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The first ever Pride parade in the Indian state of Goa is set to taken place later this month.

Organisers of the Goa Rainbow Pride Walk 2017 hope the event will help to raise awareness about LGBT issues in the state.

Speaking to itsgoa.com, event organiser Alexander Fernandes says he wants to “get rid of homophobia” with help from the walk.

“There are several wrong notions about the community, which needs to be addressed through this event.”

“We hope this walk will get rid of homophobia in some way. 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.”

Diana Dias, another organiser of the event, explained that while Goa does have an LGBT community, most people remain in the closet.

“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. However, we are trying to create more awareness now.”

The Goa Rainbow Pride Walk 2017 will feature LGBT parties, a film festival and a pride walk.

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