The members of the LGBTQIA community came together to celebrate their identity, demand justice and protest against Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. The fifth edition of Queer Pride was held in Guwahati on Sunday near Dighalipukhuri.
“Queer rights are human rights. I joined the Queer Pride because I want to show my solidarity for the cause,” human rights activist, Arpana Choudhury said. “We believe that the law will change one day,” she added.
“The Pride Walk is about raising awareness regarding the rights of the LGBTQIA community. It is also to bring visibility to the members of this community,” Shivalal Gautam, member of Xukia collective said.
Along with the members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual community, members from outside the community also joined in the celebration cum protest to express their solidarity for their rights.
“From the last five years, we have been celebrating Queer Pride on the second Sunday of February. The law under Section 377 states that two persons belonging to the same sex cannot love each other or get married. But whom we love shouldn’t be a concern of the law,” Pragati said, emphasizing on the freedom to love.
In light of the injustice and discrimination faced by the marginalized groups and communities, the Queer Pride upholds the need for basic rights and dignity for all.
“We don’t protest aggressively. Every year we come together – we sing, dance and spread colours. We want to spread the message that discrimination against the members of the LGBTQIA community will not be tolerated. People from different districts of Assam and from across the Northeastetn states have joined the celebration this year,” Pragati added.
The protest was held with people sloganeering and holding placards with various messages like ‘Dear NRC, Trans citizens also count’, ‘I will not drown in your homophobia.’