‘Being gay in India is akin to being gay in the U.S. in the 1950s’

SOUNDBITES — “For urban, middle-class homosexuals, being gay in India is akin to being gay in the U.S. in the 1950s. The condition of homosexuals in small towns and rural India is far worse. Most gays in India remain in the closet for cultural and social reasons, irrespective of the law; many still feel that the Delhi court’s ruling will not really impact their day-to-day lives as long as social stigmas remain. I don’t know the non-pejorative word for homosexual in Hindi, but “gandu”–the equivalent of bugger–and the word “homo” are routinely used colloquially as put downs and abuse. Many families have “the gay uncle” who “nobody talks about,” a semi-visible personage in the family pantheon. This “don’t ask, don’t tell” kind of blindness has only further emasculated the image of the gay person by making him invisible. It is not surprising that the law has remained untouched all these years after independence, undisturbed by any political will, cocooned by a culture that turned a blind eye.” —Roy Sinai on the state of being gay in India

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  • strumpetwindsock

    Interesting comparison.

    If conditions there are like our part of the world in the 50s, then things are actually accelerated, since the step they are now taking – repealing sodomy laws – happened in the late 60s in Canada, and between the 60s and 2000 or so in the states.

    Anyway you cut it, it is good that things are changing over there

  • sufferthefools


    To compare future progress against a past event in a different part of the world is illogical. The 1250s were much more beneficial for euro gays than the 1950s.

    Christ people are fucking stupid

  • strumpetwindsock


    Some people are kind of touchy and rude, too.
    Did you think for a moment that I might have been alluding to that very point?

  • TANK


    Yes, people are stupid. Right, strumpet? But you’re talking to an artifact. Was it easier for euro gays in the 1250s, strumpet? Was it? Tell the truth now…

  • strumpetwindsock


    That wasn’t my typing error actually

    Well I don’t know about 1250 (Montsegur fell in 1244) but when the Cathar faith was at it’s apex in southern France in the centuries before that it may have not been such a bad place to be gay.

    They certainly had women clergy, and they had no inquisition or strict dogma (except for their inner circle) like the Roman church.

  • TANK


    First hand info! Where’s ken burns with the cameras? You are a “living” (I use the term loosely) piece of history, strumpet.

  • Marius

    The 13th century had its ups and downs. The 14th century was just awful.

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