Under aegis of the HAQ ( HNLU’s Alliance for Queer) which is a students’ group at Hidayatullah National Law University, Raipur, the LGBT community of the city organised the event “A Decade of Pride: An Evening of Solidarity, Celebration and Support” on November 8th, to celebrate 10 years of Pride parades in India. The main objective of the event was to promote visibility of the community in the public sphere, so as to educate people about their existence and spread awareness. 40-50 members of the LGBT community gathered for an interactive discussion about the issues faced by them and how to address them.
Akshay Mankar, a member of the community, spoke about the concept of pride and also about importance of the visibility. When asked about the issues they face to show their real identity, they respected everyone’s choices to speak in front of the public. Most of their family’s are not supportive to their choices as India is not a good place to be born different.
At the venue of the event, strangers who were moved by the stories of struggle came forward and expressed their support. On the campus, the students expressed their happiness and have been congratulating.
Vidya , a transgender activists talked about the problems the members face and current status of affairs. Ravina and other members talked about the rampant discrimination they face in day-to-day life. Allies of the community who were also present, talked about how the LGBT rights are human rights and are a concern of everyone.
All the members who participated in the discussion agreed to the creation of LGBT safe spaces, community solidarity and development. The need of laws that prevent discrimination against LGBT+ in workplaces and absolute ban on any medical practitioner who claims to ‘cure homosexuality’ was emphasised.