Coimbatore: To commemorate the Pride Month, members of the LGBTQIA+ community marched on the Race Course Road under the collective banner ‘Kovai Vaanavil Kootamaippu’ (KVK) on Sunday.
Organizations like Sahodari Foundation, Nirangal, Magizhvan Vaanam, PSG Queer Collective, SIAAP, and Rainbow United came together to bring visibility to the LGBTQIA+ community and celebrate their rights in the district.
Gays, lesbians, transgenders, intersex people, their families, and allies participated in the pride march. Slogans on placards like “We are here, we are queer” and “Trans need horizontal reservations” were seen throughout the parade.
Many in the parade said the intention was to show that pride is about eliminating the fear and stigma attached to the community, increasing visibility for better acceptance among people, raising awareness among parents to not abandon or send their children to ‘treatment centres’, and showing people that there are educational, career, and business opportunities available instead of illegal livelihood choices.
“The push for a 2% horizontal reservation for transpersons in jobs in the government sector and educational institutions was among the primary focuses this year,” said Kalki Subramaniam, a transgender rights activist.
“We demand LGBTQIA+ inclusive curriculum at schools, colleges, and universities, protection for queer students through anti-discrimination laws, laws penalizing family exclusion and conversion therapy, and marriage and adoption rights for the queer community,” she added.
She mentioned that the first pride march was held in 2010 in Coimbatore by the Sahodari Foundation, where just five transgender people participated. Fourteen years later, on Sunday, many LGBTQIA+ community members participated and celebrated their gender identities and sexual orientations.
The members of KVK urged the government to establish shelter homes to protect LGBTQIA+ individuals during crisis situations. They also sought LGBTQIA+ inclusive sex education classes and necessary support services for queer students studying in educational institutions.

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