The Rainbow Heart campaign was created with a firm belief in the power of telling our stories: stories of acceptance of our queer identity – by ourselves or by others. The first edition of this compilation has eight heartwarming stories: ‘Marching for Pride’, by Shrushti Mane, is the fourth story in this series.
I started a social media page @lgbtmumbai on Instagram almost two years ago. In the beginning, for a few months I posted anonymously because I was scared of my sexual identity being known to all. After a point though, I realized what real violence was- the violence we inflict on ourselves when we’re too afraid to accept who we really are and try to cover up our souls to live up to the flawed expectations of this bigoted, oppressive society. I was told by some people around me that there was something really wrong with me. Something I should avoid or maybe even pity, something that I would never feel pure about, something I shouldn’t acknowledge, something I should stay away from. I was afraid to be a part of last year’s Pride Parade in Bombay. I wanted to be a part of it real bad. On 03.02.2018, I marched for that part of me that was too afraid to march for years. And for all the lads who can’t march, to the people today living lives like I did- I marched to acknowledge that I was not just marching for myself but also for them! I marched with Pride. For love is not something we should cover up, something we set or control. Love is like Art, a force that comes into our lives without any rules, expectations or limitations and must always be set free. Today, I am enormously proud of myself and proud of every individual who loves themselves and is comfortable in their skin even if they do not like it. And yes, Section 377 should’ve been f**king eradicated years ago!
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