India, Asia

India is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country, and the largest democracy in the world. It has the world's twelfth largest economy at market exchange rates and the fourth largest in purchasing power. Economic reforms have transformed it into the second fastest growing large economy; however, it still suffers from high levels of poverty.

Homosexuality in India is generally considered a taboo subject by both Indian civil society and the government. Scholars differ in their views of the position of homosexuality within India's main religious traditions. There have been arguments that homosexuality was both prevalent and accepted in ancient Hindu society. Since 2001 a major legal challenge was mounted against Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalised homosexuality. The Delhi High Court ruled in favor of decriminalisation on 2nd July 2009. This ruling had the effect of making homosexuality legal across India. However many religious and fundamentalist groups have challenged the judgement in the Supreme Court, and a final judgement from the Supreme Court is pending as of 2011.  Also see: Islam and Homosexuality

 

News & Reports:

 

Sexual Orientation Change Efforts by Medical Professionals in India

Even though for the past several years homosexuality is not considered a disorder by itself in medical circles around the world, some Indian medical professionals continue to be in the grips of homophobia, religious intolerance and outdated knowledge. In India, a very small percentage of medical malpractice cases come to light chiefly because of mass… Read more »

Gays Had Freedom in pre-British India

After remaining “shy” in revealing its stand on gay sex in the Supreme Court for over two years, the Union government now seems to have gone to the other extreme stating that homosexuals had far greater freedom to satisfy their “fancies” in India than the West where it today has taken the shape of a… Read more »

India’s attorney-general blames Victorian Britain for anti-gay laws

In an apparent change of heart from the position it adopted three years ago, the Indian government has said that homosexuality was tolerated in pre-colonial India, and it was only the British who imposed their Victorian values of morality on what was a largely liberal land. India’s chielf law officer GE Vahanvati told the Supreme… Read more »

India govt in favour of decriminalising gay sex

The India government said it fully accepts the Delhi high court landmark 2009 verdict, which decriminalised consensual gay sex between adults in private. The India government today clarified its stand on gay sex, telling the Supreme Court it is in favour of decriminalisation and does not object to the Delhi High Court verdict. Attorney General… Read more »

Govt. submits data on gay population

New Delhi – India has an estimated 25 lakh gay population and about 7 per cent (1.75 lakh) of them have HIV, the government told the Supreme Court on Tuesday. “The population of Men who have Sex with Men was estimated to be 25 lakh in India,” the government said in its affidavit filed in… Read more »

36% jump in HIV among Mumbai gays in 2 yrs: Study

Mumbai: A notable increase in the prevalence of HIV among men having sex with men (MSM) in the recently concluded HIV Sentinel Surveillance in the city has alarmed anti-HIV crusaders. The annual surveillance carried out by the National Aids Control Organisation (Naco) has pegged the prevalence at 12.5% in 2010-11 (April-March ) compared to 9.2%… Read more »

Homosexuality in India: A Literary History

Dubious (a poem by Vikram Seth): Some men like Jack and some like Jill; I’m glad I like them both; but still… In the strict ranks of Gay and Straight What is my status? Stray? or Great? When Vikram Seth wrote “Dubious” many years ago, he may not have realized how long his poem would… Read more »

HC verdict on gay sex has helped LGBT

New Delhi – There has been greater societal acceptance and decrease in police harassment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community after the Delhi High Court’s landmark verdict of banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, said a study. The research conducted over a period of  six months, by Haryana-based Jindal Global Law… Read more »

Meet India’s first transgender pastor

Shunned and traumatized as a youngster, 25-year-old Bharathi now preaches to a congregation of 45 respectful parishioners, including 14 families, as India’s first transgender pastor. Bharathi, who completed her bachelor’s degree in theology last April, has been a pastor at the Evangelical Church of India (ECI) branch in Chengalpattu, on the outskirts of Chennai, for… Read more »

