How Indian Pride Festivals Have Become Political Battlegrounds

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03/09/2020

For most queer people, pride is seen as a space to celebrate diversity and resist oppression. It’s a space where they feel safe and seen. But this year’s pride in Mumbai has changed that for the LGBTQ+ community in India, perhaps forever. Last month, the 2020 pride march in Mumbai, scheduled for February 1, was cancelled due to police concerns about the ongoing protests over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). Despite that, Queer Azaadi Mumbai (QAM)—a collective of Mumbai’s LGBTQAI+ organisations and individuals that had organised the march—turned the celebrations into a solidarity gathering. At the core of the gathering was the strong sentiment in the community that the pride has always been a space for dissent, and that the CAA, National Register of Citizens, National Population Register, and other legislatures passed by the current administration including the Trans Bill, are issues that affect marginalised people—including the LGBTQ+ folks.

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