26 june 2011

today was the chennai rainbow pride march, a march to promote equality for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders. currently, legal recognition of homosexual relationships is prohibited, and – if the signs at the march are to be believed – some homosexuals are victims of police violence, extortion, and even attempted “cures” involving electro-shock therapy. a group from the u.s. consulate (including abby and me) marched under the “gays and lesbians in foreign affairs agencies” banner, and even cooper got into the act.  it was quite the spectacle – a little campy at times, but also festive.


unfortunately for the cause of raising glbt visibility, after the first 100 yards or so, the crowd vanished, almost as if the police (who were escorting the marchers) had cleared the beach of spectators in advance. also sadly, many of the march participants felt the need to wear masks despite the march’s theme of gay pride: while they made the masks look festive, many gays aren’t out to their friends or family, and they didn’t want to be recognizable in the photos or television footage.