My parents have had to pay to put three children through University (in different countries) as well as pay for the expenses that go with me having an increasingly severe disability. And obviously we sometimes like to celebrate our new, more comfortable lifestyle by going on vacations, but it is not always as indulgent since we are not accustomed to doing vacations. We have to be so much more careful, and this always reminds me of how I need to prepare myself for my inevitably poor future.
As a child post queer awakening, I vividly recall sitting in front of black and white keys and eyeing them with much hostility because above them on a ledge were pages and pages with notes to the Moonlight Sonata. And I did not want to play them. I just did not want to. For they made me cry. Even at that age, I recall thinking I was quickly going to run out of tears if I kept at it. Yet, my first thought upon seeing this specific scene in the movie was – “Oh my god…Mom would have done the same thing” …if she knew how to play the piano.
Reality shows and their viability, we shall leave for another time. But for now, let’s talk about Bigg Boss Season 4 and the eviction of Ali Saleem, better known as Begum Nawazish Ali. Now I understand I may have lost a few readers at the mention of Bigg Boss.
While I acknowledge we have ‘bigger issues’ to deal with, it’s worth taking a pause and flirting with the more flippant subject.
I’m a gaysi, through and through. I love my girlfriend as much as I love tandoori chicken. And I love that I no longer need to try and justify both of those aspects to myself – I fully accept and love myself. It’s just that sometimes I wish there were an instruction manual on how to do this. In a culture that (still!) can’t even talk with their daughters about heterosexual relationships, how do you bring up being queer? When everyone you know is a “didi”, a “bhaiyya”, an “aunty”, or an “uncle”, regardless of blood-ties, how on earth do you even begin to tell your giant Indian family?
Well in the good sense so fret not Gaysi supporters. And let’s rejoice with open mouths *…pants..err…let us not get carried away just yet* our very first main stream media outing. A big shout out to Time Out (New Delhi) for their forever Queer-friendly attitude.
I love glee. I think it’s just the right amount cheesy, funny, and ironic. It laughs at itself, which is something most TV shows (and people) just cannot do. But I was in fact a bit disappointed (even if the show was being rather true to life in this scene) when I watched Episode 3 yesterday and watched Kurt (The Gay One) tell everyone that no one chose to be gay because no one would want to be mocked and made fun of all his or her life.
It was learning the language of freedom in multiple ways, a language she could play with and write in without words throwing their ghosts upon the page. Feminism, which marked the actual redoubling; a continuous questioning of everything started then, in those classes, and as she made her way through everything she could get her hands on, from Kate Millett to Helene Cixous, from bell hooks to Mary Daly, falling in love with every single one of them, she developed the courage to take thoughts to their logical conclusions, though sometimes those conclusions were not easy to live with and sometimes voicing those thoughts in other classes was tricky, to say the least.
Being our radical queer desi selves can be exhausting, and it’s always a positive thing to be intentionally taking care of our selves and our minds. When I first came out, roughly four years ago, I was aching so much to become an activist that I really wore myself out, as well as everyone around me! I now have a long list of conditions I have to give myself in order to be radical but still enjoy the world we are currently living in.
Very often, in our lives, we need to make decisions in a split second. We use stereotypes to help us get comfortable with unfamiliar situations - people, things, etc. Stereotype, however can also let us judge stuff without giving the other person a fair chance. When do we draw the line?
Through our years of friendship, I was always careful never to judge, and separated her actions from her personality to be able to love the person she was. And I don’t feel like I received the same consideration. It was like she was just relieved that by Indian standards, someone had finally done something “worse” than her.
I grew up in two very conservative, religious cultures: my home was Hindu and Brahmin and the school I attended a Convent. Neither of these religions was forced down my throat at any point. My parents, even through, in practice, Hindu, are in personal belief, mostly agnostic, as are the grandparents I liked best. We did however, live with my more conservative grandparents. My school, when I started there, was just as liberal. Sure, we had prayers in the morning, and all of us were taught how to cross. They were paranoid about boyfriends and the length of our skirts but no, it was all mostly a cultural thing: Indian suburbia in general is like that. It had less to do with Catholicism than with the general conservative atmosphere.
“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?”
In a few weeks of having met and chatted with some, I met the ‘gang’ and this gang of six-seven women became the path way to meeting new people. Hanging out with them felt awesome. Like I belonged… We dressed alike - skinnys and converse, had similar tastes and yes, we loved women! Midnight drives, dinners, long telephone conversations, shopping sprees, and coffee sessions – all became de rigueur and suddenly, I was hanging with them every night!
Yet, Masturbation is rarely spoken about – Almost as if no one is doing it ? Really ? I won’t lie. I am on a peculiar dry spell and if anyone has been reading my woes, my luck with the ladies is excruciatingly terrible. But I am a healthy, sufficiently randy twenty something with my body parts communicating with each other well enough to ensure that Masturbation is a priority.
Folks, we're really thrilled to announce that Magdalene Jeyarathnam, who is the Director at the Center For Counselling in Chennai has very kindly agreed to answer any questions you might have about being LGBT.
If you've wanted to talk to someone with credentials about the struggles you're going through, or your friends and family members are going through - this is your chance!
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?
“Most” of the desis I met in college came from conservative, religious, upper-class families. They tended to only hang out with other rich desis and would only date other rich desis (of the “opposite” gender, of course). The farthest their adventures would go would be a Hindu desi dating a Muslim desi, and their parents would end up driving them apart.
What does a woman look for in another woman? I could probably ask what a woman looks for in a partner, but I assume it’s not the same thing. I for one, look for very different, almost opposite qualities in men and women. But from what I understand, it probably works differently for gay women.
Looking androgynous means, I am sir-ed or ma'am-ed and sometimes the pronouns switch in the middle of a sentence and oscillates between.
I remember being one of two Indian kids at my primary school, and one of maybe five kids of color. I remember my best friends as clear as day, although I haven’t seen them in person since I was about eight years old. One of them was a girl, D, whose family is originally from Kenya, the other was a boy, A, whose family is originally from Hong Kong - his family owned the Chinese restaurant down the street from my house. They had older siblings like me, looked different from everyone like me, and always stood at the edge of the playground like me. They both went off to private school and left me to fend for myself - sad day. I was too embarrassed to ever tell them I missed them.