Gangtok, Jan 3
Rainbow Hills Association [RHA] has announced to organise the first-ever Queer Pride Parade in the State end of this month. RHA in association with Darjeeling-based Miitjyu Society is taking out Queer Pride Parade for the first time in Sikkim on 27 January in the capital.
RHA is a recently formed Gangtok-based organisation working for the welfare of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning and Intersex [LGBTQI] community and campaigning for their equality and acceptance in the society.
This was announced in a press conference here today, which was addressed by RHA co-founder, Tshering Wangchuk Lepcha, Miitjyu Society, Darjeeling founder Lakpa Tamang and a Sikkim University research scholar, Lhamu Dukpa, who is doing research on Transgender.
Addressing the press conference, Mr Lepcha mentioned that the first-ever Queer Pride Parade will be taken out on 27 January in the capital. He added that the parade was scheduled to be taken out from Deorali and will conclude at Titanic Park or Paljor Stadium depends upon the permission from the authority. He mentioned that the main objective of the parade was to create mass awareness among the people to equally treat and accept LGBTQI members like others in the society and to remove related stigma.
Mr Lepcha mentioned that another objective of the event was to protest and condemn the Transgender Bill 2018. He added that the parade will also have the participation of LGBTQI community members from Darjeeling and Siliguri and their supporters. “We would like to request every individual and organisations of Sikkim to come forward to support their rights and welfare of LGBTQI community of Sikkim with their participation in the first ever Queer Pride Parade in Sikkim,” he urged.
Mr Tamang informed that Miitjyu Society has taken out the first Queer Pride Parade on the occasion of the Human Rights Day 2018 on 10 December at Darjeeling and received the tremendous support from all sections of the society. He added that the parade was successful in giving the clear message to the society that LGBTQI was also part of the society and to accept them equally.
Likewise, Ms Dukpa mentioned that the queer pride parade for the first time in Sikkim will have a series of musical and other awareness events to give message to the society to clear the stigma related to LGBTQI community. She added that the event will also protest and condemn the Transgender Bill 2018. She stated that the bill was the violation of NALSA verdict and breaches the valuable judgment of the Apex Court. He mentioned that there were lots of loopholes in the bill. On the same, Ms Dukpa stressed that it should be the personal choice of an individual and the third party cannot decide or identify the gender.
Responding to media queries, Mr Tamang mentioned that there were lots of LGBTQI in the State but have not been coming openly due to fear of the society and pressure from the family despite of door-to-door motivation. He mentioned that following the pressure many of them have been working outside the State and some have been gone in depression.
He mentioned that the recently formed RHA has been working as a bridge discrepancy between the LGBTQI and the society by creating awareness and working for the welfare of the community.