Photo Essay: Cruising, A Moment Of Discovery And Self-Defining.

Searching about a public place, known by word of mouth, in pursuit of a partner for sex, and the good and bad that follows, are the lived experiences of nearly every gay man in India- married, closeted, young and hopeful.

Men who have sex with men, of all backgrounds and vocations whether they identify as gay or not, risk the danger of being caught, bashed or blackmailed, to find a partner for a one-time, consensual, anonymous release.

Searching about a public place, known by word of mouth, in pursuit of a partner for sex, and the good and bad that follows, are the lived experiences of nearly every gay man in India- married, closeted, young and hopeful. A long history of persecution taught gay men to live discreetly; to cruise for sex in a domain outside of their public lives, but intrinsic to their being. And so at odd hours, public spaces like urinals, stations, parks, vacant streets and plots are their only sanctuary to be accepted among strangers with a similar affliction of the heart.

Cruising wonderfully teases themes of voyeurism, frottage, exhibitionism, kink. While easy to dismiss – deviant, dangerous, it is much more; cruising is also a moment of discovery and self-defining. It’s a rite of passage. And to most of these men also a way to feel less alone with their secrets.

These queer experiences are the norm, they shape queer lives, and speak volumes about their desires and aspirations.

Photographer: Pulkit Mogha
Pulkit Mogha is a fulltime Architect whose interests foray into issues of gender, sexuality, caste, media, and technology in the city. A graduate from the School of Planning and Architecture with family roots from Uttar Pradesh, he was actively involved as a core member of QueerCampus, one of the only dedicated safe spaces for queer youth in the city at the time. With an interest in photographic queer subjects, he is in the process of coming up with a series linking queer bodies to the city. He maintains an online blog (pulkitmogha.tumblr.com) and is currently based in Delhi.

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Pulkit Mogha

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