Thousands of people in Mumbai have taken to the streets to celebrate the first Mumbai Pride since homosexuality was decriminalised last year.
Photos shared on social media of the event show huge numbers of people taking to the streets to celebrate the LGBT+ community.
The pride event has a renewed poignancy this year, as it is the first Mumbai Pride since homosexuality was decriminalised in India last year.
Decriminalisation of homosexuality in India
Homosexuality was decriminalised in a momentous ruling from India’s Supreme Court last September. The judges were unanimous in their decision to strike down the ban on gay sex, which could result in a sentence of life imprisonment.
Parmesh Shahani, who is head of India Culture Lab, shared photos of jubilant scenes in the city, and said that more than 15,000 people had attended.
“We are here. We are queer. And we love marching together in a post 377 India.”
– Parmesh Shahani
He said that Mumbai Pride was about intersectionality, and followed up with: “We are here. We are queer. And we love marching together in a post 377 India.”
Screenwriter and film editor @Apurvasrani also tweeted his support for the parade along with a selection of photos.
“The first #MumbaiPride (after reading down #Sec377) witnessed a massive turnout of over 15000 shiny happy people!
“The city of Mumbai welcomed us with smiles, curiosity & cameras – as if to say that the LGBTQ is now a significant part of civil society. Happy pride,” he added.
Meanwhile, India Today reported that the theme of this year’s Mumbai Pride was Pride For All. The news outlet also shared a video of LGBT+ people celebrating and dancing on the streets for the parade.
Mumbai is the capital city of Maharashtra and is the most populated city in India. Some are claiming that this could be the most attended Mumbai Pride ever, although final counts have yet to be confirmed.
India had its first post-decriminalisation Pride parade in Delhi in November, which saw a record number of attendees coming out to show their support for LGBT+ people.
Still progress to be made
However, many in the LGBT+ community in India were dismayed last month when an Indian army general said they would not allow gay sex – despite the overturn of the ban.
“We will not allow this to happen in the Army. LGBT issues… in the army, these are not acceptable.”
– General Bipin Rawat
General Bipin Rawat said on January 10 that the military will continue to enforce the ban on gay soldiers.
He said: “We will not allow this to happen in the Army. LGBT issues… in the army, these are not acceptable.
“We will still be dealing with them under various sections of the Army Act. [It] will not be allowed to happen in the Indian Army.”