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People's support, sketches of the the event and it's significance

 

The following are letters we've received and other writing showing support for the event. If you would like to tell people about your experiences or views, write to us bengalurupride@gmail.com and we'll put it up on this page.

 

 

3rd July 2008

The Gay Pride Parades in Delhi, Kolkata and Bengalooroo on Sunday, June 29, 2008. One small march for queens, one giant parade for gay-kind (with apologies to Neil Armstrong).

A few hundred homos marched in Delhi, Kolkata and Bengalooroo? So what’s been achieved? What’s the use of such tiny parades? Some of my straight “friends” have asked me the “purpose of making such a public display of our sexual preference”. “Keep buggering each other in your bedrooms”, they argue belligerently, “who the hell cares?”

So what if those pansies braved the heat outside their closets? Many who donned masks at the start of the parades, decided to take them off, both literally and figuratively. So what? The general populace saw that the sum total of the sample called the “queer population” consists of “ordinary people” and not just those who dress up in garish costumes and make sexual statements publicly.

So what? Some scared young-man sitting quietly in front of his TV on Sunday evening in the closeted comfort of his home had a flicker of hope in his heart. So what? So what if 1500 species in the animal kingdom have been proved to show homosexual behavior? So what if a 5000 year old Indian treatise on sex clearly mentions homosexuality?

Demonstrations and public display of emotions may be distasteful to many. After all it is easier to maintain status quo in this country. Easier for all the macho guys to giggle derisively at homo jokes. Easier for all the people with “family values” to turn their noses up in disgust when they see a miserable queer being bashed up by the police in some stinking public loo. Easier for the heterosexual married people to think of some murderous homos preying on little kids. After all, it is best if homos are thought of as pedophiles and locked up. Lock them up! Punish them! Who the hell cares? Most of us are straight anyways.

Right?

OK, so it’s all right that ugly, dark-skinned brides with poor fathers should be doused with kerosene and set alight just after they are married and can’t afford the “required” dowry. It’s all right that little girl children should be butchered as soon as they turn 2 days old. It’s all right when women are not allowed to go to school or vote. It’s all right that “lower cast” kids should be banished to some filthy municipal school. Who the fuck cares? After all, it’s “them”. It’s not me. I am safe. I can sit in the comfort of my house, watch the news channels and say to myself – “It happens to THOSE people. I don’t care!”

Wrong!

That bride could be your sister. That girl- child could be yours. That woman could be your mother. That kid could be you. You will care then! Your passions will overflow into “embarrassing public display of emotions” when your twin brother is being bashed up in that loo.

Many years ago one thin gentleman had decided to make salt at a beach himself when it was more fashionable to get it from the British. That thin gentleman, with a walking stick, marched a long way to show those Indians ensconced safely in their British houses that it is better to be unfettered.

These few hundred people who marched in three cities on Sunday have also shown us, the gay and the straight, that it is better to be free. That it is better to care. They have lit a tiny spark. Just as that thin gentleman, with a walking stick, had done so many years ago, by picking up a handful of salt in the beach. The spark became a blazing inferno of independence. Aren’t we all glad it happened?

-- From a blog, written by "gaymanpartner"

 

3rd July, 2008

Hi

I am doing the 'spreading awareness' bit through Orkut,personal discussions etc and it is interesting to see the reactions of people, most of them compassionate and a few of fear.
 

My views on the issue are :firstly it feels very liberating and gratifying that there is an organization working towards freedom of those 'different'.
As such I do believe that hardly any two people on this earth are similar and so Every human being is actually a minority! and most people try and struggle to 'fit' in at great cost to their own peace of mind and happiness in their short-lived lives!
 

However I feel that tapping into the support of all the people might require more than 'demand for rights'.Honestly there is a fear amongst people about sex itself even heterosexual and then about the inter sex people who 'look different',especially since most encounters with them happen in trains etc where the people of the 'third gender' beg or demand money and especially try to make people uncomfortable,sometimes becoming mildly abusive,threatening to open up their own clothes or sometimes touching and 'forcing themselves' on people until they are given money.This is ,in no way a judgement.After all they do not have any employment,but these experiences are a HUGE deterrent to their struggle for freedom and equality.Most people I have spoken to,do not seem to have much problem with gay or lesbian people.It is even slightly 'hip' due to media images and also the fact that there are rich/famous people who have 'different orientation'.
I believe that support for the 'sexual minorities' must go hand in hand with providing some knowledge of 'non-victim',non-approval-seeking,ways of behaving.
 

The pride march goes a long way in achieving that! and it is Highly commendable.

I also feel that collaborating with organizations working on AIDS/HIV, women sex workers and women's liberation movement all of which,at some level try to bring the 'taboo' topics of sex and related ignorance into limelight would help.This is because a large portion of the fear associated with the 'other genders' is acknowledging ones' own sexuality,whether hetero or homo and there might be more 'hidden' transgender people who can come out and heal from their psychological prisons.

Would it help to have an online signature campaign to press the issue of repealing the 'sodomy law' and other laws?

It will be nice to have studies on these issues.Would there be any rich gay people willing to support studies on alternative sexuality etc?

It will be nice if we were made more aware of some of the talents and capabilities of these neglected people to showcase their value to society.As a person who hasn't interacted with them and so many more like me...it will be very useful.

Once again,your efforts make me feel glad to be here at this time in society! and thank you for letting me participate in the small ways that I can.

Best,


Saraswathi


2nd July, 2008

Hi,

Just a short note of appreciation. I am Asma, a 'straight' person --- these definitions are so judgmental and I don't attach too much importance to them --- living in Chennai. Just happen to see the pics of the gaypride march. It was long overdue. Congratulations and keep the goodwork going.
 

Asma


27th June, 2008

To our fellow Queer Activists in India,
 

I was Humbled and Proud when I heard of the Events and Marches planned for the 29th of June 2008.

These amazing steps forward, are historic,  and I applaud you for your determination and courage. It is about time that the leaders of our nations take note that we, the queer people of South Asia, are no longer willing to sit and take all the ridicule, abuse, violence and inequality that we have been subjected to for years. They need to know that we all stand tall, together and demand our rights as human beings. 
 

The 29th of June is also the Launch of the COLOMBO PRIDE WEEK here in Sri Lanka. So as you march down the streets of India, know that you have your Queer brothers and sisters here in Sri Lanka stand beside you.
 

We celebrate your work and determination to see your country free of Homophobia and Hate and wish you all the very best in your endeavors for this amazing historic event.

Sahran Abeysundara