Under a 10-meter-long ‘Rainbow Pride Flag’ stood every single person who had come out or were still explorating their sexual orientation and identity. It was all about being proud of who you are and what you identify as. Blaring from the speakers was Lady Gaga’s ‘Born this way’—a perfect soundtrack for the occasion.
Rukshana Kapali, she/her, pansexual, transwoman
The mass was gathered at Kathmandu’s Maitighar on Saturday (June 11) to celebrate the Pride Parade, a celebration of queer people and their community. As the crowd moved towards New Baneshwor, I and photographer Pratik Rayamajhi followed this colorful procession, talking to many of the parade participants.
We talked to the individuals representing the many colors in the queer spectrum: gay, lesbian, non-binary, bisexual, pansexual, gender fluid, among many others.
Participants painting their faces before the parade
Some had come wrapped-up with the flag representing their sexuality, some had their face painted with the color to announce their identity, while many sported rainbow-coloured socks.
Not everyone in the crowd belonged to the queer community though. Numerous participants were cis-gender people who had come to show their solidarity with the queer community.
SJ, she/her, non-binary
The parade’s key takeaway was love and acceptance. There was no groupism, no discrimination. Everyone at the parade was a member of one big family. And like any family, each member had their own unique characteristic and was loved for it. There was acceptance, appreciation, and happiness, which after all is what the Pride Parade is all about.
Saddu (left), he/she/they, unlabeled and Apsara, she/her, pansexual
We met many individuals, talked to them, and captured their proud and jubilant mood. ‘Happy Pride! Happy Pride!’ we chanted to exchange greetings to mark the day. The parade came to a halt at New Baneshwor and everyone sat down. It was time for celebrating the queer identity and for expressing love for one and all present. There were dance performances and recitals of prose and poetry. There were tears of sadness and tears of joy. There were moments of melancholy and moments of mirth.