Gaylaxy, India’s leading LGBTQ magazine, organised a Queer Carnival on 13th November in Delhi. November is the pride month in Delhi, India’s capital, and a number of pride related events are held in the month of November. The actual pride march will be held on Nov 27th.
The Queer Carnival too was part of this month long celebration of sexuality and diversity. The carnival provided a platform for people to showcase their talent. Gaylaxy has always believed in “empowering expressions” and has been doing that since the last 6 years through its online platform, where various people share their thoughts, personal stories etc. The Queer Carnival was an extension of the online to offline.
Calls for performances were given a month in advance, and we received a number of entries from various queer individuals. Entries were received for song, dance and poetry. The talent of the individuals simply stumped us!
The Carnival also had some interesting stalls for people to check out. For the first time in India, there was an Asexuality Awareness stall. There also was a stall by Kinkpin displaying some really quirky and fun products related to sexual health. Another stall by Posterwa selling feminist and queer posters. Paintings and pictures by queer artists too were on display.
Mr. Gay World India 2016 Anwesh Sahoo and Spicy Tutuboy, the artistic persona of Diniz Sanchez were the two wonderful hosts for the evening. Around 15 people performed at the carnival, including Abhina Aher – a transgender activist and founder of a transgender dancing group “Dancing Queens”. Held at Gulmohar Club, in the heart of a resident’s colony, it was really heartening to see so many residents come to the event and express their support for the community and its people.
The Carnival not just provided a platform for people to showcase their talent, but also proved to be an important socialising space for queer individuals at a time when homosexuality remains deeply taboo in India and homosexual sex remains criminalised by law.
Sukhdeep Singh is the Founding Editor of Gaylaxy magazine which is India’s largest English language LGBT magazine. He grew up in Kolkata, in a Sikh family and in a liberal atmosphere. While studying in college he launched Gaylaxy magazine in 2010, which is now also available as an App. His message to the world is: “Treat everyone equally, with love and dignity.”