Thursday, June 11, 2009

Gay Community in India - What's needed?

The gay community in India is in its 'flower power' phase, a fag in Delhi told me the other night. The country's homos are still too busy f#@%ing to get political. I think he's got a point. It is extremely easy to get laid, but nearly impossible to get people mobilized to fight for their rights. Big cities like Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai are starting to organize Pride marches, but so far they are modest events that aren't generating action and results throughout the rest of the year.

Meanwhile, homosexuality remains illegal and HIV rates among gay men are higher than any other group. It's not like some activists aren't trying. Mumbai organizing bi-weekly gay film screenings for the queer rights - Humsafar Trust, Vikram works at resurrecting India's queer mag, Bombay Dost. Delhi, India's most senior queer rabble-rouser, Ashok Row Kavi, is coordinating the anti-HIV battle on behalf of UNAIDS.  BANGALORE/Delhi/Mumbai PRIDE.

Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code criminalizes gay sex. But like the rest of India, the gay community remains sharply divided along class lines. The middle and upper classes are mostly working together for their own benefit, while the vast lower class remains relatively uneducated and marginalized. What Indian queers need is their own Stonewall, an event that galvanizes everyone to come together as one. The Pride parades are fun, but homos won't get the hetero majority's attention until they raise their fists in the air, shout "We're Not Gonna Take It Anymore" and force the country to openly acknowledge other forms of sexual pleasure. Or, at the very least, start a sharply-worded letter-writing campaign.

In the meantime, more ordinary folks need to pave the way by coming out themselves. I acknowledge that, in India, it isn't easy. I've never seen a culture where the pressure to marry, have children and live with your family forever is so intense. But if all the cool but closeted Indian guys I've met over the last few months want to live free, they're gonna have to stand up and make it happen. Just like the nation as a whole did in the 1940s, when it bravely won independence from Britain.


This was found on a thread on the g4m forums posted by user with ID "hardsuck"

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