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.
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