india has progressed a miles when it comes to acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community, especially after the Supreme Court struck down the archaic Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code in 2018. Even though we still have a long way to go when it comes to dealing with stereotypes and discrimination in public spaces, the Indian society by and large has slowly begun to change its attitude towards the LGBTQ+ community.
having the same rights as any heterosexual couple means that everyone, no matter who you are, has the authority to love whoever they want to and has the authority to hold their hands and express that love without fear of retaliation and humiliation. here are some Indian cities that have taken the mantle in proving that they treat all equally:
while hosting one of the largest pride parades in the country, the capital of India, New Delhi, is also known for its proud portrayal of love. it is, in fact, home to quite a few gay cafes, a gay guesthouse and even a spa specifically for gay men. So, if you are planning to spend some time with your partner in Delhi, you can be rest assured you will be welcomed appropriately.
A city that straddles the ever-evolving movie industry, the LGBTQ+ friendly tag should not come as a surprise. even though the city does not boast as many gay bars and venues, it does wholeheartedly welcome all kinds of sexualities in its multicultural midst. the pride march that has been taking place since 2005, long before any Supreme Court judgement, has numerous cultural events like comedy nights and poetry slam for the LGBTQ+ community and hosts many bar and movie nights conducive for queer meetups. also, don’t forget to attend ‘The Mumbai Queer Film Festival” if you are visiting Mumbai this month.
Another city that opens its arms to all kinds of tourists and visitors. Goa proudly hosts many gay-friendly guesthouses and beaches. it is also pronounced as the most LGBTA+ friendly destination in the country as the locals are known for their warmth above all else.
how can we forget the emerging and constantly developing IT city, Bengaluru? the rapid development and the quickly achieved metropolitan status has opened up the city to vast cultures and communities. pride parades have become a regular feature of this city. the city also organises the ‘Bangalore Queer Festival’ and many bookstores organise slam poetry and workshops regularly. One of the most famous festivals in the city is organised by the Goethe-Institut, known as the Gender Bender Festival, which hosts seminars and plays aiming to create more awareness about the LGBTQ+ community.
seen as one of the most progressive cities from colonial times, Kolkata cannot be far behind when it comes to breaking stereotypes and accepting all kinds of cultures and identities. it is home to one of the oldest pride walks in India and claimed to be one of the oldest in South Asia. a famous gay-friendly bar known as amra odbhuth, brings different queer and trans voices to perform and celebrate the expression of love.
here were a few LGBTQ+ friendly destinations in India. Like we said, there is a still a long way to go where comes a time when no one has to look for specific bars and guesthouses that are queer-friendly. this is a start, and a start should be celebrated.
tell us what you think about these places? should there be more cities opening up accepting love in all forms? let us know your thoughts by writing to us on Instagram @liveaastey.
until next time, happy pride!