Hundreds participate in Delhi gay pride parade
Scores of people participated in 10th annual gay pride parade in New Delhi on Sunday (November 12) despite national capital being under a blanket of toxic smog.
Gay activists and their supporters took out the parade in central Delhi and filled the road with rainbow colours.
Wearing vibgyor-coloured clothes and wigs and holding flags, placards and banners in support of gay identity and rights, participants walked for over a kilometre and then held a cultural show.
Amazed by the turnout in the parade, a participant, Sparsh, said they were there to celebrate their individual identity.
Another participant, Harshit, said for him annual gay parade was nothing short of Hindu festivals like Diwali and Holi.
India’s penal code bans “sex against the order of nature”, which is widely interpreted as homosexual sex, and transgender people face widespread discrimination even though the Supreme Court has enshrined a person’s right to identify as transgender.
Although the law banning homosexuality is rarely enforced in India, it is used to intimidate, harass, blackmail and extort money from lesbian, gay, bisexual people, activists say.
There is no official data on the LGBT population in India, but the government estimates there are 2.5 million gay people, reflecting those who have declared their sexuality to the health ministry.
Campaigners say real numbers are far higher as many individuals conceal their identity fearing discrimination in a country where most marriages still take place within the boundaries of caste and religion.