India’s Royal Supergay: Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil

When Jenni and I first researched the idea for Out & Around, I googled “Gay Around the World” and came up with a video clip of Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil speaking on Oprah in 2007 about gay life in India. We found Prince Manvendra’s story so compelling that we built our entire project around trying… Read more »

India unlikely hotspot for gay tourism

When Thomas Roth first visited India, he was often asked about his wife and children — questions he would try to evade. That was thirty years ago, when homosexuality was a criminal offence in India and for many the term “gay” only meant “happy.” Roth is again planning a trip to India, this time with… Read more »

Conservative India unlikely hotspot on gay tourism map

New Delhi (Reuters) – When Thomas Roth first visited India, he was often asked about his wife and children — questions he would try to evade. That was thirty years ago, when homosexuality was a criminal offence in India and for many the term “gay” only meant “happy.” Roth is again planning a trip to… Read more »

The Father of India’s Gay Rights Movement: Supergay Ashok Row Kavi

In a bursting country of billion people, it’s rare to be known as the “first” to do anything. Yet, journalist Ashok Row Kavi is well-known in India for being the first gay person to come out publicly in the country. His first coming out interview was in 1986 with Savvy Magazine, an Indian feminist magazine,… Read more »

Gay Leader Ashok Row Kavi Interview with Out & Around

In a bursting country of billion people, it’s rare to be known as the “first” to do anything. Yet, journalist Ashok Row Kavi is well-known in India for being the first gay person to come out publicly in the country. His first coming out interview was in 1986 with Savvy Magazine, an Indian feminist magazine,… Read more »

The Father of India’s Gay Rights Movement: Supergay Ashok Row Kavi

In a bursting country of billion people, it’s rare to be known as the “first” to do anything. Yet, journalist Ashok Row Kavi is well-known in India for being the first gay person to come out publicly in the country. His first coming out interview was in 1986 with Savvy Magazine, an Indian feminist magazine,… Read more »

India’s Supergay Attorney in Anti-Sodomy Law Case: Aditya Bondyopadhyay

In 2009 in a landmark case, the Delhi High Court challenged the constitutionality of India’s anti-sodomy law, Section 377. The results have catapulted India into a stronger gay rights movement. Out & Around met with Aditya Bondyopadhyay, a leading attorney on the legal team that constructed the case. Aditya now spends most of his time… Read more »

India’s Gay Attorney in High Court: Interview With Aditya Bondyopadhyay

In 2009 in a landmark case, the Delhi High Court challenged the constitutionality of India’s anti-sodomy law, Section 377. The results have catapulted India into a stronger gay rights movement. Out & Around met with Aditya Bondyopadhyay, a leading attorney on the legal team that constructed the case. Aditya now spends most of his time… Read more »

India’s Supergay Attorney in Anti-Sodomy Law Case: Aditya Bondyopadhyay

In 2009 in a landmark case, the Delhi High Court challenged the constitutionality of India’s anti-sodomy law, Section 377. The results have catapulted India into a stronger gay rights movement. Out & Around met with Aditya Bondyopadhyay, a leading attorney on the legal team that constructed the case. Aditya now spends most of his time… Read more »

Pune’s first Gay Pride parade inspires many people

Pune’s gay community held its first ever Gay Pride Parade in the city on Sunday. The community has previously hosted other such events. The second annual Queer Fest also took place over the weekend. The theme for this year’s Queer Fest is ‘Being seen, Being heard.’ The parade is expected to become an annual event… Read more »

Indian Transgender Rights Activists talk about Love and Relationships

Transgender rights activists from different parts of India speak candidly about their life, love and relationships. Produced and directed by Chennai based activist Kalki Subramaniam, as part of Project Kalki initiative. Source – Orinam.net

Accept us as we are, says LGBT community

Amidst the humdrum of the city, around 500 people – all clad in multicoloured robes, turbans and flags – came together to demand equality for the LGBT community at the 4th Delhi queer pride parade on Sunday. The parade, which began at 3pm from Barakhamba road and culminated at Jantar Mantar at 6pm, witnessed great… Read more »

