The Gomti Riverfront was coloured rainbow when the members of Awadh Queer Committee broke into a flash mob on Saturday evening. The whole atmosphere got charged as some of the people of the crowd started dancing all of a sudden.needless to say the on-lookers were both a little confused and completely exhilarated.
The event was organized to celebrate the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT). It was an initiative of Awadh Queer Committee in collaboration with the Humsafar Trust of Mumbai.
IDAHOT is an extremely special day for the members of the queer community as on this very day World Health Organisation (WHO) declassified Homosexuality as a mental illness. So, every year on May 17th different organizations hold events to raise awareness on the issue of homosexuality. It becomes extremely important to organize such events as they not only help erase the stigma attached to the topic of homosexuality but also gives the crowd a closer look on the lives of homosexuals. It helps establish and maintain the idea that homosexuals are just like everyone else, and their sexual preference cannot be used as a tool to discriminate against them.
The Awadh Queer Committee has been the trailblazer of the queer movement in Lucknow, as just last month it gave the city it’s first ever Pride Parade and now it organized the flash mob. A proud Darvesh Singh Yadavendra, the key organizer of the event says, “IDAHOT is commemorated each year on May 17. On this date the World Health Organisation officially declassified homosexuality as a mental illness. IDAHOT is used as an opportunity to raise awareness and remember the harm that homophobia, transphobia and biphobia can cause to individuals. So in this anniversary week, we thought of organizing this flash mob to create awareness.”
He further added, ” The Awadh Queer Committee has been the torch-bearer of the Queer Movement in Lucknow by organizing the first Pride Parade in the city last month. Our efforts were greatly appreciated by other social activists.”
The mob danced on a number of English and Bollywood songs but the one song that received maximum applause from the enormous crowds was “Maa Da Ladla” and rightly so! As the dance gained momentum several community members joined in on the fun. But the actual cherry on top was when even the by standers joined the dancing. The mob successfully attracted a massive crowd and even on the late hours of the evening, the Gomti Riverfront was beaming!
People were surprised at the fact that such an event was not only organized but managed to be such a rager in a place like Lucknow. “I am surprised to see such an event happening in a city like Lucknow. I am here with my boyfriend and see I am now dancing with these guys who are fighting for their rights in a unique way,” said Apoorva, a collegian.
In the end, Lucknow is proving to be better than anyone of us ever expected it to be. A place where everyone is accepted for who they are! A place where there is no stigma attached to people who have a different sexual preference and a place where everyone can live together as a single happy community.