BHUBANESWAR - Nearly 150 gays and lesbians form different parts of Orissa Saturday “came out of closet” and participated in a rally here to press for their rights.
The rally named Rainbow Pride Walk was initiated by Solidarity and Action against the HIV Infection in India (SAATHI) with support of different NGOs and participated by members of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender) from different district of the state.
“We have long been stigmatized for our sexual orientation. We were ostracized, taunted and lectured to behave in a particular way for our different sexual liking in our society. We have come out in open to press for our right,” said Subham Mishra, who is heading a support group with 500 members having alternative sexual orientation.
“We want to convey the message to the society that those with alternative sexualities and gender identities are not aberrations in society rather they are natural human feelings which is not to be despised rather they are part of the sexual diversity which is to be celebrated,” said Subham, who is a self confessed gay.
Similar rallies have been organized earlier in Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi and Bangaluru in the past but it was a first for Bhubaneswar.
“We know that there are prejudices, stigmas attached to our sexual preferences. There is no point sweeping the problem under carpet. We need to come out of the closet to tell it openly to the world. Then we can press for protection of our rights and provide security-health, social and legal to our ilk,” said Anupam Hazra a gay right activist from Kolkata who had come to support the rally.