Optimism springs eternal among Indian gays
New Delhi, 2 July 2010
By Karin Lundbäck
A year has passed since Delhi High Court’s historic decision to homosexuality. Much remains to change like deeply rooted attitudes, but among India’s LGBT groups there’s growing optimism.
Pride parades, new Indian queer newspapers and an open dialogue about homosexuality. What is now taking place in India was only a few years ago unthinkable and at-least in the cities there’s increasing optimism.
One of many new LGBT Forums is Pink Pages, a neat web- magazine that combines politics, activism and interviews with celebrities, lifestyle stories and readers’ own personal accounts.
Editors sit in Bangalore and like many other LGBT-media is aimed mainly at well-educated people who live in urban areas. To read the Magazine, one requires internet access and good English, two conditions that exclude the majority of India’s inhabitants.
Pink Pages editor 23-year-old Udayan, accepts these restrictions and says it is difficult to create a broad platform. Economy, class and education creates huge gaps, and even though LGBT people in the conservative rural-most areas would require most support, it is difficult for them to take part in the communities being built up in the cities.
“We expect acceptance from heterosexuals, but we tend to exclude most people in our own groups” he says self-critically and continues: “This, we must work at substantially, and we must have more newspapers in regional languages.”
Udayan is convinced that society’s view of them has become more tolerant. Homophobia and Victorian values came with the British, he says, and suggests that before colonial-time there was an open approach to sexuality. Hindu gods and fables tell stories of alternative sexuality, and the erotic Kama Sutra is just another evidence of this.”
“India has traditionally been a country of great tolerance. We have been accepting of different religions, cultures and languages. It is only a matter of time before India starts accepting various sexual-minorities too” he says.