Kolkata pride walk shows support for social movements

Kolkata, Dec 13 (IANS) The 14th edition of Kolkata Rainbow Pride Walk here on Sunday saw participants cutting across social and gender barriers raise a toast to diversity and express solidarity with inter-connected social movements in India.

“There were at least 1,000 people in the march and we had terrific participation from the student community. Students from Jadavpur University and IIT-Kharagpur lent their support. The march this year explores the linkages between various social movements such as Dalit rights,” sexual rights activist Pawan Dhall told IANS.

Broadening its agenda this year, the walk also focused on issues of intolerance in the country.

Holding aloft rainbow-hued posters and banners and shouting slogans, members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) came out in hundreds at the Shyambazar crossing in a mark of protest against “curbs on personal liberty and freedom of speech and expression”.

They were joined by activists from the domain of child rights, disability rights and gender equity. People with disabilities also marched with the queer community that had turned up from various Indian states.

Several flashed banners that said: “I am Dalit and I am gay” while senior citizens sported posters with messages such as “My hair is not my gender”.

Some first-timers at the walk added an additional layer of enthusiasm.

Their message to all: “Because Earth isn’t ‘Straight’ and ‘Queer’ is as normal as our existence!”

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