Please dump your prejudices: Allies turn up with kids to support Hyderabad’s Queer Carnival

The carnival was a riot of colours, but while not everyone was happy to see so many LGBTQ+ folks out in huge numbers.
Please dump your prejudices: Allies turn up with kids to support Hyderabad’s Queer Carnival
Please dump your prejudices: Allies turn up with kids to support Hyderabad’s Queer Carnival
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Colourful flags were set outside Lamakaan, at Banjara Hills in Hyderabad on Sunday, with a sign board at the entrance: “Please dump your prejudices biases and stereotypes here.”

The third edition of the Queer Carnival held in Hyderabad saw hundreds of LGBTQ+ folks turn up to celebrate rainbow pride with their families. And this time around, there were also several allies who turned up with their children.

“This year the I can see more than 400 people in the carnival. Compared to last year, there are more people who do not belong to the LGBTQ+ community. I can see a lot of families here,” says Abhishek, one of the organisers of the carnival.

And was the carnival packed!

On the left side of the open space in Lamakaan, several people were enjoying various shows on the decorated stage. Others meanwhile were busy socialising and clicking selfies.

The colourful flea market stalls selling handmade items were popular among the visitors, and so was the art exhibition.

“This carnival is important for us, this our way of showing who we are. Here we enjoy the cultural programmes and discuss various issues impacting the community members. But mainly, the occasion is a way to celebrate equality in the society,” said Madhav, an active member of the queer community of Hyderabad.

“I brought my daughter here, so that she becomes comfortable with the community,” said Sasi Challa, one of the visitors.

“My son is 16 years old and my daughter is 13. I’ve talked to them about different kinds of issues, including LGBTQ+ rights, gender equality, religion and caste. I have always given them the freedom to choose what they want. I’ve never told my daughter that since she’s a girl, she should play with barbies or behave in a certain way. When my son was young he had a kitchen set as well as bat, they play everything together,” she said.

While Sasi, celebrates the event for the art and support the cause, Aadithyan Mohan has his own reasons to support.

“My wife is bisexual, and she is amazing. I have always supported this cause, but now that I know that my wife is the B of LGBTQ, I have become even more supportive,” he said.

Aadhithyan explains that while his wife’s family initially did not support her when she came out to them a year ago, they did not have a choice but to accept her in the end.

“I feel the carnival is about spreading awareness about the community and to celebrate equality. However, I would like to see some more participation from the lesbian community and the hijra community as well. It could have been little more inclusive,” he added.

Anita who is a resident of Kolkata, recently shifted to Hyderabad with her 7-year-old son. “I came here to support by brother. He is gay,” she said.

Aditya, Anita’s brother said that initially things were tense in the family when he spoke about him being gay, however, he said he is happy that his sister and nephew were a part of his important day.

“They just made my day. This day is very important for me, and I love them for supporting me wholeheartedly,” he added.

However, even as the carnival was on, not everyone was happy.

Madhav, one of the organisers, said, “The people in the neighbourhood called the police, saying there are some “strange people” in Lamakaan. Police asked us not to make too much noise. This happened in the evening. It’s really painful to hear we are described as “strange” people.”

“We are celebrating the day to spread awareness and this incident has made me re-think about whether people will ever change their perception about us. Someday we will become “people” from “strange people”, I’m looking forward for that day,” Madhav said.

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