LGBTQ community members take part in ‘pride walk’; seek welfare measures



Hundreds of members and supporters of the LGBTQ community in Assam took part in the annual Queer Pride Parade at Guwahati in Assam on Sunday.

The pride walk was first organised in the state in 2014 and has ever since become an annual event of the community.

The participants held rainbow-coloured flags, placards and banners and, walked along a 5-km stretch from Anuradha Cinema at Bamunimaidam to Dighalipukhuri Park, shouting slogans to support the community, dancing and raising awareness about the community and their right to lead a dignified life in society.

“The pride walk first aims to send a message to the society that such a vibrant community exists in all its might and pride. Secondly, (it is to) ask the administration to turn their heads towards the welfare of the community. We also want to assure the fellow members of the community that it is alright to be who they are,” said an organiser of the Queer Pride.

Participants appealed to others in the community, who were not a part of the walk, to come out of the closet as and when they feel like, be visible and send a message to the society that the community too has equal right to live a dignified life.

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“Whatever is their choice, as long as they are not harming anyone, it should be left to them. I am proud of my child for whatever she is,” a parent, who was at the pride supporting her child, said.

It is noteworthy that even after the decriminalisation of homosexuality by the Supreme Court on September 6, 2018, the condition of the queer community has not improved.

“Same-sex marriage is still not recognised. Homo-sexual parents are not allowed to adopt children. There is little scope of social security like a pension or life insurance for same-sex couples. Queer subject-matter is not included in the school/college curriculum even after Supreme Court’s instruction and, there is no strict law against bullying, which is a major issue for queer children,” the organiser said.

“Moreover, The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019 has not been able to uplift the condition of the transgender population. On the contrary, it has kept scope for misuse and discrimination towards them. Hence, the Queer Pride Guwahati is one such way to speak up for the community’s rights,” he said.

In a progressive step last year, the Assam Public Service Commission (APSC) had introduced ‘’transgender’’ as an option in the gender category in the state civil and allied services examination application form, receiving 42 applications in the category.

(Edited by Laxmi Chyrmang)