Gurgaon is a city with many facets and sometimes many different mutually exclusive realities. LGBTQ+ people face a complex array of social and legal problems rendering them vulnerable to harassment and widespread hate-crimes. In the face of a lack of data the real picture of the violence against the community is absolutely unfathomable. Yet, we continue to see a dirty face of discrimination at so many levels which goes unreported in an environment of fear that we have continue to live in. With laws like 377 that further encourages this discrimination we need to stand together in complete solidarity and celebrate an unburnable spirit of love in all forms of it. Gurgaon does not have a very organized Queer community and no real space for an open dialogue, protest or expression. In working with young people at an intergovernmental organization I actually got to see the depth of politics around identity politics and the stigma attached to sexuality in India. The western ideas and stereotypes that have seeped so deep into the space of existence for LGBTQ+ people continue to threaten their rights and existence at large. It’s the environment of hostility and deprivation of rights that bothers each one of us.
Gurgaon’s Queer Pride is not a region specific pride, it’s laying the first stepping stones to create public spaces that embrace people of many colors. Gurgaon appears as a city abused in so many ways at so many levels by the numerous corporations that throng the region without no real contribution to the city in itself. It has also created a faster and slightly exclusive space for many strata of the society and the comparative lives of people show the dark reality of two unrelated stories of development. When I got to know that there hadn’t been a Queer Pride in Gurgaon yet, I thought to find out what the hurdles could have been. In doing so I kept meeting people who got together and the momentum really built to organize a Pride in Gurgaon itself which opens a space for looking at our privileges in comparison to the discriminatory politics around sexuality, caste, colour, creed, sex and the general trampling of human rights.
The initial idea was to have a small procession to stir a larger dialogue around the discrimination that LGBTQ+ community faces in expressing their identity. A lot of people came together to support the planning process, it really brought to light the many aspects that could have otherwise been missed. We chose Leisure valley because it is in the heart of the city and in occupying that space we would be looking at inclusive public spaces.
It all came together like any organic civic movements do and ahead of the initial hiccups we have Gugraon’s first pride. An autonomous, real celebration of colour, with a bright ever glowing rainbow on a sunny day!