Salaam Zindagi Interviews Gay Men

NDTV, my new favorite Hindustani station (suck it ZeeTV) recently had a segment about gay men the talk show "Salaam Zindagi," but we only got a short clip. Because I'm so extra fabulous, I translated the whole damn thing. You know a 6-minute clip takes a freakin hour to translate?

So I'm wondering where that guy teaches, because I'm pretty sure a teacher in the US who came out on TV as a gay rights activist would have some issues teaching again. Indians are cool like that. You know, not really supporting gay marriage and then doing weird shit like electing a female PM. Whatevz.

Notes: Where is Mr. Deepak getting his statistics from? Someone tell me!! And if anyone has the rest of this show and feels like translating it too, send it ovahhh.


Hostess: "...accusations are made, questions are asked, and torture takes place too. Manish we have met earlier and now months later..Manish, this time since we last saw you, tell us how it was"

Manish: "It was a hectic time; a lot of people who are homosexual like myself contacted me...in a certain sense, I gave a lot of counseling. I liked it because people didn't want to come out before, people don't want to show themselves. It's hard because it's so emotional and the family pressure is so strong and people can't live their lives the way they want to.

H: "You also had quite a bit of family pressure, along with societal pressures. So did any of the family pressure alleviate when you came out, and discussed it openly?

M: My sister and my aunt, who I never would have imagined, gave me so much support and lovingly accepted met. I've been close to my aunt since I was a kid. She used to pressure me to get married, but after she saw me on the show (for the first time), she came up to me and hugged me and said sweetly "I'm proud of your strength for not bending to pressure to enter a relationship (getting married to a woman) that wouldn't have worked for you. She really appreciated me, and actually I want to say on this show "I really love you, bhua (aunt), thank you so much."

H: Knowing yourself, accepting yourself is truly something that requires a lot of strength. Saying it is easy, but may be difficult for many peoplet. You haven't met Deepak, let me introduce you - Deepak Kashyip. A gay rights activist and a teacher. He's here today because when I first met him we spoke about our episode on gay rights, and he felt it was a good opportunity to come here and speak. Deepak, you said after seeing the show you gained some strength and felt that you could speak about his openly.

D: I will say that the show was one big reason I came here. But a even bigger reason I came, I want to say: If there is anything causing you problems, there is a simple reason - either you don't understand it (being gay) fully, or the truth that you know, you don't want to accept. Often, I used to go to church and to temple and blame God that this is your problem, this is your mistake. But, later on I realized that you can't blame anyone for this. And when I found out this isn't a medical disorder and there are homosexuals in the wider animal kingdom, I realized this is a law of evolution - you can't do anything about it. So, I personally believe that I found out the truth about this and that I accepted it.

H: Your mom and dad know about this truth, and now accept you/understand you even better. The dilemma of explaining this to them, has that gotten easier, Deepak?

D: My dad always taught me that if I'm not harming the environment, hurting myself or hurting anyone else, than I have the complete right to choose the path to my happiness.

H: That's great. That is a great thing you said. If you're not causing harm to anyone, you're not pulling any shadiness, you're not talking shit about anyone, then why don't you have the equal right to being happy? Why should you be ridiculed, and laughed at? You (Deepak) are a gay rights activist, you have participated in the recent gay pride parade, why did you think of becoming a gay rights activist?

D: 85% of gay Indian men are married. And of those 85%, 90% of those men are actively gay outside their marriage. I want to work for others too.

H: Thank you for coming on this show. I have hopes that your talk will help others find the courage to accept themselves. So we had this talk with people that by society's standards maybe aren't "normal," aren't "straight" but consider themselves normal, and might see us as abnormal. Does anyone have any questions?

Question by girlie: I want to ask how much your friends supported you when you decided to come out?

D: I am lucky, because, say I had 100 friends, all of those 100 friends accepted me. It is really rare that anyone looked askance at me, otherwise I was completely accepted. They don't love me because I'm gay - they love me for me. If I was straight, even then my sexuality wouldn't matter to them as much as it matters that I am a human being.

H: Fall in love with someone, accept someone because of who they are.



Krishna said...

Interesting article. Atleast its issues that are being acknowledged in India now. Here's a bio of Mr. Kashyap covered on qmedia


Herr Kanada said...

Thank you very much for posting and translating this. It means a lot.