'Things will change'
It was gay abandon in all its hues. The ‘Pride March’, that drew more than 400 people from different parts of the City over the weekend, grabbed a lot of eyeballs and attracted a great deal of media attention.
People, who took part in the march, like to call it a celebratory march rather than a transgender one.
Transgenders of all classes, castes and professions participated in it. It was an occasion for the transgenders from the working class as well as the upper class to wear their sexuality on their sleeves.
It wouldn’t be wrong to dub it as a Page 3 party of sorts, with the transgenders dressed in their best. The procession that began from Tulsi Park in Majestic at 2 pm on Sunday was not a quiet one. There were drummers and those in the procession, literally danced to the drumbeats.
Colourful wigs, oversized-hairdos and exaggerated make up were commonly seen. Even those supporting the cause made sure they dressed up just as colourfully as the LGBT community.
Those from the community appealed to the people and powers-that-be, through strongly-worded posters and banners, to show no discrimination, that they too had the right to live, walk freely and fearlessly.
Sona, a transgender, came dressed in a bright red gown. Enjoying all the attention she was getting, she danced and clicked pictures with random people.
“We are forced to behave they way we do. We feel unsafe and are discriminated against wherever we go. We’re just viewed as objects for sex,” says Sona in a rather gruff voice. She adds, “Even if I go to a nearby shop to buy something, after dark, people ask me if I have come out for sex work. This is the perception and it must change.”
Adam does not belong to the queer community but he is a cross-dresser. “I am straight but I cross-dress because I believe that the LGBT community has a right to live just like any of us. My parents are against my cross-dressing but I think I could send out a strong message,” he says.
Megha is an IT professional and she came dressed as colourfully as she could to lend support to Jayant, her gay friend. Jayant says that his parents refuse to accept that he is a gay.
“I have a younger brother who is getting married very soon but my parents don’t want to accept me the way I am. I came for the march hoping that this would be an eye-opener to a lot of people,” says Jayant.
Shyam, who was part of the organising wing of the ‘Pride March’, observes, “We have so many people come in to lend their support this year. Last year, I called up my friends and asked them to come for the march but nobody turned up.
This year all my friends came even without me informing them. This is the kind of response we’re getting. Things will change.”
Sonam, a transgender, who came all the way from Delhi for the march, thinks Bangalore is more open to people from the queer community.
“No matter how many laws and legislations are passed in favour of transgenders, none will have an impact unless society opens up to them,” she concludes.