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No Pride But Gay – India’s Gay Parades July 15, 2008

Posted by nitinkarani in English, Gay, Online/New Media, Pride 2008.
From Desicritics.org:
July 01, 2008
Sakshi Juneja

While the three other metropolitan cities of India had the Gay Pride, Mumbai’s non participation was definitely a subject of much debate and bewilderment.

I mean, if Delhi could have it, then how come the most recognized city on the Indian map, the city of dreams, the fabled city of chill and chic, didn’t?

‘Hypocrisy’ is the one-word answer I got when I posed this question to a Gay friend. Apparently, there is much infighting and lack of unity among the various Gay groups and NGOs in the city. The divides runs deep between the classes and the masses, and never the twain shall meet – or so he said.

The white-collared lot happily goes about its business without caring about ‘burning’ issues like rights or laws, said another Gay friend. In Mumbai, it seems, not many can be bothered enough to dress up and walk the streets the way they did in Delhi, Bangalore and Kolkata. But the same does not hold true for parties, I recently discovered.

Boy do they dress up there, and boy, do they party.

In snooty South Mumbai, I experienced my first of such parties. As a straight person, one doesn’t often get to see this side of Mumbai, and my Gay friend was only happy to take me along to one of the dos. Us three straight chics and five strapping Gay lads.

They say that first impressions are the lasting ones. Well I had more than my share of first impressions:

  • I often wondered where all the cute men have gone. Now I know.
  • Indian men can dance. Rephrase that – Gay Indian men can dance – the pelvic thrust being an extremely popular move.
  • Swapping partners, a common thing.
  • Several men. Five women. Not one got a second look. (I’m talking about the women.)
  • The ladies toilet isn’t just for the ladies. If you know what I mean.
  • Makeshift bedrooms, the restrooms.
  • Celebrity spotting. No Karan Johar though. Or his better half.
  • And… the best bit… all of the above happening on top of a family restaurant.

The pride may not have happened in Mumbai. And it’s probably more than just lack of unity between Gay groups. After all how can we forget our political mai-baap also play moral police at the drop of a hat.

But, who says the pride in their identity isn’t there?

Saakshi O. Juneja is an active blogger, feminist and overboard dog lover. Currently working as a Business Development Manager for a sportswear manufacturing company in Mumbai, India. Did graduation in Marketing & Advertising from Sydney, Australia. As far as blogging is concerned…is a complete Blog-a-holic.



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