Nagpur: Homosexuality has been criminalized in India for many years. However, the fact remains that there is a vibrant gay nightlife in metro cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Bangalore. In recent times, even Tier-2 cities have become the hub of the new Indian gay culture with its urban outlook and acceptance towards homosexuality.
Many social and human rights activists have been working to promote an increased acceptance of homosexuality. At Nagpur, with the emergence of several LGBT support groups the much hidden community has increased access to health services and social events.
The LGBT Pride March is held in many cities in India. The Pride March is a festival to honor and celebrate Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people and their supporters.
The LGBT community created history by organizing the first ever LGBT and Equality Pride March of Nagpur. An experience which most members would cherish for a long time because of enthusiasm, joy and pleasure of the participation in the Pride March.
People of LGBT Community from Mumbai, Pune, Karnataka, Kolhapur and other nearby places of Nagpur including Chandrapur, Yavatmal, Wardha, Gondia etc were in the city to participate in the Pride March.
Resplendent with myriad colours, extravagant adornment, attires of latest fashions, face and body paintings, colourful masks etc. The Pride March did invite the curiosity of the citizens of the city. They had placards that said “Support Equality” when they started their Pride March from Sanvidhan Square.
While speaking exclusively with Nagpur Today, Chairman of Sarathi Trust Anand Chandrani said that “Unity in Diversity”, is a well-renowned saying which depicts the strength of Indians irrespective of their caste, creed, race, gender or sex. In spite of the acceptance of this well known statement, there is hesitation amongst many, to accept the homosexual community in India. Some people consider homosexuality as a choice/phase /unnatural etc. Although, the fact is, homosexual people are as natural as heterosexuals. The basic motto is equality does exist. He went on to say that recently Supreme Court termed them as Miniscule Minority. This Pride March is about creating awareness about LGBT.
He went on to say that this March is also about creating a mass support for the Section 377. He claimed that one of the clauses in the section 377 speaks about legal action on any person indulging in any act which is not penovaginal intercourse. He claimed that this section is violating the right to privacy and so needs to be amended.
Hence, the people of LGBT community in Nagpur have organized a walk called “Orange City LGBT Pride March” comprising of the people of our community and heterosexuals who support us. MLA Dr Milind Mane flagged off the Pride March.
The Assembly point was Samvidhan Square from there the Orange City LGBT Pride March went to Zero Mile to Variety Square to Jhansi Rani Square to University Library, Canal Road, Ramdaspeth, Lokmat Square to Panchasheel Square to Jhansi Rani Square and back to Samvidhan Square.
MLA Dr. Milind Mane while speaking to media personnel said that the LGBT community has been demanding for an amended Section 377 for quite some time now. He went on to say that since he is a Medical Practitioner too, he understands the problems of LGBT group. Every person of any sex should be allowed to choose a partner of their own choice. Their feelings cannot be stopped or curtailed. Dr Mane also said that the Supreme Court should reconsider their decision of Section 377. He went on to add that since they too were part of the constituency, their demands also should be considered seriously.
Pics by Amol Gajbhiye