QAM March – Saturday, January 29, 2011
MARCH…… with Mumbai’s queer and straight supporters, family and friends on the 29th January, 2011 from August Kranti Maidan to Girgaum Chowpatty.
Time : 3PM (Assemble @ AK Maidan) to 6PM
Make your travel plans , apply for that leave, get your gear ready to flaunt it out in the Mumbai Pride March!
Donations to take care of the expenses are welcomed.
You may have seen the donation box at the various GB events.
It is now possible to Donate ONLINE as well.
Click on the “Make A Donation” button and pay thru PAYPAL
DONATIONS are also collected at the following physical locations:
Ø Azaad Bazaar Store timing 1pm-9pm*
16th/33rd Road Bandra (West),
Opp Mini Punjab,
in the same lane as KFC ,
Ø The Humsafar Trust/Center for Excellence (CEFE)
Riviera CHS, Flat 1, Ground Floor
15th Road, Near RBI Colony
Santacruz Mumbai 400 050
Ø at GayBombay hosted events (prior to the Azadi march)
Please donate generously.
On 16th August 2005, Mumbai witnessed a large-scale protest demonstration at Flora Fountain by several queer community groups and individuals. The activists erected a temporary structure and gave out leaflets and queer publications, and got many ordinary citizens to sign a petition for queer rights. The activists also carried placards, shouted slogans, sang songs of queer azaadi and held a candlelight vigil in memory those we had lost.
The following two years, on the same date, The Humsafar Trust, organized a march; in 2006, from Lokmanya Tilak (Sion) Hospital to Maheshawari Udyan and in 2007 from Santacruz Station (East) to Humsafar ‘s Vakola office.
The first Queer Azadi Mumbai march was on August 16, 2008 with freedom as its rallying cry and many queer and queer supportive people marched together.
On 2 July 2009 the Delhi High Court passed a landmark judgement where it ‘read down’ Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code so that sexual acts between consenting adults of the same sex in private are no longer criminalised. This had been the foremost long standing demand of the queer movement.
Why then are we still asking for Queer Azadi (freedom)? We ask for freedom because discrimination against us still exists. Many people continue to hate and fear us ‘queers’. ‘Queer’ stands for all LGBTI people, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex, and for Hijra, Kothi, Panthi – all those who are not accepted by a society that recognises only two genders and considers only heterosexual relationships valid.
Besides, the Delhi High Court’s progressive judgement is being stridently opposed by religious fundamentalists of every hue, who proclaim that our lives and desires go against “Indian culture”, that we are “diseased”, and so on. Yet we have always been a part of society, and we have the same rights to equality and dignity that belong to every individual in this democracy.
This year, we march again, for not just freedom, but also for our constitutional rights. This 26th January we celebrate the 62nd Republic Day of India, the anniversary of the day when the Constitution of India came into force. To quote from the judgment: “If there is one constitutional tenet that can be said to be underlying theme of the Indian Constitution, it is that of ‘inclusiveness’. This Court believes that Indian Constitution reflects this value deeply ingrained in Indian society, nurtured over several generations.”
At this juncture of history when the space for democratic dissent is narrower than ever before, we march in solidarity with justice, freedom, peace and love. We march to claim our space within this diverse society and our rights within this democracy.
The main demands that we place before our state and our society are:
Ø The 377 case will now be heard in the Supreme Court, hence our demand for this law to be read down continues.
Ø The Constitution must include provisions to deal with all discrimination on the grounds of sexuality or gender.
Ø Those amongst us who are transgendered are not recognised by society. Equal citizenship rights and opportunities should be extended to all who do not fit into either of the two categories of male and female.
Ø The medical establishment must be made aware of the reality of our lives and our needs, and cease all insensitive and cruel attempts to ‘cure’ us.
Ø Every individual is under tremendous pressure to marry a person of the opposite sex, as marriage is seen as a must in our society. We must join forces in a campaign against all such forced marriages.
Ø We call for an end to homophobia and transphobia. We want freedom from violence and hate within families, in educational institutions, at places of work and in public spaces. We especially demand that fundamentalist forces stop abusing us and poisoning people’s minds against us.
We invite you to join us in this celebration and protest and to raise your voice against the discrimination!