:::all things bright and beautiful:::

Thought showcase - exhibit #4

here's is something i would love to know more about -

"I suspect that the great majority of middle-class Indians are not particularly averse to homosexuality, provided that gay couples carry on discreetly. A similar outlook can be found in the small towns of southern United States, where gay "roomates" are allowed to live together without excessive scutiny. The comedian Russell Peters often quips that a good family background would be important to Indian parents of same-sex partners. "

~ so said Vikram

12 Responses to “Thought showcase - exhibit #4”

  1. # Blogger Lil Yang

    Being from the Southern part of the United States, I can tell you that "carry on discretely" really means "pretend you're straight at all costs." It becomes an issue of suppression of who someone is. Imagine if tomorrow someone told you you could culturally be Indian (In the US), but you have to pretend you're not Indian. You can't speak Thelegu in public. No traditional remnants of Indian culture, Hindu or Moslem religious practices, or wearing of any kind of traditonal garb would be tolerated in public. In fact, if you even dared to eat spicy food at a restaurant, you'd probably get dirty looks. I would not say that community you live in would be considered tolerant or accepting if that were that case.

    The same becomes true of gay people. The mantra of the community becomes, "You can do whatever you want, as long as you fool us into believing you're doing what we want. So, at all costs, be something you're not."

    And that's a US version of how gay people might be treated. In Indian culture, which has much more rigid designations and honor bound codes, where disgrace of the family is often a mortal sin, Iwould say my above description become much more deeply true. Indian transplants to the US feel this even more as they are seen by their parents as having a chance to succeed at high levels. Homosexuality in those contexts becomes a distraction from a perceived golden opportunity and thus, a great disservice to the parents. The pressures such kids feel from their parents becomes extreme to say the least. At least that's what I've heard from some of the Indian folks that I've been friends with, although I must admit most of them have become computer people, doctors or psychologists.  

  2. # Blogger sou

    "carry on discretely" really means "pretend you're straight at all costs." - that's a good one..

    i guess in India even with all the rigid designations and honor bound codes.. there are a lot of back door ways to live how you want esp for gays.

    same sex affection (non-sexual) isn't so readily seen as having sexual connotation here. men and women can hug and kiss (not on the lips) ppl of the same sex and not raise eyebrows. it is because of this unwillingness to read "bad" intentions into 'innocent' affection by society is what makes it easier for gays to breath a li'l.

    but this is entirely my perception of how it works.. which is why i've posted this. i really would love to know more about the current situation.

    i must say however, that if found out.. they can face some serious ostracization and might even have to run to save their lives (depending on which part of India they are in)  

  3. # Blogger Oz

    wonder what makes His Holiness Sri Sri talk about fluids.  

  4. # Anonymous Anonymous

    Okay, the post and the comments here seem to be from people in the US - be they of Indian background or not. I live in India and am an Indian so here is my 2 paise worth on the topic.

    Homosexuality will not be tolerated in most parts of India. Here I would like to exclude a thin crowd which does seem to, but I won't comment on them since I really am not part of that gang.

    Lil Yang has a point when she says that The pressures such kids feel from their parents.

    If the child is a boy the parents are already calculating how much dowry he is worth and if it is a girl she carried the "pride" of the family on her frail shoulders. So to openly claim that one is gay would be tantamount to breaking your parents dreams, which for some funny reason Indian kids are loathe to do.

    I scream myself hoarse telling people that a generation owes nothing to the previous generation. Parents are not doing their children a favor by caring for them - it is their duty. A child pays its parents back by caring for its own children. When a child takes care of its parents THAT is a favor.

    Of course I get ghastly looks everytime I voice this thought.

    Coming back to the discussion of whether gay couples would be accepted in India - the answer is a definite NO.

    We haven't yet learnt how to integrate eunuch's into society, gays have to take a token and stand in queue.


  5. # Blogger autogato

    Lil Yang has framed it up perfectly. Discrete often times equals "hide your try self." It's really frustrating. ArG!!  

  6. # Blogger sou

    @maverick - point by point..

    1. thanks for coming to my blog. how did you come by?

    2. i am very much an Indian staying in India

    3. so you are saying you don't tolerate homosexuality?! wow.. we need to talk more about this!

    4. Lil Yang is a guy :)

    5. interesting take on kids' duties towards parents.. i'm not sure i agree with you completely on that.. but i get what you are saying.

    6. the main point - the question wasn't whether gay couples will be accepted in India.. coz the answer for that would be a simple no. i guess i was looking forward to discussing how gay live in India in comparison with gays the world over..

    7. eunuchs in India.. *sigh* i truly dunno of any other group that is as traumatized as this bunch. reallly sad.

    @ oz - hahhaa.. ur comment reminded me of that mad military guy in the movie "Dr. Strangelove, Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb". have u seen that one? was ur comment a reference to it?  

  7. # Anonymous Anonymous

    @sou - point by point..

    1. i am glad i stopped by. i guess i came through orkut. i usually visit the lnks from a person's page on orkut if they have a blog. if i find th blog interesting i add it to my favs and keep a track of it.

    2. i know you are. i meant the post was by someone in the US. i maybe wrong, just felt that way.

    3. no i am not saying i dont tolerate homosexulity. i dont think either ways about it. each person is entitled to their preferences and if someone wants to b gay, they are most welcome to.

    4. Thanks for the info :)

    5. i get that comment a lot on that one :)

    6. gays like "live-in" couples a few years ago hide the fact and get on with it. my wife and me were a live-in couple. we in fact lived together for 8 years before tying the knot. the reasons and many and can be a discussion in its own right. it is a definite that they wouldnt. but there is also the advantage that in india we dont look for outward signs. two guys with their arms on each other's shoulders would not raise eyebrows like they would in the west. so if the couple is ready to be discreet then they can get away with it.  

  8. # Anonymous jedi

    what i would to know is why u want to know :)

    am a 'secret' live-in for the last 2 years, straight, not gay. but it has its own problems.
    tolerance pales when security, self and faith come to the fore.  

  9. # Blogger sou

    i guess the key here is being "discreet".. and i wanted to sortof see how that word and what it means changes when we talk about gays in India and gays in US.

    i guess i want to know more about it or i want to talk about it coz its my perception that gays in India actually have more freedom to be themselves without inviting the moral police's attentions coz in india we dont look for outward signs [if caught however they might certainly face worse things that their counterparts in US]

    so i wanted to know if others agreed on this.

    oh and here's an interesting development! we've suddenly started talking about live-in relationships.. so is this an indication that gay relationships are somewhat equivalent to live-in relationships in the eyes of "society"?

    blogging is fun when you get interesting comments.. thanks ppl :)  

  10. # Anonymous Anonymous

    @sou - LOL. No "live-in" and "gay" relationships are not in the same league. the point i wastrying to make it that one can be discreet about such things. when we started a decade ago very few people knew we were "living in sin". :) a handful of close friends thats all. the rest never knew we shared the same address.

    i know a gay couple living in a building where my friends live. in fact it is a gay threesome.

    great topic u put up. always nice to have someone challenge ur beliefs or way of life. i wonder however how i would react if i knew my son or daughter was gay. i wish i am able to handle it in the right way. that is the ultimate test of one's character.  

  11. # Blogger autogato

    Wow. This has been a super interesting thread to follow with all the posts here.

    You do such a great job at getting the gears in my head spinning. When will your next installment come???  

  12. # Blogger sou

    maverick, life's the best teacher.. whether you want to or not, if your girl/boy decides to shock you, you will learn how to handle it :)

    autogato, your asking for my next post and my posting my next post seem to have become tacit partners..  

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