Raise your hands and clap today
Friends, fellow queers, comrades,
Let us raise our hands and clap today like we have never clapped before.
Let us raise our arms and clap today for the year that it has been.
Let us join our hands today for the years to come.
Let us clap today for the years of struggle behind us and before us.
And let us clap the loudest for the joy here and within us.
Let’s join our hands and clap.
Let’s raise our hand and clap.
Let’s lift our arms and clap.
Let’s clap for the judgement.
Let’s clap for freedom.
Let’s clap for justice.
Let’s clap for equality.
Let’s clap for love.
Let’s clap for each one of us who is here today.
And let’s clap for each one of us who could not be here.
Let our claps be claps of joy.
Let our claps be claps of anger.
Let our claps be claps of sorrow.
Let our claps be claps of struggle.
Let our claps be our celebration
And let our claps be our protest.
Let us clap for all those who are here today.
Let us clap for all the lesbians.
Let us clap for all the transgender people.
Let us clap for all the gays.
Let us clap for all the bisexual folks.
Let us clap for all the hijras.
Let us clap for all the intersex people.
Let us clap for all the genderqueer.
Let us clap for all the queer folks.
Let us clap for all the supportive folks.
Let us clap for all our supportive families.
Let us clap for all the friends we are fortunate to have.
Let us clap for all those who believe in justice
Let us clap for each and every person who has come here.
Let us clap for this show of support
Let us clap for this strength of love
Let us clap for this solidarity of struggles
Let us clap for all those who are not with us today
The friends who could not come.
The friends who stayed home because of fear.
Those who lost hope in the long struggle and left us.
Those who died fighting every step of the way.
Let us clap for all those who are beginning to find themselves
The little boy who will be a lovely girl
The young girl in love with her friend
The woman contemplating suicide…
And all those who still think that they are the only ones….
Let us clap in anger
Against all the homophobia we have faced
Against the violence on our minds and bodies
Against the injustices we continue to face
At home, in school, in colleges, in the streets, in our workplaces
Let us clap in protest
We will not be forced into marriages
We will not be named against our wills
We will not be forced to live by rules that destroy our beings
Let us clap in sorrow
For those killed by their families because they dared to love
For those committed to cures and institutions
because they were different
For those who died invisible, untouched by change,
Believing themselves alone and wrong
Let us clap in solidarity
With all those who believe in freedom
With all fighting marginalisation
With all working for social change
With all those struggling for justice against all odds.
Let us clap in celebration
Let us clap hard
Let us clap long
Let us clap loud
Let us clap strong
Let us clap so that each heart resounds
Let us clap so that the city rings with this sound
Let us clap so that the world hears this sound!
For July 2nd 2010
Editors’ Note: July 2 is the anniversary of Delhi High Court’s historic judgement decriminalizing same-sex behavior among consenting adults, in the Naz Foundation case of 2009. It is also the anniversary of India’s first Pride walk, held in Kolkata in 1999.