NAGPUR’S LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) community came out of the closet for the first time by organising a flamboyant ‘Pride Parade’ in the city Saturday afternoon.
The parade called Orange City LGBT Pride March, of the kind which have been witnessed earlier only in Metro cities, marked a new chapter in the city’s social life with curious onlookers stopping and accepting pamphlets from the members of the community along the 4 km-route in central Nagpur.
The colourfully dressed processionists were also answering curious questions of the people along the way, with some from the public giving positive reactions.
Interestingly, the march was flagged off by North Nagpur BJP MLA Milind Mane in his “personal capacity”. Over 400 participants of the march included 122 straight supporters and several members of LGBT community from Chandrapur, Yavatmal, Bhandara and Gondia, said Anand Chandrani of Sarthi Trust, who organised the march.
The ages of the LGPT participants ranged between 19 and 42.Some of them participated along with their companions, making no bones of their identity as a marginalised community fighting for equal space in the social mainstream.
“Such parades have earlier been held in Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Guwahati, Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Chandigarh. We thought why not in Nagpur? We are very happy that 122 straight supporters and a lot of organisations lent their support to us. And along the way, we experienced full cooperation of the people, which was very heartening,” Chandrani told The Indian Express.
The supporting organisations included Red Cross Society, YMCA, India Peace Centre, National Council of Churches in India, Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti, Matruseva Sangh Institute of Social Work, etc. On the occasion, noted Psychiatrist Sudhir Bhave delivered a speech explaining how homosexuality is natural.