India: Gujarat celebrates first Pride

More than 100 people turned out for the parade, many wearing masks and scarves to hide their faces

More than 100 LGBT people and their allies danced and walked through the streets of Surat in the state of Gujarat, India, in celebration of Gujarat’s first Pride, The Daily Telegraph reports.

Parade organizers say it took a long time to obtain permission to stage the event.

In a video report, BBC reporter Neha Bhatnagar says the participants, including employees of multinational corporations, graduate students and TV actors, walked under police protection, covering a two-kilometre route.

Just last month, India saw the launch of what is being hailed as the first-ever LGBT radio station, aimed at creating “awareness and acceptance of alternate sexualities.”

The programming and operations manager of Qradio, an online station meant to bring the LGBT community and its issues into the mainstream, has said the focus of the content will be on documentaries, Pink News reports. Programming is now in English and Hindi, with plans in the works to introduce other regional languages, the report says.

Natasha Barsotti is originally from Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean. She had high aspirations of representing her country in Olympic Games sprint events, but after a while the firing of the starting gun proved too much for her nerves. So she went off to university instead. Her first professional love has always been journalism. After pursuing a Master of Journalism at UBC , she began freelancing at Xtra West — now Xtra Vancouver — in 2006, becoming a full-time reporter there in 2008.

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