On 5th February, Guwahati will witness the 4th QUEER PRIDE GUWAHATI at 2 PM, from Dighalipukhuri where people will march down the streets in celebration of the diversities of gender and sexuality and raise their voices in support of LGBTQ rights.
Despite growing awareness and support, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual,Transgender and Queer individuals face violence and discrimination in many spheres of life. Also, with laws like Section 377 in effect, which criminalizes consensual sexual relationships between adults, many LGBTQ people are turned into potential criminals just because of who they are. Even though the Indian Psychiatric Society has clearly stated that homosexuality is not a disease, many doctors continue to harass and abuse LGBTQ people in the pretext of “curing” them. The NALSA verdict came in 2014, but even today adequate steps have not been taken to provide transgender people with their rights and opportunities.
The Guwahati Pride Walk is a platform for progressive minded individuals to come together and stand against the forces of patriarchy. “We raise our voices against all forms of violence faced by LGBTQ people whether it be in their families, schools, colleges, workplaces or public spaces. We resist all forms of censorship and policing of our lives, bodies and relationships. That our bodies are our own and we will not bow down to laws and patriarchal norms that dictate how we should live or love is the idea that drives the Pride,” a press note by the organisers said.
The organisers have also raised the demand to repeal inhuman laws like Section 377 and AFSPA, “which make freedom seem like an illusion to a huge section of our society”. Other demands include implementation of the NALSA judgement. The march will also express its soldiarity with other struggles and people’s movements such as the adivasis fighting against corporate greed, disabled people’s struggle to make all spaces more accessible to everyone, or the movement for women to reclaim the public spaces.