He asked a direct question, and got a direct ‘yes’! Next thing I know, he wrote a mail to the Director about allotting batches, and addressed me as ‘Mridul’ and ‘he’ (since all my papers are in my formal name and designated gender, that’s how all my new employers always begin knowing me). The Director just asked a handful of questions about how comfortable I would be, getting officially addressed as Mridul and Sir (by students), and when he saw me confident – he just sent out a mail telling everyone about my decision and that he expected matured cooperation from all!
Not before I was sure myself. I am a survivor of child sexual abuse, so linked my sexuality to abuse, so was confused for a long long time. Though I felt sexual towards men, I never acknowledged myself as gay. Finally, I tried having a one night stand with a woman, but it didn't stand. That's when I realized that I should stand up for what I feel innately without attributing it to anything. I didn't want to live a life that the world wants me to. I didn't want to live a lie.
My earliest recollection of my queer awesomeness was at Age 10. What was funny at that point was where I was growing up, there was nothing around me to indicate being Queer had a negative connotation. So for a few brief months - I was at my happiest knowing that I was Queer. It was great! ...and then, everything went downhill.
I have personally done everything considered black spots in our society. Live in relationships, pre-marital sex, being separated when pregnant, living alone, single mother, relationships and live ins after separation, being in a relationship with a younger man. I have no peers that I consider worthy of listening to. And I don't respect this fraud and conniving thing we call samaj. Luckily, thankfully, my family has always trusted that I would do the right thing and have always been there when I get my nose bloodied. I try and do the same for the children.
At a cynical level, I am thankful I am not one of the ubiquituous desis - being married; running behind 2 kids, attending kids' birthday parties every weekend and eating desi grub and talking about the latest tamil/telugu/hindi movies and gossip about the stars and about that friend whom we all hate, and all this while flaunting the finest silk sarees, dhotis and wearing all the jewels we could ever possess.
I was born in South Korea, brought up in Taiwan and then my family eventually moved to Mumbai when I was 8. With this move to Mumbai I realised how much surroundings and society can impact and change your overall behavior. From being absolutely comfortable with who I was in a foreign country that cared little about an effeminate boy like me, in Mumbai, I felt intimidated, I felt noticed, I felt queer.
A contemporary activist and reformer, or more accurately a social educationist as I perceive, is Kalki. A transperson herself, she understands the emotional turmoil we individuals go through and is dedicated to eradicate the social inequities in the society. She is pushing for reforms, working with other activists in counseling and helping Transfolks earn education, get vocationally trained and hence providing a path for many who have been shunned by society a leg to stand on.
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.
Last year we were told that our application wasn't processed because of a clerical error, per FIA president Nirav Mehta, so this year we followed up on it several times. Finally, we realized that they were going to continue to ignore us so we informed the press and several politicians who are LGBT civil rights allies and straight South Asian community leaders. After press inquiries and pressure from politicians and community leaders, the FIA finally allowed us to march, on Friday, with less than 48 hours to the parade.
The idea of pleasing God with an act or object was curious to me growing up, especially when I would when I consider what these specific, pleasing actions and objects were. The first story I wrote for this project discusses how my parents didn’t cut my hair for my first two years of life because it was to be offered as a sacrifice to God. Cheekily, I called this story “God Loves Hair” and as the project developed, I knew that this would also be the title of the book.
It took me a long time -- and a very special transgender man in India -- to show me that I could be a gentle guy. The ten year journey to that revelation, though, was filled with deep self-loathing, denial, anger, fear -- so much fear -- and also great love.
Today as the Indian Queer community celebrates 1st anniversary of one of the most significant verdict of recent times, the decriminalization of IPC 377, we at Gaysi couldn’t have found a better candidate for our celebrity profile than our next interviewee, Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik.
Author. Editor. Fashion Expert. Media Generalist. Page 3 Celebrity. Bollywood Addict. Spellbinder. Charismatic. Alive. Hottie. Eligible Bachelor.
Dear readers here’s the eklauta namuna, maa da laadla and a …
For our relaunch we couldn’t have wished for a better celebrity to feature than film director Onirban Dhar, better known as Onir. A man whose creativity sparks without the help …
In 2008 I remember cribbing about the lack of social-lezzing in Mumbai city. Or most metro cities for that matter. Gay men were out and about but for desi-lesbians it …