The Indian metros have long been considered the mecca for homosexual activities, with a few other cities like Nagpur, Hyderabad, etc. being constantly considered. The media hype and the amount of information overload (with the internet and websites like orkut playing a major role) has changed the scenario a lot now. Even small cities like Allahabad, Lucknow, Kanpur, Meerut, Patna, to name a few have recently seen a surge in the amount of queer activities. What is astoundingly noticeable is the fact that almost all towns have ‘gay meeting points’ which are just a google away! A number of NGOs are doing some work, mainly to make the ‘communities’ aware of the protection they need to have against STDs. While sexuality is a very complicated issue it is incredible how the number of people who have ‘come out of the closet’ has considerably increased over a few years in India.
I tried to find out more on this issue on the backdrop of a ‘gay marriage’ between two girls hailing from Harrayana. Journalism can be a very complex experience and I experienced it first hand in my first stint with ‘true journalism’. Getting a chance to interview a person who flaunts his sexuality openly over the internet was much tougher than I had imagined. I contacted a few people through orkut.com but it was a futile attempt. (I wanted an interview for my podcast as well but it could never happen!). Having set my mind on the story I went the illegal way. I created a fake orkut account and joined a few communities which openly expose the lack of securities and the slackness in the implementation of the ‘norms’ of google.com and its associated sites. As I browsed through the various communities and their members, a few facts were evident:
- Getting ‘hooked up’ is very simple on the internet.
- Nudity and obscenity is the order of the day.
- For many it is just a medium to escape the monotony of their lives.
- Pornography is not restricted to the business aspect; many sex chats (C-2-C, as they are called) show the individual and non-economic angle.
- For quite a few fame hungry men and women, violating the norms of the society is the easiest option and internet provides them a private audience with secret admirers.
- The serge in the queer behavior may be just a lack of opportunity with the opposite sex (even over the internet) and the strange restrictions that the Indian society imposes on such individuals (especially belonging to small towns).
- There are however, a number of fascinated first timers who may have been ‘inspired’ by the MTV and other outlets of metro-culture. (If a big football star is Gay, it’s so ‘cool’).
Like always, I don’t wish to leave you with an overwhelming opinion that may obstruct your free flowing thought process. I just had my side of the story to tell you and encourage you to voice your opinions here and have a fruitful discussion.
PS: I’ve deleted the fake profile I had created on orkut.com!!!