Slogans including “love is love” filled the air in Deer Park, Hauz Khas on Saturday afternoon as several members from Delhi-NCR’s LGBTQ+ community (and allies) flocked to Spectrum'22, an event organised by Sab Aware, a student-run organisation founded by Delhi University’s Tanisha Bhasin (19). “I attended my first pride parade on June 1. After attending the parade, we [the team] wanted to do something again; not a parade but a full day of celebrations where people can openly express themselves without any judgement,” shared Bhasin. One could thoroughly witness the power of this collective as the attendees were seen revelling in the music and enjoying dance performances. Others indulged in merrymaking as they explored face painting and posed for friends and shutterbugs in an attempt to celebrate Pride month.
We speak to a few attendees about what 'Pride' means to them:
I come from a place where I cannot express myself. Today, I knew I could dress up the way I like and no one would judge me. Everyone around me is so happy today. Pride is about being happy with yourself.
- Neerja Punia, 21, Gurugram
Pride is political; it is a riot. It is a wholesome feeling—you realise that you want to come out or if not come out, just feel at home. Many people here are probably queer but they won’t be out. It is our job to make them feel at home.
- Ashutosh Trikha, 20, Ghaziabad
Pride mainly means being your true self. It is cliched but it is at the base of pride. It is about acceptance and listening to other people—about their identities and their truths.
- Shyla Handa, 18, South Delhi
Pride is an opportunity to be who you are and not be ashamed about it because for too long, we have been made to feel ashamed of our identity. This way, we finally get to embrace it, express ourselves, and be who we are.
- Ananya Sangwan, 18, Sainik Farms
This is the month we celebrate difference and how we need to embrace it. This is the moment we celebrate the fact that we [queer people] exist and it's totally normal. I am here with people who appreciate me, accept me, and [I want to ] give out the message to the society that change needs to come.
- Divanshu, 19, West Delhi
To me, pride is supporting and being supportive. It is about not having to hide who you are as a person and being able to accept yourself happily.
- Praniti Bhargava, 16, South Delhi
Seeing queer people around, it’s very warm. Pride, quite literally means pride to me. It’s a part of my identity and it fills me with joy.
- Himanshi Sanjay, 19
Pride is always a safe space. I never thought I’d relate to something so much but whenever the Pride month comes around, it gives a sense of safety and relatability.
-Aakriti, 20, North Delhi
Pride is like owning up to who you are, your sexuality and just being confident enough to accept yourself. It is very difficult to attain that type of self love because you don’t know how your family members or your friends will react to [the news of] you coming out. So it’s just about accepting yourself.
-Vanshika Rastogi, 19, Indirapuram