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.
Must have one f*** buddy, she can reach out to any time of the day, night, afternoon! (Note: Availability is super important!) and one intellectual pinup she can practice verbal foreplay with!
We’d gathered in this tiny AC-ed room, my queer and otherwise friends, engaged in the taxing art of small talk. ‘Can’t do it,’ one of us points out emphatically, ‘my flatmates are,’ significant gap, knowing looks, and then one notch lower, ‘lesbians. And they hate men.’
How does indeed, a writer translate ‘chanchal chitwan’ into English (my friend’s example) and still convey the playfulness, the sensuality, the innocence and everything else that that phrase conveys?
In many ways I am thankful to have the family that I do. My father seems indifferent about who I date, and just doesn’t like to talk about feelings. However, although my mother wasn’t the most supportive person when I came out of the closet, I truly believe that she did her best considering her place in this world. She didn’t even consider disowning me, and I acknowledge that as a privilege because I have seen friends (desi and non-desi) struggle with the fear of being disowned for going against their parent’s wishes.
The other day I was stuck in traffic and a ‘hijra’ walked by me. Almost instinctively my driver raised the windows. And then I realised it’s a little bit like the domino effect. The way our society perceives transgender people, and the way they react is much like a vicious circle.
It was a cold February afternoon when I first met The Girl. Three months later, my then husband & I decided to end what was left of our very unhappy …
I don’t like jumping to conclusions, but there’s one conclusion I’ve come to, based on my interaction with men in the 20-25 demographic. And what I’ve come to realise is that most men are either homosexuals or homophobes. Which is not to say that all straight men are homophobes or all pro-gay men are gay. But all my straight male friends have the same thing to say- “It’s hot when its two chicks. Two dudes getting it on is just gross.”
At Gaysi, we love Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil. In fact we believe there could be no other better mascot representing the Desi-Queer community, at home and internationally. Anything said in his praise would still fall short in comparison to ground reality, so it’s best to just leave such things at the mercy of the mighty Google search. Simply type in his name and in matter of minutes you would have found yourself a new Idol (if he isn’t already).
But (yes there’s always one these lying around somewhere)....his recent media byte at the launch of his magazines targeting the Gay community has got me thinking a little tangent.
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.