Indian city to hold second Pride parade after only nine people attended last time

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Members of the LGBT+ community in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, are holding the city’s second-ever Pride parade on August 24.

Nine years ago, transgender women from Coimbatore organised the city’s first LGBT+ Pride parade – and only nine people turned up.

“We walked with rainbow flags at Race Course. There were more number of police personnel to protect us than there were people who marched,” Kalki Subramaniam, a trans activist and artist who founded Coimbatore Pride Festival, told the Times of India.

Subramaniam also said that in the past month, LGBT+ activists – through her Sahodari Foundation – had been holding film screenings, lectures and discussions on LGBT+ rights at colleges in the city.

“We thought students would ridicule and ask ridiculous questions. But it was heartening to see them indulge in serious discussions on the issue,” she said.

And this has given her hope for the upcoming Pride parade.

“After we announced the event, several people have contacted us,” she said.

“We expect a big turnout for the parade. Not just people from the LGBTI community, we also expect our family, friends, well-wishers and students to participate in the parade,” Subramaniam said.

Pride parade being held after India decriminalised gay sex.

The Indian Supreme Court decriminalised gay sex in September 2018, and in November the country saw its first LGBT+ Pride parade.

A record number of attendees marched through the streets of Delhi on November 25, according to SBS, with signs reading “Love Wins” and “Adios 377” to celebrate the striking down of Section 377, a 157-year-old colonial-era law which had been widely used to clamp down on the country’s LGBT+ community.

Participants in the country’s capital territory chanted, “We got our freedom!” as they rejoiced over September’s ruling, which saw Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra, state that “any consensual sexual relationship between two consenting adults—homosexuals, heterosexuals or lesbians—cannot be said to be unconstitutional.”