Queer Habba revellers paint City in rainbow colours

Marchers seek repeal of IPC Sec 377

Queer Habba revellers paint  City in rainbow colours

The eighth annual Pride March from Tulsi Park near Majestic to Town Hall, held as part of Bengaluru Pride & Karnataka Queer Habba on Sunday, was a burst of colour as over 2000 people belonging to lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender (LGBT) community took part in the event.

Carrying placards and the rainbow-coloured gay pride flag, the LGBT members called out slogans in the event organised by Coalition for Sex Workers and Sexuality Minority Rights (CSMR).

A prominent LGBT activist Akkai Padmashali, the founder-member of Ondede, Uma, the founder of Jeeva, an NGO for sexual minorities, and Arvind Narrain, founding member of Alternative Law Forum, among others addressed the gathering.

The pride march, which has grown in popularity since its first run in 2008, is held every year with the objective to fight transphobia, homophobia and the discrimination faced by the community.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has visited so many countries yet till date he has never raised the topic of the rights of the sexual minorities and LGBT community. Our demand is that he break his silence on this issue,” said Padmashali, who was the first transgender to receive the Karnataka Rajyotsava award for her work as an LGBT rights activist.

The marchers sought the competent authority to repeal IPC Section 377, which criminalises unnatural sex, revoking Section 36A of Karnataka Police Act, and implementation of the Supreme Court judgement of April 15, 2014, which recognised the rights of transgenders.

“The people in Bengaluru are very open-minded. I would say that it is a safe place for the LGBT community”, Padmashali added, talking to Deccan Herald.

Flash mobs, quizzes, poster-making competitions, street plays and other activities were held as part of the Queer Habba, which commenced on October 15. A Transgenders Remembrance Day was also observed on November 20 at the Town Hall.

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