As was mentioned in the Pride schedule, last Monday was the first meeting of family and friends of LGBT people in Bangalore. It was moderated by Vinay and organised by Docsid, and we are all excited at the response at the meeting. The discussion was honest and far-ranging, and the end, the participants decided to continue these meetings and also act as a support group for other parents. Vinay and Docsid did a marvellous job in pulling this off! Below is the report - it is rather long, but worth reading in full.
Got to witness a lot of ‘Coming Out’ stories lately... both online, and offline! Though the outcomes varied vastly, the fact that so many of us, queer folk, have started breaking the (un)comfortable walls of the closet fills my heart with the joy and hope that probably can’t be expressed in words.
The last time I went to India I was 17 years old and had just finished high school AKA the worst years of my life. Aside from learning useful life skills like trigonometry or whatever Mr. Yadda Yadda was rambling about in Physics, I learnt the importance of living compartmentalized: the brown me, the god-loving me, the mom-loving me, the queer Madonna-loving me were never to exist together in any space except for my bedroom.
To him, they appeared everywhere.
They frequented drawing classes, homework books, newspapers, hotel napkins, the foggy bathroom mirror, sacks of grains at the grocery shop, dirt tracks, shoe imprints, photographs …
I saw him the first time in a train. He was tiny and timid, very unlike his naughty and loud brothers and sisters. Dressed shabby with a torn t-shirt and torn slacks, a pair of mismatched shoes, all he wanted to do was just get enough place to sit but his siblings would not let him.
They were from the slum, it was fairly obvious with the way they were behaving. These kids seemed unperturbed when the aunties mocked them and asked them to move out of their seats. They had tickets these kids didn’t. The kids pretended to be deaf and continued being seated where they were, a noisy naughty lot of five.
So you where do you start? You should always talk to your partner about sex before you actually engage in it. You should be open and comfortable with your partner before you have sex. The stronger the emotional connection that you have with your girlfriend, the stronger that your physical relationship will be. Talk about how you feel. Tell her that you are scared and you will see that she understands you but everyone has to have a first time.
Would you say you found
What you were looking for
Did expectations meet your need
Was the other side of her rainbow
As picturesque as painted dreams
Does fantasy converge?…
In many many cases, because of the social and cultural environments around us, or because of lack of awareness, we never realise or develop our true sexual preference and instincts and end up feeling incomplete, unhappy or unsatisfied without knowing reasons. To me, a person is gay/lesbian if and only if he/she bonds both sexually AND emotionally with people of same gender.
I don’t know you as friend
Or my happily-ever-after
An acquaintance? –
Stretches imagination for a fit
But you’re written, firmly written into
My mind, in time, in …
I look over and watch as Dawn
Creeps out from under the covers
Slowly treading, softly as shadows
Stealing across my face
Tracing smiles in her wake
Bringing to light,…
Malabika sipped her coffee and stared blankly at the stars above her. The mobile screen flashed repeatedly displaying a message from her beloved Shaina. Malabika had been ignoring the messages
Living in Canada was a dream come true. It is here that I eventually met my better half, which is a story reserved for another huge article. I survived the first winter but by the end of which I was yearning for the warmth of Mumbai. Only in the absence of it did I realize the importance of the scorching sun.
I am watching and revolting at the latest media spectacle in the United States: Gaybie suicides. My first thought is “Great! The mainstream media finally woke up to a problem that has existed since before I was born. I don’t want to hear about it. Let me get back to my life.”
“That’s nothing to be ashamed of. I am so relieved”, she continued, “I thought you were an addict. It’s natural to be gay. They have discovered it in over eighty species of animals.”
Not exactly where I was directing the conversation but at least she was okay. Secretly I thanked Nat Geo and its reach towards a Marathi audience. I sat up, facing her I asked “So you are okay with that?”
Bengaluru will celebrate its third Bengaluru Pride and Karnataka Queer Habba in November this year. The Queer Habba events will be organised during the latter half of November and will culminate with the Pride March itself on Nov 28th (coincident with the Delhi Pride March). These events are being organised by CSMR (Campaign for Sexuality Minorities Rights), a collective of LGBTQ and allied groups in Bangalore.
It was a bright sunshiny afternoon- warm with a cool breeze. The guests gathered as the lovely ladies promised to love and cherish each other as they exchanged rings. The party continued as the guests drank beer, barbecued, laughed, ate, and mingled. As I enjoyed this lovely festivities, the non drama filled, so unIndian shaadi I couldn't help but wonder how is someone's happiness a threat to the moral fabric of society?
‘Should I? Shouldn’t I? Will he? Won’t he?’ defines the chain of thoughts that run through every gay man’s head before messaging a random stranger they think that fits into their description of a “perfect partner” (basis a profile alone) in the big bad world of online dating.
Dosti is a Toronto-based social and support group for South Asian gay, bisexual, questioning and transgender men. Dosti has been around since the mid 90s and has come to mean a number of different things over the years. Dosti is a place where you can meet friends, cruise for guys and explore the community. Every month Dosti has social gatherings that take place in different venues where guys can chat it up with other like minded desi dudes and reconcile the fact they can be both Queer and Desi.
What I think is… if one is dating then one is definitely in a relationship, whether it is an open or a committed one! And if you are dating someone, is it really right to call yourself single because in reality you are involved emotionally/physically with someone?
I kept thinking, “What’s wrong with him? Why doesn’t he say, I know that you are gay.” He just sat there looking at me and finally I just said it. “Because I am gay.” And his mouth fell open. I was actually shocked that he hadn’t figured it out already.