Pride Month June 2021 – History & Significance


As the world prepares to celebrate Pride Month in June, one may question what Pride Month is and why we celebrate it, especially because there are still many stigmas and a lack of understanding around Pride and the Pride Month.

The LGBTQ community has long struggled for the freedom to live a decent life. As a result, the world celebrates Pride month every June in recognition of community members who have overcome various barriers in their lives and have come a long way. The Pride month also shows how far LGBT rights have progressed and how much work remains to be done.

This Pride month is all about teaching acceptance, imparting pride history, and, most importantly, teaching love. Several initiatives and activities are being launched to educate people about the dangers of homophobia.


History of pride month

A brawl broke out in Stonewall Inn outside Manhattan, New York, in the early hours of June 28, 1969. Over 500 individuals — drag queens, butch lesbians, transgender persons, homosexual men, and homeless youngsters – attacked the New York City Police officers who were harassing and beating up the bar’s LGBT clients. Over a thousand individuals had joined the disturbances by the next day. For the first time, people had taken to the streets to protest the harsh anti-gay legal system and the institutions that enforced it. Stonewall shifted the trajectory of LGBTQIA+ rights throughout the world.

The world’s first Pride Parade took held in New York City on June 28, 1970. The procession began on Washington Place between Sheridan Square and Sixth Avenue and went up Sixth Avenue, concluding with a “Gay-In” in Central Park. It was then known as the Christopher Street Liberation Day March, named after the street on which Stonewall is located. On that day, 5000 people marched. This year, on the 51st anniversary of Stonewall, more than 3 million people marched to express their pride.


Advancement in India  

The first Pride Parade in India, known as the Kolkata Rainbow Pride Walk, took place in Kolkata on July 2, 1999. It is also the oldest Pride march in South Asia. Despite the fact that it attracted participants from other places like as Mumbai and Bangalore, there were only approximately 15 in total, none of them were women.

The march, also known as the Friendship Walk, is thought to have been organised in Kolkata because of the city’s long history of and close ties to various human rights movements, including feminist, Dalit, disabled, and child rights. This is comparable to why Stonewall happened so close to New York City, and why the world’s first pride march was staged there as well — in the late 1960s, New York was the epicentre of several movements, including the civil rights and anti-Vietnam war movements. Pride benefits from its intersectionality, as seen by this. Another example is how, in India, Pride Parades sometimes include caste-related debate and demonstrations.

It’s been 22 years since the Rainbow Pride Walk in Kolkata in 1999. Pride Parades are being organised in more than 21 Indian cities.

In the years 1999, 2003, 2004, and 2005, Kolkata was the only place where pride marches were organised. Bengaluru, Delhi, and Puducherry marched in unison with Kolkata in 2008. Nearly 2500 individuals took part in the event. The BJP caused some disturbances, but they mainly went off without a hitch. The then-Prime Minister’s support for LGBTQ rights, as well as the Delhi High Court’s decision decriminalizing homosexuality in 2009, was a significant step forward.

Bengaluru’s pride parade, known as the Bengaluru Namma Pride March, has taken place every year since 2008, usually around December. It is preceded by Queer Habba, a month of queer festivities. Coalition for Sex Workers and Sexuality Minority Rights is organizing the event (CSMR). Corporate businesses including as Goldman Sachs, Google, and IBM are known to participate in the Bengaluru pride march.

The Delhi Pride Parade takes place every year on the last Sunday of November. It runs from Barakhamba Road to Jantar Mantar, stopping at Tolstoy Marg on the way. It is totally supported by the community, and the organisers have continuously declined corporate sponsorship. The Delhi Queer Pride Parade also openly promotes Dalit, feminist, and disability rights movements. In 2018, more than 5000 individuals took part.

In Guwahati, Assam, the first pride parade in the North East was staged in 2014. It has been held every year in the first week of February since then. It arose from Guwahati’s involvement in a Global Day of Rage held in 2013 in protest of the Supreme Court’s reinstatement of Section 377[i] after the Delhi High Court had abolished it in 2009. The 2017 march slammed the AFSPA and urged that it be repealed. On the 3rd of February, 2019, Queer Pride Guwahati held its most recent iteration.

Another huge pride parade, this one in Chennai, began in 2009. It’s called Chennai Rainbow Pride , every June during Pride Month. It is organised under the umbrella of the Tamil Nadu Rainbow Coalition, and a stringent no-corporate-sponsorship policy is in place. Last year, about a thousand individuals took part in the Self-Respect March, which is also known as the Self-Respect March.

In 2017, pride marches around India protested the proposed Transgender Persons Bill[ii] 2016, and Kolkata had a Transgender Day of Rage on the same day as the march.

In India, 2018 was a particularly happy year for pride parades, as the harsh section 377[iii] was repealed. In 2018, the LGBTQ community marched around the country as relatively free citizens.

The Hyderabad Queer Pride, Pride de Goa, Queer Gulabi Pride Jaipur, Bhopal Pride March, and others are all prominent pride parades in India.