Gay India News & Reports 2011 Sept- Dec

1 Campuses Lead Gay Rights Struggle 9/11 2 Sex and The Church 9/11 3 Gay sex on rise in South 10/11 4 Indian TV soap operas step out of the closet 10/11 4a Sahodaran 2012 calendar launch 10/11 5 Eunuchs have two choices… 10/11 5a October 2011 Issue of Pukaar Journal 10/11 6 The reluctant… Read more »

An Open Letter to the Health Minister of India Mr Ghulam Nabi Azad

Dear Mr Ghulam Nabi Azad, Health Minister of India It appears you need a dose of enlightenment since your recent statements on homosexuality smack of either ignorance, misinformation or rank prejudice. I hope that this missive serves that purpose, although I am doubtful. On the other hand, I hope that it shames you. I know… Read more »

The Bible is Propaganda–Bring Me Science

Ya gotta love the old guy who said this: “We should not accept religious literature instead of scientific report.” The Delhi High Court bench headed by Chief Justice A P Shah remarked in response to a Solicitor General who cited an article condemning gay sex by quoting the Bible. “These are not scientific reports. These… Read more »

Gay India News & Reports 2011 Jan-Aug

0 Law Like Love: Queer Perspectives On Law 1/11 1 Gay magazines in India hint at quiet revolution 1/11 1a Gay love is no different 1/11 2 LGBT march dismantles closets, one step at a time 1/11 2a Dear Reader… 2/11 3 Men who have sex with men for money 2/11 4 Gay sex law… Read more »

Gay India News & Reports 2010 Oct-Dec

1 The Queer Chronicle 10/10 2 HIV Rate High in MSM of Tamil Nadu, and Higher in Married MSM 10/10 3 Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women concludes 10/10 3b Changing attitudes to sex change 11/10 4 Delhi eunuchs to be given pensions 11/10 5 Mumbai multiplexes ban gay film 11/10 6 2,000… Read more »

Gay India News & Reports 2010 Jan-Sep

Gay Bombay Yahoo Group GayLaxy Magazine The Queer Cronicle 1 Video: India awaits final ruling on gay sex 1/10 1a MSM and women in Bangalore, South India, and HIV 2 Male sex workers in India 2/10 3 Transgender beauty pageant concludes in Mumbai 2/10 3b Sexual behaviour of MSM and transgenders in Southern India 4… Read more »

Gay India News & Reports Sep-Dec 2009

1 Indian govt to accept gay sex ruling: report 9/09 2 Job training opens window to a new life for massage men 9/09 3 Suspected gay couple hangs to death 10/09 4 Urban Poor Stand UP for Transgenders 10/09 5 Gay prince sets up India’s first old age home for gay men and women 10/09… Read more »

Love Among the Ruins: USA, an Indian Prince, Love & HIV

Sydney, Australia – While America was limping from the loss of two important marriage-rights elections (New Jersey and Maine), across the globe in India there was a cause for celebration of sorts. Prince Manvendra Gohil, the famous ‘gay Prince’ from Rajpipla state in the western Gujarat area of India announced last night to an audience… Read more »

A Princely Gay Man – Manvendra Singh Gohil of India Comes Out

No question that rank carries privilege and privilege carries fame. This time it belongs to an Indian prince who came out as gay in 2005 and shocked his family and fascinated the Indian public. Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil of the Rajpipla region in the state of Gujarat, the westernmost state in India (Mahatma Gandhi was… Read more »

Leading Spiritual Teacher in India Discusses Being Gay as it Applies to Spirituality

Copenhagen, Denmark – Many years ago, I attended a couple of seminars offered by this “guru” when he was little known. Today he is one of India’s most respected spiritual teachers, and I came across an article about what he recently said about being gay. So much has been written about homosexuality since the Delhi… Read more »

Homosexuality not a Taboo in Jharkhand Tribe (India)

