Queer Azaadi Mumbai

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Queer Azaadi Mumbai Pride March ("Azaadi" meaning "freedom" in Hindi and Urdu), also called Queer Azaadi March and Mumbai pride march, is an annual LGBTQIH pride parade that is held in the city of Mumbai, capital of Maharashtra, India. It usually begins from Gowalia Tank (popularly known as August Kranti Maidan) ending at Girgaum Chowpatty. It, along with the Pride Week, is organized by Queer Azaadi Mumbai (abbreviated as QAM), a collective of organizations and individuals working for the rights of LGBTQIA community.[1] The participants of the march include people from the LGBTQIH community as well their "straight allies", from India and outside.

History[edit]

Pride marches have been held annually in Mumbai since 2005, however, it got its official name Queer Azaadi March in 2008.[2]

2008[edit]

The first Queer Azaadi March was held on August 16, a day after the Independence Day of India, with about 500 people participating in it. It was flagged off by Indian actress Celina Jaitly.[3] The theme of this march was freedom from Section 377 of Indian Penal Code (IPC).[4] During the march, Mahendra Singh Gohil, known as "India's first gay prince" gave a speech and demanded an apology from the British for including Section 377 in IPC.[5][6]

2009[edit]

The Pride parade was held on August 16, with Celina Jaitly flagging off the march two years in a row.[7] With over 500 people turning, gay activists claimed it to be one of the biggest pride marches in the country.[8]

2011[edit]

The fourth Queer Azaadi March was held January 29 with the Queer Azaadi Mumbai Pride Week (from January 22-29) preceding it. It was inaugurated by Anand Grover, founder of Lawyers’ Collective, who has also represented Naz Foundation since 2001. Another person to inaugurate was Vivek Patil, chief-executive of Humsafar Trust, the oldest LGBTQ organization in India. The Pride Week, held for the first time in the Mumbai march, included festivities, like QAM Mela and drag shows, play readings, shopping, panel discussions and films.[9] There were also live music and dance concerts at the Carter Road open auditorium and the SNDT University at Juhu. This pride became famous for it Pride Week and because people came in large numbers, with only a few wearing masks and being open about their identity.[10]

2012[edit]

The fifth pride march was also held on January 29. This year witnessed Asia’s first flash mob at the Pride Week celebrations.[11]

2013[edit]

The pride march was held on February 2.[12]

2014[edit]

This year the pride parade was held on February 1 and became the first parade to happen after the Supreme Court judgement of upholding Section 377 of IPC.[13]

2015[edit]

This parade was held on January 31 with more than 6000 people participating in it.[14] There were also many parents there in support of their children and the LGBTQIH community. Vikram Doctor, a gay rights activist, claimed that while earlier there was an occasional presence of mothers, sisters or aunts of the a gay person, this time there were fathers and brothers too. The theme of this march was fakr (meaning pride). People could be seen dressed colorfully, with head gears, carrying balloons and flags of rainbow colors. There were also slogans, chanting and banners and posters opposing the Section 377 of IPC.[15]

2016[edit]

The pride march was held on February 6. It started from August Kranti Maidan continuing to Opera House, and then Kennedy Bridge, before looping back to the maidan. There were speeches from equal rights activists like Harish Iyer and Chitra Palekaras well as Manoj Bajpayee, the lead actor of Bollywood movie ‘Aligarh’. The crew of the movie and Mahendra Singh Gohil were part of the more than 7000 participants. The screenwriter of ‘Aligarh’, Apurva Asrani, even came out as gay for the first time during the walk. In the parade, people came dressed as drag queens, in jalabiyyahs, political figures from history and many other costumes.[16][17]

2017[edit]

The ninth edition of the pride parade, held on January 28, was the largest march of India yet with around 14000 people showing up.[18] The Pride Week was also extended to a month long celebration, with new initiatives of community building and focusing on minorities within the LGBTQIH community.[19] It was also Mumbai's first accessible pride walk. There were provisions like ramp to access the stage, sign language interpreters, and pick and drop services for people needing wheelchairs, as well as other volunteers to assist people with disabilities.[20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://mumbaipride.in. "Organizations | Mumbai Pride | Queer Azaadi Mumbai". mumbaipride.in. Retrieved 2017-06-18. 
  2. ^ "The masks come off at gay pride rally | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis". dna. 2011-01-30. Retrieved 2017-06-18. 
  3. ^ "Pride, no prejudice". archive.mid-day.com. Retrieved 2017-06-18. 
  4. ^ "Rainbow streaks through Mumbai | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis". dna. 2015-02-01. Retrieved 2017-06-18. 
  5. ^ "Pride, no prejudice". archive.mid-day.com. Retrieved 2017-06-18. 
  6. ^ "LGBT activists protest against Section 377 - Mumbai - City - The Times of India". timesofindia.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 2017-06-18. 
  7. ^ "Rallying to change mindsets, dispel phobia - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2017-06-18. 
  8. ^ "Baba Ramdev walks among Homosexuals". archive.mid-day.com. Retrieved 2017-06-18. 
  9. ^ "'When we started the gay pride march, there was fear, oppression' | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis". dna. 2011-01-25. Retrieved 2017-06-18. 
  10. ^ "Mumbai's pride march to be spread over a week | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis". dna. 2011-01-19. Retrieved 2017-06-18. 
  11. ^ "Mumbai witnesses Asia's first gay flash mob - Gaylaxy Magazine". www.gaylaxymag.com. Retrieved 2017-06-18. 
  12. ^ "Mumbai Pride Week Kick Starts With Kite Flying and Queer Games - Gaylaxy Magazine". www.gaylaxymag.com. Retrieved 2017-06-18. 
  13. ^ "Glimpses From Mumbai Pride 2014 - Gaylaxy Magazine". www.gaylaxymag.com. Retrieved 2017-06-18. 
  14. ^ "Mumbai walks with pride with over 6000 supporters - Gaylaxy Magazine". www.gaylaxymag.com. Retrieved 2017-06-18. 
  15. ^ "Rainbow streaks through Mumbai | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis". dna. 2015-02-01. Retrieved 2017-06-18. 
  16. ^ "A cause that unites everyone: 7,000 take part in annual gay Pride March - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2017-06-18. 
  17. ^ "Over 7,000 people march as Mumbai's annual LGBT pride parade generates huge response | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis". dna. 2016-02-07. Retrieved 2017-06-18. 
  18. ^ "India's largest LGBT Pride March held in Mumbai". The Indian Express. 2017-01-30. Retrieved 2017-06-18. 
  19. ^ Cornelious, Deborah. "Walk with pride". The Hindu. Retrieved 2017-06-18. 
  20. ^ "Glimpses of Mumbai's first ever Accessible Queer Pride - Gaylaxy Magazine". www.gaylaxymag.com. Retrieved 2017-06-18. 

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