Mumbai has all the more reason for Pride
The first month of the New Year has once again brought a rainbow to the city skies. Pride Month is upon us, and like every year, there are a slew of events slated for the coming weeks. The culmination will be the Mumbai Pride March, happening in early February, a fitting flourish to Pride Month.
It was heartening to see yet more spaces opening up to the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) community. This paper had a front-page report about how the Mahalaxmi race course is going to play host to Gulabi Mela, or the Pink Fete, in late January. This fete is organised by a gay youth support group, with stalls selling merchandise from mostly LGBT+ entrepreneurs, although there are some participants from outside the community as well. The fete will be held in a fairly new space within the race course, which has recently been opened up for events.
New venues are much more than just physical manifestations of space for the community. They are symbolic of more access and inclusivity in mainstream spaces, of a society in transformation. More so this year, as it is the first Pride after the Supreme Court threw out Section 377 which criminalised consensual sex between same-sex adults.
Cynics may scoff that places are hosting LGBT events because like everybody else, the gay community is paying for them and money is money in the end. But these are still barriers that are being broken. It does contribute to the ultimate aim — the inclusion of the queer community in mainstream society, a cause that should gain traction from the SC verdict. Mahalaxmi may not know it, but it is part of a life-changing journey for this community.