“Someday, we’ll turn to them and say, ‘We’re in love’ and that will be enough.’’ This is the hope that fuels the thousands that spill onto the streets of Delhi for the Gay Pride Parade every year for the last eight years.
It started small, like most things do. Three hundred oddballs insistent upon getting what was theirs – the right to be who they are; to be everything they are. Sans apologies.
Eight years later, a crowd five thousand strong walked through the heart of Delhi. An odd bunch of people, some in outlandish attire, waving rainbow flags and shouting slogans.
They represented hope, dancing to the beat of the drums, celebrating what their country and their families refuse to even acknowledge – their lives and loves.
This year, Pride included not only the LGBT voices but also those of other marginalized communities such as Dalits and student groups.
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On all the other days of the year, they live on the sidelines and love in the shadows. One day a year they step out of the shadows just to say ‘We Are Here’.
As varied as the colors of a rainbow, and just as rarely seen, the gay community marched towards Jantar Mantar and Delhi watched. Intrigued, enraged, amused, indifferent. Delhi watched.
So many of them never make it out, of the closets and onto the streets, where if only for a day, they could walk among their own.
Too many who do make it out, still wear masks for fear of being recognized and ostracized.