Pics reveal the sorry state of LGBT rights in India

LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) people face a tough life in India. Historically, India has been quite tolerant of homosexuals and transgenders, finding mentions in many scriptures. But when it comes to legal rights, India still has a long way to go. Social acceptance is increasing, with most people having the “Live and let live” attitude, apart from the parliament, which seems to be stuck in pre-historic times when dealing with this issue.

Same sex marriages and civil unions are not recognized in India as of now, though India recognizes a third gender. Several ‘Gay Pride ‘ parades have been held since 2008 till now to encourage people to accept LGBT people as part of society and to express their condition in India.


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Anjali Gopalan leading the first Genderqueer parade in Madurai in 2012. This was the first such parade in Asia.  Parades like this encourage LGBTs to acknowledge their identity.


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An LGBT person accompanied by his family in Mumbai’s LGBT Pride march. Acceptance from family, especially parents means a lot to LGBT people. It shows the way for other people in society to accept them as well.


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Sexworkersparticipate in a Pride parade in Bangalore. Some come dressed in costumes and paint their faces and wear masks to hide their identity due to fear of harassment.


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Street plays are an important method to get the message across. It attracts the masses to stand for a moment and understand as to what issues LGBT people face.


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A gathering of LGBT activists and others to demonstrate their solidarity. Men and women in equal number can be seen supporting the cause.


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Television crews and print media journalists covering a Gay Pride parade. Pride parades are held across the country to fight for legal rights and as an expression of pride by LGBT people in being who they are.



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A crowd gathers around some LGBT activists dancing and singing to highlight their cause. Parades are held annually in most cities of India, and socially, LGBT people are slowly gaining more acceptance. But the struggle is on for decriminalization of homosexuality.


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LGBT people cover their faces with masks and sunglasses, hats and caps for the social stigma attached to them. Many fear that they will be recognized and ostracized by people who cannot accept LGBT as another normal state of being. There is a history of harassment against people who have come out of the closet and admitted to being gay.


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A parade to ask for equal rights by the LGBT community. Marches like this have done a lot to change social opinion but still their rights have not seen the light. The rainbow theme is the symbol color of Gay Pride worldwide and in India too, it is prominently used in different avatars in rallies and parades.


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Women participate in the Gay Parades but are very few in number. In India, men have an easier time of admitting to the world that they are gay than women, except in some social circles. Lesbians are still looked down upon and those who dare to come “out”, face verbal and sometimes physical abuse.


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An LGBT parade marching through town, peacefully marking their existence in society. Parades are an opportunity for LGBT people and their supporters to get together and focus on their concerns. It’s also a celebration at the end of the day after the rally. Such rallies are organized very year in different cities and the LGBT community has been patiently fighting for their rights in a quiet, dignified but strong way.


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LGBT activists are seen putting up posters and speaking out for their rights in a rally. Though the movement has a lot of supporters now, including family members and colleagues in their workplace, they still do not have the same rights as any other citizen of India.

The time is yet to come when the LGBT community gets the same legal rights which non-LGBT people take for granted in India. Undeniably, now it’s the high time to be the change or at least, be a part of it.

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