LGBT visibility causing Indians to question straight friends’ relationships

India has always had a culture where heterosexuals have been very physical with their friends of the same-sex, but LGBT visibility is increasingly causing this affection to be questioned

LGBT visibility is having an effect on the way Indians view close friendships among heterosexuals of the same-sex – with people now questioning those who are physically affectionate with their friends.

Indians have traditionally been very affectionate, with male friends holding hands or putting their arms over each other’s shoulders but recent legal gains by LGBTs appear to be changing attitudes.

Media professional Shweta Sen told DNA India that when she moved from Delhi to Kolkata, she and a female friend had decided to share a bed to save on rent when they moved into an expensive apartment but never expected colleagues to make jokes about it.

‘Initially we thought we would take a larger place and have our own bedrooms or beds at least,’ Sen said.

‘But then we found this place which was wonderful. The rent was high considering it was a posh locality. It was fully furnished and there was one double bed, so we slept side-by-side for 18 months.’

‘I remember a male friend was visiting from LA. He dropped me home after dinner one day and wanted to see my apartment. I remember how his jaw dropped when I proudly showed off my bedroom. He said, “You’re kidding, right? This can’t be!”’

‘There were occasions when I had to leave a party early and everyone would say “Yes, you need to go home early because your partner is waiting for you in bed.”’

Clinical psychologist Seema Hingorrany said that attitudes to friendly affection among younger Indians were changing with increased visibility with issues around homosexuality increasingly in the spotlight.

‘They are very uptight about being labelled or teased about being homosexual. So, they maintain a distance from their friends, which is sad,’ she told DNA India.

by Andrew Potts
Source – Gay Star News