Tag Archives: Gay Bombay

#30DaysOfPride: 30 Gay Men Tell Me What Pride Means To Them

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June marked LGBTIQA Pride month.

To honour the #30DaysOfPride, I asked 30 different men what #Pride meant to them. The answers poured in from all over my little black book — from actors and illustrators, journalists and doctors, entrepreneurs and bankers. The fact that I have a huge social circle aside, here’s what they had to say about every gay man’s favourite little word (which is not Grindr):

‘Pride means spreading the rainbow love, just like a leprechaun. It’s about finding your pot of gold. Only, the pot of gold is acceptance.’

— Jaysh, film-maker

‘Pride is a platform to show that celebration has no gender or sexuality; and that we stand together as one — gay, straight, and transgendered. I feel like it’s a system that encourages more people to come out to themselves and then to the world.’

— Swapnil, computer whiz

‘Pride means the freedom to be whoever I want to be — fierce, feisty or fabulous. Freedom from prejudice. Freedom from hate. Freedom from Section 377.’

— Siddhanth (name changed), student

‘Pride is the distant hope of self-acceptance.  Am I okay being gay? Yes. Am I proud of it? Not fully yet. But I know I’ll reach there sooner than later. That said, I wish there was more representation for the LBT side of the community. Unfortunately, it’s still a ‘Man’s World’ here. Is there a Grindr for lesbians?’

— Akshat, advertising guru

‘Pride means pushing the government to legalise gay sex. Let’s be the democracy that we proudly say that we are.’

— Hayden, entrepreneur

‘Pride means not looking down on people who are proud to be the best version of themselves. Let’s stop the hate, and spread some love?’

— Arnav, video editor

‘Pride is a feeling of being comfortable with who you are, and being comfortable in your skin. It’s the simplest kind of joy there is.’

— Sumeet, fashion god

‘Pride is the one formal occasion where you can address the issue of your sexual orientation with the public without any preface — you simply don’t need one. It’s nice to have it out there, even if one doesn’t attend — that doesn’t need to bind you. But I’d love to see more allies attending. It’d be nice to know in person that our friends actually support us. The little things matter the most, don’t they?’

— Ganesh (name changed), copy editor

‘Pride means empowerment, freedom and inclusiveness. And the world (and we) could with a bit more of all the three.’

— Sahil, fashion manager

‘Pride for me is essentially doing away with any form of stereotypical associations and labels surrounding the community (yes, that includes rainbows and unicorns) while, it is also about NOT being judgmental. Each one of us is a distinct universe in itself, and our sexuality is a mere planet – this thought needs to percolate the mind of every human in the world.’

— Guru (name changed), cyclist

‘Pride means making the world a better place to live in, because we are better human beings, aren’t we? Now how about we welcome some gay bars in the country, and get some hot Latinos as well?’

— Oshan, marketing strategist

‘Pride means loving myself, and telling my demons to go take a hike.’

— Jacob, writer

‘Pride means positivity. It means that we have to stop discriminating within our own community based on body type and behaviour! You say “No fats, no femmes”? I say you are a douchebag.’

— John, analyst

‘I have an issue with the word Pride. To me, it is a reflective word wherein it segregates one kind from another. I would rather we use the world equality — for all sexes and sexual orientations, races, ethnicities and religions.  Equality will be a better goal. Not everybody was born equal, and not everybody wants the same things in life. I believe that we need legal and social-cultural instruments that allow for diversity. Beyond the legal and social struggles that plague the LGBT community in our heteronormative and patriarchal world, I have a sinking suspicion that the bigger challenge for the LGBT community will be fighting its own internal hypocrisy and inequality. I hope more people realised that.’

— Usmaan (name changed), architect

‘Pride is representation. It’s normalising the stigma that stunts diversity. For every little boy who goes to bed scared to keep a secret, Pride represents strength. To claim the life that is a privilege to many, but an everyday battle of coming out for us.’

— Anuj, consultant

‘They don’t call it a #Pride of lions just for aesthetics.’

