The following is a post written by a friend of mine who is now in India doing some journalism for a Canadian Gay & Lesbian online newspaper called Xtra.ca (http://www.xtra.ca) . He wrote this little piece with Queeristan in mind, so enjoy :)
At long last, it's a good time to be gay in India.
Delhi's High Court seems on the verge of legalizing homosexuality. Pride parties are kicking off in cities across the country. Even Bollywood movies are featuring fun, outrageous flamers.
"It's like Canada in the 1960's," an Indian guy told me over coffee in Kolkata. Which means that most of the country's homos are still in the closet, but the door's about to burst open.
When the West talks about the modernization of India, it usually means the emergence of software companies and call centres. But I came to India to witness the modernatization of its attitudes.
I landed in Kolkata in late October and immediately embarked on a gay tour of one of my favourite countries. My guides are guys that I meet on the internet. In every city I go, I just need to meet one, and he introduces me to all his friends.
In the past month and a half, I've danced at the gay bar in Kolkata, marched with queer sex workers in Hyderabad and brunched with the out runners of Bangalore. I also had the honour of meeting a fantastic activist that I like to call "the gay rights guru of East India". And yes, I know that things still aren't peachy keen for everyone. Trans activists are being busted, the HIV/AIDS rate is way too high and bribery and extortion are still big problems for a lot of queers.
I'm a freelance reporter from Winnipeg, Canada, and every week, I'm writing all about my experiences on Canada's top GLBT news site, www.xtra.ca. My column is called "This ain't Mother Teresa's India". I invite all my Queeristani friends to check it out and make all the comments you want. Better yet, if you're in India, let me know how we can meet up. This year, I'm celebrating Christmas in Goa and New Year's in Mumbai. I'd love to know where the party's at.
Thanks for reading!