Following in the footsteps of other metropolises of the country, Surat became the first city from the state of Gujarat to organize a Pride march on 6th October. This pride march was organized by GLGBTPF (Gujarat LGBT Pride Festival) and supported by Foram Foundation, Baroda. Around 150 people walked the distance of 3 kms from New Civil Court to Kargil Chowk. People in attendance were not only from the Surat but also from Ahmedabad, Baroda and Mumbai, to name a few.
The march was joined by various queer community related NGOs and support groups like Humsafar Trust of Ahmedabad, Swavalambi Chuwal Mandal of Ahmedabad, Panah Foundation of Patan, Shakhya Foundation of Kalol, Yaariyan of Mumbai, Gay Bombay and several other regional and national level organizations and forums. People walked at the march holding posters with slogans written in Gujarati, Hindi and English. Some attendees also danced to the beats of dhol, and a few even performed Garba- the traditional dance form of Gujarat- and shared their excitement and happiness with their fellow participants.
The pride was also broadcast live by QRadio, an online LGBT radio channel based out of Bangalore, making it the first South Asian pride march to have been broadcast live. Inspired by the Surat march, Ahmadabad may also hold a gay pride march in the state by end of this year.
(Picture Credits : Ankit Bhupatni & Siddhi Pandya)