals, pansexuals, asexuals, gender nonconforming, and intersex people." “We assert that legal rights remain valueless unless we build a culture of acceptance for personal expression, love in all its consensual forms, across the barriers of gender, caste, class, ability, religion, region, and language which constrain us. We march for the right to determine our life choices and for the recognition of the same," they said.
The organisers said the march is also against “the systemic persecution of minorities – especially, but not limited to, Muslims, Dalits, Bahujans, Adivasis and Christians." “We march against the instigators of hatred and terror, and denounce lynchings in the name of caste, region, or religion," they said.
Referring to the climate emergency, they said they are marching to protest deforestation, climate injustice, and the forced relocation of indigenous communities from their homeland.
“We march to protest corporate looting of our forests and reserves. We march for our #RightToBreathe," they added. According to the organisers, the parade was also a tribute to the people who lost their lives in the pandemic.
“We march in memory of the people who have lost to the covid pandemic, which disproportionately affected queer and trans people. We march to demand healthcare and dignity for all, against discrimination by medical institutions," they added.
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