Pride Walk by QSY is here to tell, there’s never been a better time to fall in love

The driving force behind pride remains unbroken
Accessories themed around pride
Accessories themed around pride

Pride parades might not look the same as they did at the beginning, but much of the motivation behind them remains the same. Self-compassion acknowledged amid setbacks, the intersection of Valentine’s Day and Pride slice through glooms. Decisions wrench, misunderstandings weave relationships, and soulful kisses mark denouements. Happy endings earned through struggle declare self-love and genuineness. “Pride for years have been under the covers.

We haven’t been able to put ourselves out there and walk to show the acceptance that we are here. The walk hopes to be an inclusion — of people united by a single identity. It’s not a Western idea but is quite inherent in our culture, ” says Gayathry R, ahead of the queer carnival hosted by the Queer Swabhimana Yatra (QSY), aka Hyderabad Pride Walk.

This time too, the walk will include queer people and allies from across Telangana, bring them to Hyderabad, and be a part of the carnival. Akkineni Amala is set to grace the event, featuring stalls, games, performances, and a book launch. Similarly, the occasion extends a warm invitation to queer entrepreneurs, authors, and performers to showcase their pride and share their experiences as part of the queer community in a space that is inclusive, safe, and easily accessible.

“Carnival has always been a festival before the Pride walk and this year it is even more important especially when queer individuals are deprived of their rights with constant abuse of power,” begins drag queen, Patruni Chidananda Sastry, aka SAS. Looking forward to their 5th performance at the carnival, Sastry trusts that a carnival is where the queer comes to address their existence as a group. Sastry adds, “Hyderabad’s pride is always unique as it’s non-corporatised and gives equal opportunities to everyone. This year is going to be special as we will be celebrating love just a few days before Valentine’s Day.”

Despite counterarguments questioning the way the queer usually dress up, including the day they celebrate love — when dressing up ‘unusually’ matters most, pride has always been political and protest — parade-goers donning rainbow tutus, feather boas, body glitter and other colourful makeup, in itself is a diversion from what society expects one to be and an inclination towards what one expects them to be for the society. “It is liberating for us. A lot of people including myself do not have the courage to dress up however we want and say whatever we want to in public. If it’s with other chosen queer families, it becomes easier to feel safe. Pride is a lot about that,” adds artiste and singer, Seashore.

The queer community isn’t obligated to respond to the curious questions of individuals harbouring cisgender privilege. Seashore says that the event will be a beautiful one in which a cis-het person recalls their unsolicited interest. “It makes me feel like I am with people who understand me,” Suparna Vontair, who runs their band Suppi & The Vibe, is happier to be a part of this celebration than regular gigs around the city. Throwing back to 2019 in March when they first attended a Pride walk, Supar na learned how needed it was — walking as a queer person without any fear, bar and regulations. “You can just be yourself. Pride events including the walks need to happen until we feel that we are looked at as equals.”

Free entry. February 10. 3:30 pm to 8 pm. At SVK, Gachibowli. —  chokita@newindianexpress. com @PaulChokita

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