The circulating library concept seems to be one in vogue in the lesbian community: Case of few numbers, fewer single women and yes, off course the attraction of the forbidden. The first advice I got from my first lesbian friend who sat me down the night I came out to her was, “The lesbian world is very incestuous. So the first thing you have to learn is to be friends with your exes and your flings! We are just simply too few in numbers! Get ready for it.”
I first came out as a lesbian when I started college as an undergrad. I went through all the rites of passage that the white queers had set up for me, and I abandoned the straight desi girls. I’m not necessarily sad that I abandoned them. I missed them later and tried to play catch-up, but their never-ending conversations about how their evil parents wouldn’t let them buy that coach purse, and how scary black men are were ridiculous and tiring. And somehow I always managed to subconsciously find my way back to the closet whenever I was in their company.
The Queer Chronicle (popularly referred to as TQC) was launched in Pune (Maharashtra) in September 2009 as India’s first city-centric queer-focused monthly ezine. The magazine started with a modest readership of about 250. Twelve editions later, TQC’s readership has crossed nearly 1200 readers, with queer and queer-friendly readers in over 20 countries.
Are you scared of [some] straight people ? Have you ever been ? Do you wonder if the person sitting next to you on the train or waiting in line behind you at the coffee shop is a threat to your well being if they discover you are gay ?
It doesn’t happen often …luckily. But there have been these situations when the hair at the back of my neck has stood up and I’ve either been on the edge or lied about my sexual orientation for what I considered basic self preservation.
Do you know that those who choose to translate, do so keeping aside a bunch of apprehensions - including the most important one, which is, that they’ve never translated before?
I’m the kind of girl who falls somewhere in- I’m neither very feminine, nor masculine. But I don’t like me so much. If I saw me walking on the street, I’d probably go- “That’s a very cool chick, but definitely not my type.” I’d definitely not proposition me. And that’s because I don’t fit my “type”. And I don’t ever think I’d fall for a girl on a motorcycle.
At a coffee shop, an Indian dad whom I think is visiting his son & grand kids was staring at me for a whole minute. All this when I was sitting in a corner enjoying my coffee and reading my book. For a second, I felt like a total weirdo. A minute longer, I would have called the cops. Please people, don't stare!
The project isn’t about me, or Gaysi. It’s about what we can create for the community - that much was pretty certain from the beginning. But, a conversation with close friend helped me realise that I also need to find out why I’m taking this up.
Last month marked the 40th anniversary of Stonewall. In 1969, trans people, prostitutes, lesbian, bi and gay individuals fought back against a police raid of a queer establishment. They stood together to say NO to homophobia/transphobia; NO to conventional thinking, and NO to discrimination.
I am writing this letter because I have something important to tell you and I felt that writing it down would be the best way to do so. Before that I want to reassure you that everything is alright with me. I am perfectly healthy, happy and doing something I enjoy for work. As your daughter, I love you and dad very much and can never be grateful enough for the comforts, opportunities and love you have always provided.
Going by figures, one in every fifteen people (figures range from 5% to 10%) is homosexual or has homosexual tendencies. Which leads us to the obvious assumption that millions of people in heterosexual marriages are in fact gay (or bisexual). So what do such people do?
To share something so personal with everyone except with the ones who made me feels like a betrayal. So does the book itself: exposing our family, telling their stories, stories which aren’t mine. “What happens in the home, stays in the home,” my mom would warn us. Which betrayal is worse? Which betrayal weighs more?
To be downright honest, I don’t and yes, a lot of it has to do with past experiences and bitter ones at that. Ex-lovers, empty promises, failed relationships have left me so cynical in the matters of the heart that breaking another’s heart left no dampness on my conscious.
Here’s the question: Where is the community I'm seeking - the community I need - to find myself? Where was the community you needed when you sought yourself, in the space you inhabit (virtually) all the time?
We finally did it. We are famous. Fellow readers, it gives me immense pride to inform you that our beloved blog, Gaysi has managed to make it to the headlines of a leading daily. Yipppeeee!
When I first went back to India after living abroad, it struck me how affectionate men were with one another in India. I know it’s a sweeping generalization to say …
Remember that scene from the L Word where Shane, Alice and Helena are running around with gaydar guns, seeing if they can figure out Jenny’s orientation? Since then, I’ve always wished I had one of them. I have always, always have crushes on straight women. Always. And I haven't got gaydar.
I’ve been told many times by people not to take umbrage at the use of ‘that’s so gay’ to mean ‘stupid’ or any other number of derogatory things. But that always bothers me. Not that I have no sense of humour. I do, and can laugh when things are genuinely funny – making fun of homophobia is funny, because it’s a progressive way of telling a biased society how ridiculous they sound.
Adults can be assholes sometimes. Or most of the time. Children on the other hand are so much more accepting and kind. Life is simple if you’re …
I have observed something (even in the Q community) – that when someone says they are “Queer”, people just assume they are “gay”. This was much more on my face …