Sorry for getting here late, but can we call for some aperitifs?
We might have said our goodbyes to 2016 with a list of resolutions only last week, but I’ve a habit of replacing my calendars faster than I replace my boys. As I bring in the New Year with anti-hangover pills and super-sized bottles of water, here are a few of my out-of-the-spotlight hopes for a more fabulous, less frightening 2017:
1. A dating app that people honestly use to find real dates.
Goodbye, Grindr. It was great knowing you, but I think it’s not working out.
Whatever happened to good ol’ fashioned dating, you ask? 2016 did. Most dating apps are breeding grounds for fuckboys (and other such men) who’d rather have you than the crème brulee you plan to share with them after dinner. How about we go for a movie, have tacos at a concession stand and laugh over how great a time we had over dessert before I decide whether or not I want to be your dessert?
2. A goodbye to Section 377
While Section 377 bans consensual sex between any two gay men, what it really bans is my hope for the future of humanity. It’s finally time to say goodbye to the century old law, just like it’s time to say goodbye to the ex who never called back after the seventh date.
PS: Let’s just keep the regression to our primetime soaps for now?
3. More LGBTIQ inclusive curriculum in schools
Can you imagine a world where boys don’t get bullied for being effeminate? Where derogatory terms aren’t passed around like a joint during recess? Where social hierarchy does not push all the LGBT kids to the bottom rung of the ladder? Where it’s cool to wear brogues to class? Where gay is a quaint little synonym for ‘happy’, not a slur that gets thrown around at school (like I did)?
Neither can I, which is why it is important to pave way for more LGBTIQ inclusive curriculum in schools. The more you expose kids to gay culture; the more sensitive men (and women) you raise for the world (and for theatre).
4. A friendly neighbourhood gay bar
No, we don’t want a bar that seeks us out every other Saturday of the month — we want a bar where we can be ourselves every day of the week. Although we might like drinks and drunken banter at the niche pub halfway across town, we’d love it a lot more if we could have them without the masks and your musky colognes.
5. Fewer stereotypes in cinema
There’s a small part of my brain that plays Karan Johar’s Dostana on loop whenever I feel too cocky about my sexuality. While the Indian film industry could do with equal pay for both men and women, it could also do with gay characters that aren’t the husband-snatching, diva-quoting caricatures that they are often shown to be.
Fawad Khan’s deliciously well-written (and well essayed) role in 2016’s classic Kapoor and Sons is a great place to begin, and 2017 should only welcome more such roles (and actors). What would the movie theatres welcome then?
6. Clearance sales that actually count
Know that feeling when you walk into a high-end store that boasts of a massive 70 percent discount only to walk out 15 minutes later because it’s only valid on the white V-neck that is two sizes too small?
I bet you do. Let 2017 be that year when a cashmere sweater isn’t as expensive as a two-week trip to Kashmir, and the only thing that is out of my budget is the ridiculously cute store manager who stands by the scarves.
7. A gay man’s handbook for love, sex and relationships that is the norm.
How soon do you text someone back after a great date? Is it okay to wear plaid on a first date? How do I separate the bad boys from the lot? Do I put out before the third meeting? What should my beside drawer hold? Do I ask too many questions? What we really need are answers to all of these and more — maybe a Lonely Planet-like guide for lonely men?
Honestly, 2017 is the year when we could all do with a dating manual, so that the next time we all get our hearts broken (and it will happen again), we know exactly how to fix it back and try all over again.
Just like 2017 is.