Tag Archives: Pride Parade

Pride Parade 2010 (part 2 of 2): South Asians Are NOT Gay

An edited version was published on 9th July on the SouthAsianParent.Com website.

This year’s attendance on my part at the Pride Parade was a revelation in more ways than one. Don’t get me wrong. I have many friends who are allies and whom I support wholeheartedly. But despite being in Canada for six years, somehow, I always ended up being out of town during the Pride Week. This year, though, I made it a point to keep this particular weekend free specifically for the parade.

The parade itself had few South Asians marching with different organizations. For example, there was a South Asian female cop marching with other cops, and a South Asian volunteer from Alliance for South Asian Aids Prevention (ASAAP) who was marching on behalf of the “Free Speech” group. And, even though there were groups representing different ethnic communities, I failed to see even one group marching on behalf of South Asians. This was something I had noticed at the Dyke march a day ago as well, where women from different ethnicities were marching proudly on the behalf of the queer women of their communities, be it Hispanic or Asian, among others. Except South Asians. I wonder whether this exclusion of South Asians of themselves from their community is deliberate or accidental, and whether it is exclusive to Toronto.

This evening I had a conversation with my dad. He stands by his “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. He knows what I do. Who I hang out with. And, what I believe in. Occasionally I try to make him see that being queer is ok. It’s NOT a deviation of the mind, or non-existent, as many South Asians would like to believe. In fact, wasn’t homosexuality an accepted practice in ancient India, before the British took over and slammed the Sodomy law onto us? If we didn’t make homosexuality abnormal, it would not be such a taboo. Can we atleast promise to learn and educate ourselves?

These are arguments I use. Sometimes, I win. But I think till we change our attitudes, the South Asian representation will always be little to non-existent, as those who need the courage the most, will keep away in fear of being kept out.

Photographs: Copyright Sanchari Sur

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Pride Parade 2010 (part 1 of 2): When Over Enthusiasm Turns Sour

I was a Pride Week virgin. Until last Sunday when I attended the Pride Parade held in downtown Toronto. The parade was over-the-top, guileless, harmless, unadulterated, pure fun! But what happens when we get an over enthusiastic crowd who fail to draw the line at their exuberance?

 

 

Yes, we get a car with broken glass

The Culprits

The Culprits

See those happy attendees on the top of the building with water guns

A closer look

A closer look

In their enthusiasm to throw water on the parade (which was a welcome relief for many who were sweating in the sweltering heat), they turned from using buckets of water and waterguns to water balloons. 

Now imagine a water balloon being thrown from a building of that height. Make a rough estimate of the velocity of the moving water balloon and the impact it would make on its contact with the glass of the car. Now, I am not very good at physics, but evidently it is bound to do some damage. Unfortunately, I didn’t think to click the driver whose face turned ten shades of red in the span of a few seconds. I am sure the heat was not solely responsible for it.

Another over enthusiastic attendee held up the Pride Parade by a few minutes by his antics. Hiding his face behind a one way visor and brandishing a huge “polite” sign, he got within the barricades and hopped his way around in a bid to attract attention of the crowd and media alike.

Impolite Intruder

Impolite Intruder

Many, like me, believed he was a part of the parade till the security got a hold of him. 

Where will you go now?

Where will you go now?

Blocked Exits

Blocked Exits

Caught!

Caught!

Being close to the action, I managed to capture these highly exciting moments before he was ushered out into the crowd. 

After having his face revealed for all to see and curse.

Revealed!

Revealed!

Being yelled at: Feels good, doesn't it?

Being yelled at: Feels good, doesn't it?

Photographs: Copyright Sanchari Sur

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