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.
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.