"I was raised in a classic patriarchal, machismo environment and was under the impression that homosexuality was a perversion" says Bharat Balan, whose sister Anita Balan is a lesbian. He was the first person in the family to whom Anita chose to come out. She initially came out to him as a bisexual, as she thought it would make things easier for Bharat.
Priya had so much fun marching. "I was very excited and happy to be part of Chennai's first pride march. I wanted to show to my brother and the rest of the world, how much I support him. I wanted to show people that simple gestures like this from family member mean a lot to our gay brothers & sons".
I do not believe in tags or labels as sexuality is fluid . You can like apples one day and then one fine day discover oranges are better. Currently from many years now, I have been into men – so you can call me gay if need be.
I'm a performance artist, producer, and Creatrix of Awesome based in Brisbane, Australia. I combine burlesque, circus, improv, streetntheatre, physical theatre, spoken word, and a variety of other artforms to talk about my experiences and politics as a female queer migrant minority (child of Bangladeshi migrants born & raised in Malaysia).
MissZero and Gingey. M-zee is the gaysi half, the Gingey is the self-described “white half”. She claims iridescence in the dark, and M-zee confirms this.
It’s not a black and white question. I was confused, sure. But personally, I never had qualms about it. When I am definite that I want something then I make it explicit, but before that I have to search every corner inside me to know that I want it. Be it my sushi or my lover.
I've become more self confident in dealing with the 'sexuality' subject and marriage related queries. I think they're getting to feel and perceive the adult in me.
I have suffered all my life, staying in the closet, hiding who I am. I cant do that anymore, so I said no to the policy. As of today, I don't have a relationship with my family. I still hope my folks will come around or at least meet me in the middle someday.
An anonymous person messaged all my batch mates in college that I was lesbian. This was then forwarded to everyone I knew as part of a news flash message campaign by my batch mates. A poll along with my photograph was also put up on the orkut page of my college to vote if I was lesbian or not.
I first came out to them when I was 19. For almost a year I had been dropping hints and when confronted I came out to them as a gay celibate person. It climaxed when I made them watch the NDTV show “Chennai Speaks out”.
QueerCampus India was started as a collective, with the aim of providing a support space for queer youth. Over time we have formed some alliances with colleges and members will be conducting sexuality trainings. The primary aim of the group however is to create a bi-weekly meeting space for queer youth, where they can feel free to express themselves, talk about sexuality, coming out, relationships, the colleges they attend and so on.
He asked a direct question, and got a direct ‘yes’! Next thing I know, he wrote a mail to the Director about allotting batches, and addressed me as ‘Mridul’ and ‘he’ (since all my papers are in my formal name and designated gender, that’s how all my new employers always begin knowing me). The Director just asked a handful of questions about how comfortable I would be, getting officially addressed as Mridul and Sir (by students), and when he saw me confident – he just sent out a mail telling everyone about my decision and that he expected matured cooperation from all!
Not before I was sure myself. I am a survivor of child sexual abuse, so linked my sexuality to abuse, so was confused for a long long time. Though I felt sexual towards men, I never acknowledged myself as gay. Finally, I tried having a one night stand with a woman, but it didn't stand. That's when I realized that I should stand up for what I feel innately without attributing it to anything. I didn't want to live a life that the world wants me to. I didn't want to live a lie.
My earliest recollection of my queer awesomeness was at Age 10. What was funny at that point was where I was growing up, there was nothing around me to indicate being Queer had a negative connotation. So for a few brief months - I was at my happiest knowing that I was Queer. It was great! ...and then, everything went downhill.
I have personally done everything considered black spots in our society. Live in relationships, pre-marital sex, being separated when pregnant, living alone, single mother, relationships and live ins after separation, being in a relationship with a younger man. I have no peers that I consider worthy of listening to. And I don't respect this fraud and conniving thing we call samaj. Luckily, thankfully, my family has always trusted that I would do the right thing and have always been there when I get my nose bloodied. I try and do the same for the children.
At a cynical level, I am thankful I am not one of the ubiquituous desis - being married; running behind 2 kids, attending kids' birthday parties every weekend and eating desi grub and talking about the latest tamil/telugu/hindi movies and gossip about the stars and about that friend whom we all hate, and all this while flaunting the finest silk sarees, dhotis and wearing all the jewels we could ever possess.
I was born in South Korea, brought up in Taiwan and then my family eventually moved to Mumbai when I was 8. With this move to Mumbai I realised how much surroundings and society can impact and change your overall behavior. From being absolutely comfortable with who I was in a foreign country that cared little about an effeminate boy like me, in Mumbai, I felt intimidated, I felt noticed, I felt queer.
A contemporary activist and reformer, or more accurately a social educationist as I perceive, is Kalki. A transperson herself, she understands the emotional turmoil we individuals go through and is dedicated to eradicate the social inequities in the society. She is pushing for reforms, working with other activists in counseling and helping Transfolks earn education, get vocationally trained and hence providing a path for many who have been shunned by society a leg to stand on.
Last year we were told that our application wasn't processed because of a clerical error, per FIA president Nirav Mehta, so this year we followed up on it several times. Finally, we realized that they were going to continue to ignore us so we informed the press and several politicians who are LGBT civil rights allies and straight South Asian community leaders. After press inquiries and pressure from politicians and community leaders, the FIA finally allowed us to march, on Friday, with less than 48 hours to the parade.
The idea of pleasing God with an act or object was curious to me growing up, especially when I would when I consider what these specific, pleasing actions and objects were. The first story I wrote for this project discusses how my parents didn’t cut my hair for my first two years of life because it was to be offered as a sacrifice to God. Cheekily, I called this story “God Loves Hair” and as the project developed, I knew that this would also be the title of the book.