Pune kicked off this year's Pride Month in India with its ninth Pride Parade on 2 June. The second city in Maharashtra to have its own March (after Mumbai), Pune's 2019 Parade saw a footfall of 500-600 people. A married Indian couple, Sameer Samudra and Amit Gokhale, was part of the march — among the first in India, where marriages between queer people are not yet recognised.

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Commencing at Sambhaji Park, the Parade circled through the commercial markets at JM Road, FC road and Shirole Road, ending at Sambhaji Park.

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Pride Parades held after the Supreme Court’s historical decision in 2018, to strike down parts of Section 377, have seen a massive increase in attendance. The Indradhanu Pride Parade, as it is officially called, was no different; roaring slogans about inclusivity, gratitude towards the Supreme Court, and considerably fewer covered faces defined the event.

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In keeping with tradition, some attendees showed up in outfits encouraging conversations about inclusivity, while others kept it simple. [Above] A participant poses for a portrait with his beloved rose.

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The manager of an electronics service centre glances at a rainbow flag through the showroom's window as the Parade moves past.

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Pride has always been pet-friendly, with dogs turning up along with their humans. [Above] A woman escaped to the sidewalk to rest and embrace her pet shitzu.

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Members of Sweekar, a group formed by parents of queer children to support each other with accepting their children’s sexual orientations, showed up in large numbers. 'Rainbow parents', as they are fondly known, chanted slogans about approval and acceptance — "Jo bhi hain, acche hain / yeh toh humaare bacche hain."

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Holding the rainbow flag is always a special moment for attendees during the Parade.

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Post-Pride goodbyes were short, with everyone discussing the events that have been organised for the rest of Pride Month in various cities across India.

All photographs by Sahil Jagasia

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