LGBTQ community holds pride, oppose Transgender Bill

The Asian Age.

Metros, Mumbai

Amid colourful celebrations, members of the community said they were against the Transgender Bill proposed by the Centre.

Queer Azaadi march for LGBT community’s equal rights at August Kranti Maidan. (Photo: MRUGESH BANDIWADEKAR)

Mumbai: This time, the pride walk was more exciting for the queer community as it was the first walk after the Supreme Court’s landmark judgment scrapping Section 377. The LGBTQ community said that the past marches had a hint of aggressive vibe demanding the revoking of the archaic law, but this time people were celebrating. Amid colourful celebrations, members of the community said they were against the Transgender Bill proposed by the Centre.

“The pride is not about sexuality or enjoying with the partner. It is about equal rights irrespective of gender, race, caste or any sexuality. Three cheers to the SC decision which is just the first step towards freedom and yet, our journey has just began,” Saurabh Bondre, organising committee member of Queer Azaadi Mumbai, who organised the Mumbai Pride.

The streets near August Kranti Maidan were painted in rainbow colours when hundreds of supporters along with members of the LGBTQ marched to celebrate their rights amid cheerful tunes and drum rolls. While many stated that now they march in confidence without any fear of judgement and harsh resistance from people around, some said that they are still waiting for adoption and marriage rights along with inclusion in education and work places among other things.

 “We are happy that now there is less aversion to-wards the people of our co-mmunity by others. Yet we need to now work on the legal aspects of marriage, adoption and jobs among others to live a better and normal life,” said 47-year-old Franco D’souza.

Urmi Jadhav, a transgender hijra activist who works with the Humsafar Trust in Mumbai said, the entire community is unhappy with the bill, as it is derogatory.

“We won’t approve whatever the bill states. We want our community to be a vital part while making the bill, they should considerate us before creating anything for us. There should be reservation included in every section of the society for us. If that is not done, the bill will never be accepted by our community,” Urmi said.

“This is my second pride march and compared to the previous year, this one is all about celebration, happiness and colours. Last year, we were fighting for our freedom so it was much more aggressive. This year, the celebration is much more interesting but the fight will go on,” said 22-year-old Bhakti.