7,000 march to assert sexual identity

7,000 march to assert sexual identity

Waving colour balloons in the air, nearly 7000 people from the LGBT community marched towards Town Hall along the road near Majestic railway station, in largest celebration of their identity.

The 10th Pride March held by the community on Sunday saw several of its members converge from across the country.

"Being part of the community means we cannot even talk to anyone else," said Ankana who traveled from Hyderabad to participate in the march, adding that the march is an opportunity to be open about their identity.

For Hitesh, this is the first pride march.   "I am extremely excited and i even made friends here, who would accept me," he added.

Consulate General of Canada Jennifer Daubeny said the community should not be deprived of its rights; nor should they be separated from others.

For the LGBT community members, the march is an opportunity to discover many with similar interests.

Among the marchers were a group of 25 people from Kerala who yelled "my body, my right." Abhishek, a network professional from Kochi, said: "if I were in my hometown, I would not have been allowed to wear a long-hair wig and walk around. We need freedom to express ourselves."

A transgender individual from the same state –Sunitha (name changed) - said, "Authorities are mostly hypocritical about our rights.

We are mostly locked up by police and sexually abused only because we are from the community."

Ayaan, one of the march organizers, said the number of participants has gone up from 4000 last year. "This is a message to the public and lawmakers that we are also human and we are entitled to our rights," he said. A couple had carried their five-year-old girl to the march, wanting their daughter to "experience" the pageantry.

She said they are present at the march to provide the LGBT community much-needed support.Neil (name changed), a medical student, related the insults and bullying he had to endure from fellow students. "Each time they introduce me, they'd say I'm a doctor and then they'd add that I'm gay," he said.

Neil is still not accepted by his family, but he took the brave decision to declare himself gay this year.

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