Out of the closet and straight into these LGBTQ friendly destinations! The recent Supreme Court ruling decriminalising Section 377 has brought about good cheer for the community.
Queer film festivals, pride parades, special tour operators and the ever growing members of the LGBTQ community are indicators that Indians are getting to be quite accepting of this alternative lifestyle.
Not only can LGBTQs now shun the fear of the law, they can also feel liberated by enjoying a stay in any of these cities, which are highly tolerant and friendly towards members of the community.
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Reference source: www.holidify.com
Mumbai, as a city, is extremely supportive of the LGBT cause. The Mumbai Queer Film Festival is one such example of the city’s solidarity. Dedicated to screening gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer films, it brings together the audience and the makers to help create social change. The 6th KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival held from May 27th – 31st, 2015 was officially South Asia’s biggest LGBT film festival. Every year, ‘Pride Parade’ or ‘Queer Azaadi March’ used to be held in the city to protest the now-defunct Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, 1890.
When it comes to LGBT rights, Delhi took the first step in ensuring that millions of voices are heard. First held in November 2007, the ‘Queer Pride Parade’ in Delhi is a yearly procession to honor and celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and their supporters. The parade usually starts from Barakhamba Road-Tolstoy Marg to Jantar Mantar.
Agra, conveniently located near Delhi, is one of the top places for any romantic couple, thanks to the Taj Mahal. It has also been acknowledged as the most popular LGBT-friendly destination in India.
When it comes to LGBT rights, Jaipur is slowly but surely making its voice heard. The city’s first ever ‘Pride Parade’ was held this year on March 1.
Bound by two of the world’s mightiest mountain ranges, the Great Himalayas and the Karakoram, Ladakh is mystical in all the spheres it encompasses, from nature, geography and sceneries to the modest cultures it fosters. Attractive and customized packages are available for LGBT travellers.
The culture of Chennai is diverse with respect to socio-economic class, gender, and degree of visibility and politicisation. The Chennai International Queer Film Festival (also referred to as ‘Reel Desires’) started in 2004 and includes panel discussions on the theme of LGBTQI inclusion, interfaces with film makers, photography/art exhibits and other performances. Tamil Nadu was the first state in India to recognise transgender rights. Chennai also witnesses annual pride parades every June under the banner of the ‘Tamil Nadu Rainbow Collation’.
Pune has a growing LGBT community. Quite a few institutes have support clubs for the LGBT youth. Pune’s first ever pride parade was held in 2011. Although low on participants, it succeeded in propagating the message of equality across the city and, since then, the support in Pune for the LGBT community has swelled.
Due to the advent of IT, Bangalore has an openness towards the LGBT community that isn’t seen in any other city in India. An LGBT-friendly work environment makes this city a safe haven for anyone looking for support or companionship. The first ever lesbian ‘Dykes on Bikes’ procession took place during the Bangalore Pride of 2013. The city also boasts an annual film festival as well, called the Bangalore Queer Film Festival. Since its inception in 2008, the festival has celebrated cinema on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex (LGBTI) and other sexual and gender minorities in India.
Goa has a booming business in gay tourism, a number of gay friendly clubs and beaches, and an overall attitude of openness not often seen in other states. It is one of India’s friendliest LGBT destinations. Privately organized tea-dances, hang-outs and open-air parties at Arambol , Vagator and Palolem are the major attractions for LGBTQ tourists.
When it comes to the LGBT community, Kolkata is one of the most forward thinking cities of India. When the Indian Supreme Court re-criminalised homosexuality, hundreds took to the streets to participate in the Kolkata Rainbow Pride Walk in 2014. Kolkata also claims to host India’s oldest LGBT Film & Video Festival every year. Launched in 2007 as an annual cultural event in the city, the festival screens diverse films and videos covering different genres and aspects.