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‘I am gay, and that’s okay’: Bhopal marches for LGBTQ pride

Bhopal: The sun was setting, the air was hot. Outside Vanvihar National Park, the chirping of the birds and the buzzing of the insects had another companion — the chatter of the people that had gathered there to attend the city’s first pride parade.

Rainbow flags, colourful costumes, fancy headgears, masks and posters with powerful messages filled the air with festivity as people marched over 2 km towards Hotel Lakeview Ranjit. The message was clear — I am a human too with rights. People from all walks of life marched as one chanting slogans like ‘I am gay and that’s okay’, ‘My body, my rights’.

Ram Rao, an LGBTQ activist who working with the NAZ Trust flew in from Chennai especially for the occasion. Rao said, “This is having so that we can put across the point of the LGBT community and gather support of the people in Bhopal. These events have been happening in many cities across the country and we thought that Bhopal too needs such an event so that people can be made aware of the LGBTQ community and we can talk about the myths that are always associated with them.”

The citizens of Bhopal flocked in large numbers to show their support and tell everyone to make the society a little more accepting and loving for others. “It is not anyone’s mistake to be born different. We need to change with the time and give everyone their basic. I see so many people coming out of the closet to embrace their sexuality without feeling alienated from the society. This is a great initiative and we all must accept each other with all our similarities and differences for a more peaceful co-existence,” said Sheela Purohit, who had come to attend the parade.