— Kartik, copywriter

‘Pride here is San Francisco’s equivalent of Diwali or Christmas, without all the high-pressure gift giving or the elevator music. It’s a time for people to celebrate who they are, and unapologetically be themselves. But it’s also an occasion to celebrate everything that the LGBT community has achieved so far, and how much more work remains in the march to equality and acceptance around the world. Here’s hoping that Supreme Court of India finally acts on the issue, and more people speak up for the rights of the community.’

— Dhruv, doctor

‘Pride isn’t a week nor is it something that I seek. It’s not something that I wish for, nor does it define me. My sexuality is my business, just as a heterosexual man’s is. I don’t try to celebrate it, as I don’t mean to mark myself any different.’

— Kaustav (name changed), strategist

‘I am proud not for being a homosexual, but for the self-assertion that I am gay. Queer people just need a tad more self-acceptance and self-pride, because we constantly face challenges and doubts about ourselves. I want more and more people to come out; we need to show that we exist — after all, fighting for the rights of an invisible community will always be difficult, and we’ve already got a lot on our plate.’

— Deepak, psychologist

‘Pride is a bunch of mixed feelings. I believe in breaking the rules, and colouring outside the borders. For me, Pride represents emotions. It represents fight. It represents courage. It means that we are unequal, which is why one has to fight for justice.’

— Ronak, data analyst

‘Pride means homosexuality is so much more than just being a Lady Gaga song.’

— Raj (name changed), actor

‘To me, Pride is an amalgamation of three things.  To be comfortable with who you are and be able to exude the same, to acknowledge and be thankful for those who’ve stood up against the oppression, and to finally be cognizant of the fact that each one of us can be an agent of change in our own way, however big or small, to speak up about measures of inequality.’

— Ishaan, idea maker

‘#Pride means owning up to your orientation. It’s that simple.’

— Jaymin, founder at Salvation Star

‘To quote Albert Camus, “the only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion”. When myriad colours, flamboyant attire and in-your-face unabashed sexuality walks along with the skeptical mask-wearing first-timers, the one message that resonates from Pride is of upholding individual liberty and respecting choice.’

— Aman, health consultant

‘Equal rights and equal opportunities. That goes without saying.’

— Rafael, illustrator

‘Pride is the antithesis of shame. The shame that queer people feel for being who they are, and that most continue feeling periodically over time. I feel like it is one of the steps we take towards not feeling this shame. What the country needs are more spaces in the cities where LGBT folks can socialise, outside of the regular bi-monthly parties. A space where we can finally, be.’

— Vinit, finance consultant

‘Pride is the mainstreaming of a conversation that all levels of Indian society need to engage in. LGBTQ folk come from all sections of the society and have many shared concerns: acceptance and normalcy being the top of the list. Pride helps bring that to light. At the same time, it also means being aware, sensitive and having conversations that might seem difficult: About HIV, hatred that stems from ignorance, our own biases and widespread loneliness. Pride needs to be a life long commitment, not just a day of merriment and brash defiance.’

— Varun, journalist

‘It’s something we shouldn’t be needing if we received equal treatment, but which we now have to display loudly just to kick sense into the minds of mud heads. If that doesn’t work, maybe a baseball bat would do. Just saying.’

— Kurien, chemical researcher

‘Pride is about inclusivity, even for all the gay men with the white-collar jobs.’

— Karan, stylist

‘Pride means being proud of who you are. It means quitting comparing yourself with others and loving yourself for what you stand for. What do I see for the future then? Better, comprehensive mental health care services for the LGBTIQA youth and anti-bullying laws that are more stringent.’

— Alok, food blogger

Yet Another 25 Men You Should Not Date in 2017

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What do you look for when you are looking for a great man?

Bright eyes? Undeniable wit? A smile that reaches his eyes? Billboard-style white teeth? An Instagrammable face? An ability to make you laugh and swoon at the same time? A closet full of expensive, Italian shoes that fortunately fit you too? A trust fund (that would be me, sorry)?

The list might be endless, but we all have our checklists ready when we are looking for our potential plus one.

