For the first time in Chennai, a South Indian city hitherto considered "conservative", the LGBT movement managed to stage a Rainbow Pride March on Sunday to break barriers on sexual orientation. People of all nationalities—young and old, gay and straight gathered on the Marina Beach and walked the stretch to influence public opinion favoring a more tolerant society that accepts sexual minorities.
About 200 members of the LGBT community, supported by their families and friends formed the core group of the Rainbow Pride March. Kalki, who runs 'Sahodari' support group and TV chat show host Rose, were among the prominent members of the transgender community who were joined by other activists from the lesbian and gay communities at various junctions during the gay pride march.
Activists held placards highlighting the need for legal reforms to deal with LGBT issues. In particular, activists denounced Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that made homosexuality a crime and gave the police a reason to harass same sex partners.
Chennai has a sizeable LGBT population with more support groups coming up to protect their interests. The Chennai Rainbow Pride March hoped to raise societal sensitivity for sexual minorities while seeking shelter and employment for a socially deprived group that is only now coming out in the open to claim its rights to live and to love as it pleases.
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