Rainbow colored balloons in the sky

Delhi Pride Parade: Where I found my family

Participating in Delhi Pride Parade was among the rare moments in my life where I did not feel like an outcast or was not left behind, writes Piyush Sanwaria

I am Piyush Sanwaria, a trans, non-binary person volunteering with Restless Development India in the implementation of a programme focused on family planning and SRH.

As a volunteer, many activities and events I’ve worked on have brought a beautiful sense of community and friendship into my life. However, it was when I visited the Delhi Pride Parade on January 8 for the first time, that I felt truly seen, loved and belonged in ways I have never before. 

While I wanted to join the pride march long before, the pandemic deferred my plan.

Joining the pride parade was a decision that at once came easily to me, yet was something I had to arrive at after careful consideration. 

Two years later when I could finally participate in the pride parade, I instantly knew that this was the right thing to do. I saw that it was not just me, but every queer person present at the Delhi Pride Parade was excited about reconnecting in-person after a gap of two years. 

Of course, I had to put my best fashion foot forward while I was at it.

Piyush all ready to attend the Delhi Pride Parade.

Since I am fond of experimenting with make-up, I put on my favourite lipstick, a pearl neckpiece that has been turning many heads, a yellow blazer and styled my hair straight. 

I knew I looked good and I was happy about it. I am grateful to my mother who has been by my side all through my journey of identifying and coming out as a queer person. In fact, she was the one who helped me pick my outfit for the day. 

Although I got late by an hour, I still managed to get to be a part of it. It came as a beautiful surprise to me to see so many queer people at the same place, sharing a common moment of joy and laughter and expressing their true selves without the fear of being judged. In a day and time when the expression of queer identities continues to be stigmatised, this celebration made me joyful. 

Moreover, one glance across the crowd was all that was needed to see that love was in the air!

People dressed up in beautiful, bright colours and expressed so much love towards each other while they danced, sang, sloganeered and hugged each other. There was a person on the stage translating everything into sign language for participants who are people with disabilities. This reassured me that the pride march had the cause of intersectionality at its core. 

People I didn’t know came to me, engaging with so much kindness and candour. I felt instantly loved and belonged. I felt like I had found my family. 

This was among the rare moments in my life wherein I did not feel like an outcast or was not left behind. The pride flag hovered over our heads as we walked and I felt blessed to be a part of this community. 

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Delhi Pride Parade: Where I found my family

by Piyush Sanwaria Reading time: 2 min