Indian pride parade timeline

The Indian LGBTQ community has come a long way after facing high criticism from the society as well as government. The final judgement on the freedom of LGBTQ community’s future in India with Navtej singh johar’s[iv] case. In India, there has been no shortage of discussions on homosexuals’ rights. Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code of 1860, which dealt with unnatural offences and, among other things, criminalized homosexuality, was also a contentious topic. The entire notion of homosexuality was viewed as being against nature’s will and so unwelcome in society. The debate over the criminalization of homosexuality centred on the Indian constitution’s articles 14[v], 15[vi], and 21[vii], which are basic rights that guarantee equality, non-discrimination on the basis of sex, and personal liberty, respectively, and that section 377 infringes on these rights. The above landmark case decriminalized homosexuality while also addressing several critical constitutional issues.


Current status of their legal rights

Same-sex couples, single person, and unmarried couples have found it increasingly difficult to adopt since the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) established adoption rules. Many Indian residents have been denied equality in numerous facets of their lives just because of their sexuality. This may be seen in the fights for marriage equality, adoption rights, the freedom to serve openly in the military, and a variety of other fights to abolish discrimination based on sexual orientation.

The gay and lesbian assertion on their rights – “to be treated equally, fairly, and equitably as citizens of India; that respect should be given to who they are, what they are; the right to choose, the right to be unmarried, and the right to their own sexual orientation” – is a crucial point in the discussion on the politics of liberation. In India, the demand for gay and lesbian freedom and equality was first made in a concerted way around the end of 1991. The Charter of Demands, which consists of 19 points, was released in the report less than Gay’s last chapter.

Only the first cause, such as the removal of the discriminatory section of the IPC, has been addressed so far, leaving the remaining demands unaddressed. Adoption is becoming more popular among lesbians and gays as a means of forming families. In adoption processes, however, same-sex couples have a lot of trouble getting fair treatment from the courts. In rejecting adoption to lesbians and gays, courts often neglect actual data and the unique facts of the case, according to judicial rulings. Lesbians and gay males have had an especially tough time gaining equal footing with heterosexuals in the family arena. “Discrimination against gays is pervasive in the family law environment where judges and agencies have extensive discretion,” say proponents of same-sex adoption. Lesbians and gay men who want to raise children regularly face discrimination and misunderstandings about their sexual orientation, which “turn courts, lawmakers, experts, and the public against them, usually leading in undesirable consequences such as physical custody loss.”

Human rights are based on the assumption that all people are equal. As a result, all persons possess dignity and should be treated equally. Anything that diminishes its dignity is a violation, as it goes against the concept of equality and allows prejudice to flourish. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people’s human rights are gaining momentum across the world, with significant progress being made in several countries in recent years, including the introduction of new legislative safeguards. Legal protection should include equal protection under the law for job opportunities, marriage, and adoption, putting the LGBT population on level with heterosexuals.


Issue with section 377

  • Is Section 377 of the IPC a violation of Article 14 of the Constitution’s Right to Equality?
  • Is Section 377 of the IPC a violation of Article 19 of the Constitution’s guarantee of freedom of speech and expression?
  • Is Section 377 of the IPC a violation of Article 21 of the Constitution’s right to life with dignity?
  • Is it a violation of Article 15 of the Constitution to discriminate based on sexual orientation under Section 377 of the IPC?
  • Was the Supreme Court’s judgment in the Suresh Kumar Koushal[viii] case reasonable in terms of defining morality as social morality?

To arrive on the conclusion of the case the bench also referred to judgments in NALSA v Union of India[ix] (recognized transgender identity) and Justice K.S. Puttaswamy v Union of India[x] (recognized fundamental right to privacy).



A person’s ability to choose a mate should not be limited by his or her sexual orientation. It denies them not just their basic fundamental rights to equality and privacy, but also their right to live in dignity, which is contained in the right to life and liberty. In India, those who are born outside of the two primary genders are shunned and rejected on the grounds that they are of a third gender. In order to provide a better living environment for the LGBT community, the Indian government’s Home Department must take the lead and collaborate with state governments in sensitising law enforcement agencies and involving all stakeholders in identifying and implementing measures to achieve the constitutional goal of social justice and the rule of law. There are no laws protecting homosexuals and lesbians from job discrimination or allowing them to marry their preferred partner.

The rising gay and lesbian movement provides not only new identities, but also new possibilities for societal change. Despite its small size, the movement rejects both the monolith and the mass. It serves as a reminder that if forced conformity is to be resisted, human lives must be represented as varied; selfhood as numerous; and communities as voluntary and diverse. A new definition of political pluralism would be one that assesses a society not only on the number of organizations it accepts, but also on the number of identities it permits people to adopt. There are still areas in India where people haven’t heard of the LGBT movement and believe that gays and transgender individuals should be shunned from society. The Researcher, on the other hand, believes that India can only be declared free when society no longer discriminates against those who are homosexual, gay, bisexual, transgender, cisgender, or straight.

[i] The Indian Penal Code, 1860, S. 377.
[ii] The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, (Sep. 08, 2016).
[iii] Id. at 1
[iv]  Navtej Singh Johar v. Union of India, (2018) 10 SCC 1.
[v] Indian constitution. Art.14: Equality before law
[vi] Indian constitution. Art.15: Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth
[vii] Indian Constitution. Art.21: Right to Life and Personal Liberty
[viii] Suresh Kumar Koushal and Anr. v. Naz Foundation and Ors., (2014) 1 SCC 1.
[ix] National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India and others,  AIR 2014 SC 1863
[x] Justice K S Puttaswamy and Anr v. Union of India and Ors [Writ Petition (Civil) No. 494 of 2012]




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