Namma Pride used BMTC buses to ride after the High Court did not give permission for the Pride March.
Namma Pride’s November Pride March turned to Ride with Pride on BMTC buses. Ayaan Syed, a volunteer-cum-organizer of Namma Pride said, “We have arranged three BMTC buses to commute the participants of pride march from Freedom Park to Samsa Bayalu Ranga Mandira.”
Namma Pride, through their Instagram handle informed of the changes made to the pride march. “Coalition for Sex Workers’, Sexual and Sexuality Minorities Rights (CSMR) like every year, had filed a (Public Interest Litigation) PIL to host the pride march on November 27, 2022. However, it was rejected due to High Court orders,” added Ayaan. With more than 2000 people expected to turn up, Namma Pride’s 15th pride march turned into Ride with Pride. “To organize and arrange the event, we had estimated a budget of around Rs. 2 lakh,” said Ayaan.
BMTC bus driver said that the three buses made more than four trips from Freedom Park to Samsa Bayalu Ranga Mandira.
Dr. Sanhita Joshi, Assistant Professor at Department of Civics and Politics, University of Mumbai said, “BMTC providing bus service for Ride with Pride is indicative of the state’s willingness to listen to the voice of the queer community. This sends a message to the society that those unheard voices with identities that have remained invisible need to be acknowledged and recognised.”
Faith Michael, a person identifying as a woman attending the pride march at Freedom Park said, “It is a bit disappointing that we are not able to have the pride march. Gathering here is great but it is still restricted.”
Harish S, project coordinator at Solidarity Foundation said that these events were earlier attended by transgendered people only. He also said, “Now, people of many other genders have come out and are able to voice their opinions.”
Arni, a transwoman from Chennai attending the pride march at Freedom Park said that this is their second march. They continued, “It is a bit sad as the pride march could have been more expressive with rallies, banners and slogans on the road.”
Sai, a queer person said, “It would be great if we could be our true selves every day. It is important to have such marches and rallies where queer communities can express their true selves.”
Dr. Sanhita Joshi said, “Special services or facilities of any nature will contribute to boosting the confidence of any community who wishes to communicate their point of view to the rest of the society.”
Ayaan added, “Despite the marches, rallies, awareness programs that we have been conducting, many members of society do not know the difference between trans people and other queer people.”
Dr. Sanhita Joshi said that the members of the society should come forward and help the members of queer community so that they feel included and motivated. Government can play the role of facilitator but the initiative should come from the people.