Delhi draped in rainbow colours as gay walk for pride

Over 1,000 members of the LGBT community and their supporters marched from Barakhamba Road to Jantar Mantar off the posh commercial district of Connaught Place.
Some had their faces covered with multi-hued masks and wings, while most others walked smiling at the cameras - unabashed and fearlessly.

Popularly referred to as queer pride march, it was led by two men on a pink scooty holding balloons of different colours.

They were holding placards reading 'Delhi pride festival', 'All we need is love', 'Come out and play' and 'Straight but not narrow'.

A large posse of police personnel, however, were never far from the marchers, keeping an eye on the goings-on.

Just like the previous parades, this year too the funds were raised by the LGBT community and masks, rainbow-coloured scarves, whistles and candies were distributed.
According to the organisers, the crowd at this time's parade was much larger than the previous two as it was the first one after the Delhi High Court's historic judgment decriminalising consensual homosexual relationships.

"Not only lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders participated, many other people also came out. The most heartening thing is that families of many members of LGBT community also came to support them. Slowly things are changing," said Mohnish Malhotra, one of the organisers.

However, he said the march was not just about celebration but a protest against discrimination faced by the LGBT community.

"We are protesting against discrimination faced by the LGBT community. The community is often subjugated to violence by police and thugs. They are blackmailed and forced into marriage by families, which leads to suicides," he said.

"It is a big celebration after the Delhi High Court judgement last year. It is the biggest turnout. By looking at it we know that things are changing. It's a great feeling to be yourself and not pretend to be someone else," said Mahashweta Das, one of the participants.

A large number of foreigners also took part in the parade.

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