Rainbow Carnival: Why India should accept LGBT community

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Delhi Queer Pride Parade
Kolkata, Dec 10: It was a colourful gathering of LGBT community at The Rainbow Carnival in Kolkata on Sunday, Dec 9. The festival celebrated diverse gender-sexual identities. LGBT collectively refers to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

The event was organised by Sappho for Equality, with several LGBT groups from around the city participating. The event was observed on the eve of Human Rights Day.

Sappho for Equality co-founder Akanksha said, "We devised the carnival to create a space for everybody to take part in this celebration of sexualities and it has really happened."

"The LGBT scene is much stronger in Kolkata than in Bangalore," she said. "There is a strong feminist movement here. In Bangalore, the LGBT community is seen through the lens of health and HIV prevention rather than LGBT rights."

The carnival is one of a growing number of LGBT events in Kolkata. "We are breaking the myth," said Mou from the make-up company Studio 84. "There is much more acceptance in Kolkata than in other areas of India," she said.

Homosexual intercourse was a criminal offence until 2009 under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code 1860. This law was struck down by the 2009 Delhi High Court decision Naz Foundation v. Govt. of NCT of Delhi, which found Section 377 and other legal prohibitions against same-sex conduct to be in direct violation of fundamental rights provided by the Indian Constitution.

Rainbow Carnival: I am proud of my identity!

A Member of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community participates in 'The Rainbow Carnival' in Kolkata on Sunday.

Hear our voice!

Members of LGBT community indulge in some fun-filled activities at the Rainbow Carnival in Kolkata on Sunday.

In Bangalore, LGBT members assert their rights

LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community people during a Bangalore pride and Karnataka Queer Habba 2012 rally in Bengaluru on Sunday.

We believe in diversity

LGBT members turn Bangalore colourful.

Colour me Rainbow

LGBT members colour their faces to celebrate the carnival in Kolkata.

We are the kings and queens of hearts

LGBT members enjoying at the Rainbow Carnival in Kolkata.

A perfect pose

A Member of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) pose for photo as he participate at Delhi Queer Pride parade in New Delhi on Sunday.

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