Around 300 Nagpur youngsters extended their wholehearted support to city’s LGBT community at the Pride Carnival organised by city NGO Sarathi Trust on June 30, the last day of Pride Month, at Vishnuji Ki Rasoi, Bajaj Nagar. Sarathi was supported by Dark Room Poets and several other groups in organising the event, which was all about different stalls, musical performances, poetry recitations, life stories and confessions.
Interestingly, the Pride Carnival in Nagpur, was the brain child of city youngster Madhura Sonegaonkar, who in spite of not being a part of the LGBT community, put her heart and soul in organising the event. Speaking to Nation Next, Madhura said, “The month of June is celebrated worldwide as the Pride Month. This year, a lot of countries, celebrated pride month with the theme of straight people standing up for the LGBT rights. Even I really wanted to do my bit for the LGBT community in Nagpur as I know a lot of people who are either closeted or confused about their sexuality. Plus, the atmosphere in Nagpur is not really good for the community. With Pride Carnival, I wanted to celebrate the community for its existence and glory.” Madhura, as expected, faced some bizarre questions herself while promoting the event. “A lot of people asked me whether I was from the community and I told them that I don’t have to be part of the community to do something for the community,” said Madhura.
Among those who came to support the community, two girls and three boys opened up about their sexuality and acknowledged being gay. It was really sweet to see a young girl taking to the stage, playing her guitar, singing her favourite song and dedicating her performance to her girlfriend present in the audience. The poetry recitations by Dark Room Poets, were mostly about the issues faced by the LGBT community.
Speaking about the support, which the community received from city youngsters, an overwhelmed Anand Chandrani, from Sarathi Trust, said, “We always organise pride marches for the community but during the Pride Month, we wanted to organise an event comprising the community and straight youngsters. The idea was to have a fun time and spread awareness in the process. Also, we wanted to know what youngsters think about the community. It’s great to see that while only 35 people from the community are present here, more than 300 youngsters who are straight have joined us and extended their support. We have been fighting for the rights of the community for over a decade now. Today, we are happy to realize that the young generation is with us in our fight!”