On Sunday, the National Capital bathed in the beautiful colours of the rainbow as hundreds took to the streets to protest against discrimination and penalty on grounds of sexual preference – in Delhi’s 10th Queer pride march, despite the smog and increasing air pollution.
The protest march which started from Barakhamba road and ended at Jantar Mantar saw people of different sexual orientations – gay, lesbian, straight, bisexual, standing in solidarity with those who are considered sexual ‘minority’ or the ‘unnatural’ ones.
Provocative slogans were raised such as, “I am gay, It’s OK”, “Hey hey ho ho homophobia has to go,” and “Hum honge kamiyaab.“
The protest march on Sunday stood for 10 years of constant struggle by the community against discrimination, homophobia, social stigma, legal penalties for involvement in same-sex relationships under section 377 of the IPC – which criminalises same-sex relationship.
Speaking to Oneindia, Smriti, 22, a college student said, “I should have the right to love whoever I want, and I should not be called a criminal for loving someone. We cannot call ourselves a democracy if we don’t have the right to choose our partners,”
Vikash Anand, a computer engineer, who came at the march said, “I have always been discriminated on grounds of my sexual preference. No matter how capable I am as a professional or as a citizen of this country, it always boils down to my sexual orientation, and that makes me feel caged in an independent India.”
On August 2017, with the historic Right to Privacy judgment by the Supreme Court, the LGBT community had seen a ray of hope when observations made while making the verdict said that sexual preference is one’s private matter and no one can be jailed for the reason. With the Top Court’s judgment – privacy declared a fundamental right, the section 377 which criminalises same-sex is the among the various sections which could possibly be struck down.