LGBTQ community along with several allies took to the street for celebrating the pride march on the occasion of Friendship Day on Sunday, in Bhubaneshwar. (Photo/ANI)
LGBTQ community along with several allies took to the street for celebrating the pride march on the occasion of Friendship Day on Sunday, in Bhubaneshwar. (Photo/ANI)

Odisha: LGBTQ community, allies take out pride march on occasion of Friendship Day

ANI | Updated: Aug 04, 2019 22:37 IST

Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], August 4 (ANI): On the occasion of World Friendship Day, the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, asexual and queer) community took out a pride march in Bhubaneswar, Odisha on Sunday.
Many allies came along and joined the pride march which started from Master Canteen to Big Bazaar Square here.
While speaking to ANI, Meera, chairman of a transgender community said: "The only aim of this pride march is to tell the society that our community holds a significant dignity. So many students are supporting us by participating in this march."
"Even after the National Legal Services Authority of India (NALSA's) judgement and decriminalisation of Indian Penal Code Section 377, there is still homophobia in our society. We want to tell the government and society that we are a part of their society and we also want to lead a dignified life," Meera added.
People were seen holding candles, rainbow colour flags, quotes, umbrellas and flags in their hands while walking in the pride march.

"The LGBTQ community takes out pride march on several occasions. We took out a pride march today, on the occasion of Friendship Day. Our only aim to take out these marches is that we need to be accepted by society. We also want to live a dignified life in this society," Meghna Sahul told ANI.
"My sexuality is my choice and nobody should judge or discriminate me on this basis. We have taken part in this march in order to sensitise this issue," she added.
In this colourful celebration of equality, friendship and love people were heard singing slogans of 'I am a lesbian-it's okay, I am a gay-It's okay'.
Another member from the LGBTQ community, Samiksha told ANI, "I personally want people to accept us and give us equal freedom. They should sit with us; we are no different than you. We are not a disease, we are human like you. Let us breathe in this fresh air."
"Today is Friendship Day; let's make it a day where you accept every transgender, gay, lesbian as a friend of yours."
The community said that they have been accepted by a few people of the society but they are still seeking a 100 per cent acceptance by the society by educating them on this issue.
"I am an LGBTQ activist from Calcutta and I am here to participate in the Bhubaneswar pride march. This is the first pride march taken out here after the 377 verdict. So many allies have also joined us apart from the community members, it feels really good," said Venkateesh.
"I am seeing new faces here after the section 377 verdict has been demolished. So there are many people who have come out and they feel very proud to come and walk down here," he added.

Several allies, who joined the pride march today, believe that the nation should accept the LGBTQ community as a part of this society. They should not discriminate them on the basis of their sexuality, choice of clothes and personal preferences. The nation should celebrate love and humanity by accepting them.
The participants dressed in colours of the rainbow were dancing to the beats of drums and singing music to celebrate their identity.
Last year on September 6, a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court, headed by former Chief Justice Dipak Misra, comprising Justices DY Chandrachud, Rohinton Fali Nariman, A M Khanwilkar and Indu Malhotra, announced the decriminalisation of homosexuality.
Section 377 of the IPC is a law that criminalised homosexuality, punishable for a jail term of 10 years. The law punished "carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal" and thus had bigger implications for same-sex relationships. (ANI)