Tales from My First Pride

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Tales from My First Pride

Illustration: Akshita Monga

I

arrived at Mumbai’s August Kranti Marg on a sunny Saturday afternoon, a short while before the beginning of my first Pride march. Once it commenced, the sound of the Nasik dhols were almost deafening. A gigantic rainbow flag swept over our heads, briefly blocking out a scorching afternoon sun. It occurred to me, as I stood on the edges of this frenzy, that this was the first time I would be actively engaging with members of my community. I took a deep breath and stepped right in.

Two years ago I came to terms with the fact that I’m bisexual. Since then, I’ve been fortunate enough to meet more people who are accepting than those who are “queer-phobic” (alternatively called assholes), but I had never stepped out for a march in public. As I stood there, in the centre of this euphoric crowd, I wondered what had taken me so long to come out. I guess the prospect of mingling with a large crowd has always frightened me, but this year I realised that daunting as the idea may be, our strength eventually lay in numbers. And as socially awkward as I am, it is in this crowd made up of fabulous, exhilarating people, boys adorned in jhumkas and transpeople decked in their finest, that I belong.

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