While I can’t personally tell you whom you should be dating (because your life, your choice), I can definitely warn you against these 25 douchebags to look out for, and swerve around. Why?

Let’s just say that these men are so bad; they’d make me look like a nice person. Do you want to know more?

So without much further ado, never date a man who…

1. Says he secretly judges people who haven’t had ‘avocado on toast’.
You know what else they’ve not had? First world problems.

2. Adds an inspirational Internet quote to his display picture on Facebook.
I am sorry, but Rumi’s poetry doesn’t go very well with your shower room selfie at the gym.

3. Always brings up that one time you didn’t answer his call.

Especially in the middle of a fight, two years later. Even though he knew you were burying your beloved dead cat. All alone.

4. Substitutes his abs for a personality.
And while these abs (all six of them) might be dashing and full of manners in bed, they’d have a really difficult time having a conversation with your friends.

5. Says ‘Heeheehee’ instead of ‘Hahahaha’.
It just makes it sound like he-he-he’s up to something.

6. Corrects people’s grammar on Grindr.
He’s not at a book club; he’s only here to be sexually objectified like everyone else. If he wants to look more uppity, he could have his college degree up as his profile picture.

7. Pesters everyone he knows to say anonymous things to him on sayat.me.
How about sayat.me not?

8. Has his single malt with cola.
You never want that kind of negativity in your life.

9. Says something like ‘my ex is the reason why I haven’t been able to emotionally connect with anyone else ever since’.
Said every red flag ever.

10. Comments on YouTube videos.
And then gets upsets or sulks continuously when it doesn’t get enough up votes.

11. Surprises you with a threesome for your birthday.
Where the third is his ex boyfriend.

12. Uses the hash tag #NotAllMen
And still claims to be a feminist. Ugh.

13. Forwards you Whatsapp messages that need to be sent to ‘15 of your closest friends to avoid bad luck’.
Break out of the chain. Literally.

14. Wears glasses, even though he doesn’t have a prescription.
He says sapiosexual. I say douchebag.

15. Does not acknowledge his champagne breath.
Instead, offers you a breath mint as if you are dying of halitosis.

16. Claims to be a Twitter influencer.
Oh be still, my excitable heart — but make sure it’s in 140 characters or less.

17. Complains about how he had to skip out on the Justin Beiber concert because of work.
Maybe you should skip him instead?

18. Tells you that his favourite band is ‘an obscure indie one that you’ve probably never heard of ’ because they are that niche.

19. Is thrilled when he’s asked for his ID at the local pub.
Sure, some bored bartender validated your bag-free eyes, your lush head of hair and your perfectly lined teeth; but keep in mind he’s doing it only because he plans to earn that extra buck (or hundred) as a tip for being ‘such a darling’.

20. Sulks when you don’t compliment him for still fitting into his designer jeans from seven years ago.
Because his waist is not as large as his ego.

21. Is passive aggressive at the drop of a hat.
Including that one time you actually dropped his designer hat from Bloomingdale’s, and he asked you if you could be ‘a tad bit more careful’ the next time around. There was no next time around.

22. Calls himself a ‘connoisseur of fine men’.
That’s just a polite (and politically correct) way of saying he’s been around a lot.

23. Never calls his mother.
Unless she’s dead. Or abandoned him.

24. Disses you for listening to Lady Gaga.
But has Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream album favourited in his playlist.

25. Asks you for a picture on Grindr, even though his profile is blanker than John Abraham’s face.
And there’s a very high chance he doesn’t look like John Abraham either.

#GuysexualRecommends: Salvation Star’s Taboo Soiree: Time To Let It Glow!

 

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What: Salvation Star’s Taboo Soiree!

Where: White Owl Brewery and Bistro, Lower Parel, Mumbai.

When: 9:30 PM onwards, Saturday, 6th May 2017.

Why: Because while the thirst for tasty cocktails and chilled artisanal beer is real this summer, the thirst for cute guys is even more so. Have a thing for pretty men in prettier clothes?

Salvation Star is your path to sexual salvation.

Plus hey, I’ll be covering the party LIVE!