Can we be cautiously optimistic that this unprecedented and once-in-a-lifetime crisis will change the gay narrative, particularly in India?
On the surface, it looked like a match made in heaven (pun intended) between same-sex people looking to find their life partners and a “one of a kind International Arranged Gay Marriage Agency” (sic). But if you scratched deeper under the surface, you would be shocked to know that the only thing “revolutionary” about this agency was that it was a scam.
At the time of writing this article, our country has been under lockdown for 11 days, and there are at least 10 more days to go before we may be allowed out of our homes. So I thought of compiling a list of six heart-warming short films – those which carry a message of hope – from around the world.
Despite the gloomy mood and prevailing uncertainty, I made a decision right at the beginning of the lockdown on March 25 – I would use this period to heal myself.
Gay men’s desire to emulate these standards of perfection often induce negative feelings towards their body and physical appearance.
Mental health problems become more pronounced when they are discussed in the context of the queer community. Although official statistics of India’s queer population are not available, it has been estimated that 6-8% of the country’s total population comprises queer people.
Many queer people are initiated into using meth, cocaine, heroin and other drugs during PNP sexual encounters. Using these drugs in a group setting increases feelings of intimacy and pleasure.
Just like in the real (offline) world, there are dangers lurking everywhere in the online world. It becomes imperative to take care of some simple, but often overlooked, safety considerations while using dating apps.
I gathered a little courage and kissed him, afraid that he would push me away. On the contrary, he hugged me and kissed me back. It was a relief.
He felt completely at ease now and lay down comfortably. I sat down beside him and he promptly started showing me photos on his phone. The very first one he showed me was of his nephew – sister’s son – who was born that very day!
This time I was not surprised. I was stunned. Who in their right mind would travel 70 km to meet a man they had never seen or met before, except on a dating app? Definitely not me. And here he was, a crazy young lad, who kept his word that he would come to meet me that very day.
An idea dawned on me. I asked him if I could call him via the app, without making it a video call, so that we could talk to each other. He immediately agreed. I remember thinking to myself: how can someone be so accommodating?
At 43 years of age, I did not have much to boast of in terms of a personal life. Here I was - a single, gay man living away from my family for nearly 15 years, with many unsuccessful attempts at finding love and some unremarkable short flings.
Under tremendous pressure to find a suitable partner for myself, I finally took the plunge and created my profile on a popular gay dating app.
The train towards HUDA City Centre was rolling into the platform, and I hurried to reach the last coach, which I was usually found to be less crowded than the others. I made it comfortably, and waited for the doors to open. At this time there were fewer people boarding the train, and I hoped to have a comfortable ride for a change. The doors started opening, and that is when I first saw him.