Well, here is some fine news, for a change, from the July 6, 2009 Hindustan Times, that is not full of oppression, homophobia, anti-gay sermons or discriminatory political statutes. Turns out that “among the Ho tribe of Jharkhand (a state in Eastern India ) homosexuality has always been socially accepted. Homosexual men are called Kothi… Read more »

Gay India News & Reports Jun-Aug 2009

Gay Bombay Yahoo Group: gaybombay@yahoogroups.com 1 Young, Royal & Gay: the Life of an Indian Prince 6/09 2 How Bill Gates Blew $258 million in India’s HIV Corridor 6/09 3 Anti-gay protesters pitch to Pope, Imam and Shankaracharya 6/09 4 City prepares for gay pride march 6/09 5 Moily signals rethink on anti-gay law 6/09… Read more »

Gay India News & Reports Jan-May 2009

Also See: Islam and Homosexuality Gay Bombay Yahoo Group: http://www.gaybombay.org/ 1 Victorian Morals Still Criminalising Gay People 1/09 2 Eunuchs move SC seeking quota in jobs 1/09 3 Openly happy and gay in Orissa 1/09 4 Male professionals double as sex workers for extra income 2/09 5 Indian city to build trans toilets 3/09 6… Read more »

Gay India News & Reports 2008 Nov-Dec

Also see: Islam and Homosexuality Gay Bombay Yahoo Group: http://www.gaybombay.org/ 1 Gay photographer captures life in new book 11/08 2 In their scarred world… 11/08 3 U.N. Calls on India To Decriminalize Homosexuality 11/08 4 For Gays in India, Fear Rules 11/08 5 A Jihad of the Heart a study with practicing Muslim 11/08 6… Read more »

Gay India News & Reports 2008 July-Oct

Also see: Islam and Homosexuality Gay Bombay Yahoo Group: http://www.gaybombay.org/ 1 Personal Testimony About the Three Gay Pride Marches Last Week 7/08 2 Reverse swing: It may be an open affair for gays, lesbians New Delhi 7/08 3 Capital witnesses Pride walk, but 68 Pages of anguish gets no hearing 7/08 4 Interconnected stories of… Read more »

Gay India News & Reports 2008 May-Jun

Also see: Islam and Homosexuality Gay Bombay Yahoo Group: http://www.gaybombay.org/ 1 377 petition hearing set by delhi high court 5/08 2 India’s transgendered – the Hijras 5/08 3 It’s Hard Out There for a Gay Prince 5/08 4 Harassed lesbian couple ends life 5/08 5 Delhi HC to take up PIL on gay rights 5/08… Read more »

Gay India News & Reports 2008 Jan-Apr

Also see: Islam and Homosexuality Gay Bombay Yahoo Group: http://www.gaybombay.org/ 1 Surat AIDS workers go gay-hunting 1/08 2 What’s wrong with playing gay, asks Samir Soni 1/08 3 Mr.Gay India and Gay Blogs 1/08 4 Gujarat’s gay prince to adopt child soon 1/08 5 Police bust ‘gay’ party 2/08 6 Police raid private house party… Read more »

Gay India News & Reports 2007 Jul-Dec

Also see: Islam and Homosexuality Gay Bombay Yahoo Group: http://www.gaybombay.org/ 1 Lesbian marriage breaks up, girl slits wrist in court 7/07 2 Gay husband drives Bengal woman to suicide 7/07 3 Gay. So what? 7/07 4 Prince of Rajpipla Could Become First Openly Gay Indian Royal 7/07 5 My life: a true story of life… Read more »

Gay India News & Reports 2007 Jan-Jun

 Also see: Gay Bombay Yahoo Group: http://www.gaybombay.org/ 1 Prince is out but not down In India, where being gay is a crime 1/07 2 Review of ’07 New Years Party at Karma Club 1/07 3 Gay Goa 1/07 4 Actor Richard Gere champions AIDS awareness 1/07 5 Police refuse to arrange gay wedding 1/07 6… Read more »