It’s hard sometimes to not be deflated by the seemingly endless crackdowns and persecutions of members of the LGBT community.
But in spite of some of the most harrowing and frustrating stories that make their way into the news, there are stories like Goa that remind us of the progressions in the queer community that are being made around the world.
The Indian coastal state saw the launch of the first ever Goa Pride celebrations.
Named the Rainbow Pride Walk 2017, a group of LGBT activists gathered in the state’s capital of Panaji to raise awareness of LGBT issues.
“We hope this walk will get rid of homophobia in some way,” event organizer Alexander Fernandes told It’s Goa. “We want people to know that we are not harmful or ‘bad people.’ We deserve respect like anyone else, and that we too have human rights.”
“We have a large LGBT community in Goa, but most prefer to stay under the scanner since it’s a very small place and everyone knows each other,” added organizer Diana Dias. “However, we are trying to create more awareness now.”
Even though other states in India have organised Pride celebrations, this has been Goa’s first celebration.
Goa is a coastal region area in India, where sexual activity between people of the same gender is illegal.
As well as this, same-sex couples legally cannot marry or obtain a civil partnership.
However, an overwhelming majority of the Indian population supports the decriminalization of gay sex.