India’s gays made quite a statement this weekend. Though homos have previously put on pride parades in Calcutta, the festivities stretched across the nation in the biggest gay outing in India’s history this weekend:
Waving rainbow flags and chanting “Gay India does exist,” nearly 1,000 gay activists and their supporters marched in coordinated parades in three Indian cities Sunday, demonstrating their growing confidence and hope for change on a subcontinent where homosexuality is illegal.
Activists in New Delhi, Bangalore and Kolkata called the parades the largest display of gay pride in India’s modern history. They said the public rallies would have been impossible just a decade ago in this largely conservative nation, where marriage is seen as an important societal duty.
Most of the marchers came out to oppose Section 377, the colonial era law prohibiting gay activities. While most political leaders oppose opening the laws for the lavender set, none actively protested this weekend’s happenings, saying they didn’t want to give the gays too much attention. Ain’t that grand?