Monday, July 27, 2009

Low response expected for Aug 16 Mumbai gay parade

Low response expected for Aug 16 gay parade

By: Varun Singh


Date:  2009-07-26


Place: Mumbai


Activists say that the Gay parade scheduled for August 16 will not see a surge in response despite the recent Delhi High Court ruling. About 1,000 gays including supporters, activists and people from other metros like Bangalore, Delhi and Kolkata are expected to participate. Others will stay indoors because of the perceived stigma attached to the word gay.

Celebrations in Bombay just after the HC ruling  Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

About 600 people from the gay community and their supporters gathered to be a part of last year's gay parade.

Pallav Patankar, one of the organisers and the trustee of Humsafar Trust, said that this year's crowd would be 1,000-strong. "There are fears that they might be targeted and that religious groups might create a problem," said Patankar.

People from the gay community say that the Delhi gay parade was threatened by a right wing group; this might have an adverse affect on Mumbaikars.

Jasmeer Thakur of Samabhawana Society argues that media mostly talk about gays and lesbians in a sexual content. "Most gays stay away because they are portrayed as transgender. A gay is also a regular 9 to 5 man who will soon come out after everyone behaves sensibly, including the media and religious gurus. If all this is tackled, the parades will see a surge."

However, activists like Geeta Kumana of Aanchal, that works with lesbians, even thousand is a good number.

Vikram Phukan, editor of Bombay Dost, claims the numbers will be larger. "We still have three weeks and if it is publicised properly, there will be a good count."



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