It's loud, clear and queer

It's loud, clear and queer


Last Sunday witnessed a rainbow march which painted the City with every imaginable colour anSupporters gathered together in solidarity.  d bold strokes. This was the most gleeful protest to be held ever. Bubbles were blown in the air and rainbow flags fluttered in the midst of twirling rainbow umbrellas. Pink jackets and pink wigs rested on squared shoulders. Butterflies, too, made their way to the parade, on backs and hands of the marchers. Hands and feet moved in quick, frantic pace to stay in sync with the booming drums even as whistles rose and limericks echoed. The second year of the Bengaluru Pride 2009 was a grand carnival that got its techni-coloured message across loud, clear and queer.  

The day started at two in the afternoon with the crowds gathering at the National College Grounds where flags of all sizes, striped scarves, huge Doctor Seuss hats, bubble makers, and other things were being sold. After donning the pride tee-shirts and a bit of
hobnobbing, the march began. Banners with clever slogans and informative leaflets told the City what the march was all about. While a tee-shirt asked you to be a bit queer, a placard told you the bearer was the pink sheep of the family.

The protesters walked a little, danced a little and sang a little as they spread their message of love and equal rights. Angel Love, a gay person at the march, said: “This is about human rights for all human beings.” Peppy chants like, “One, two, three four. Open up the closet door. Five, six, seven, eight. Don’t assume your kids are straight” filled the air.

The marchers eventually reached the Town Hall where the thespian, Arundhati Nag, and advocate B T Venkatesh, among others, addressed the crowd. They spoke about the need to continue the fight and negotiate space constantly. Talking about the Bengaluru Pride, Nitin Manayath, a lecturer and a gay person, said: “It’s different from Prides in the West because our Pride is not about visibility. The queer groups have always been visible, take hijras for instance. Their survival is premised on visibility. This pride is more like a Jatra or a Jalsa which is taken by a group of people.”

The Pride received some international support, too. Judit Csizmark, one of the many foreigners, who was marching with the parade said: “I think it’s hard to say you are a homosexual in this country. It’s not like this in Europe. Seeing the ladies in the sarees was cool. I think the Pride was important and fun.”

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