“Gaycation” recap (2.2): India

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In this week’s episode of Gaycation, Ellen and Ian head to India to address the issues that LGBTQ people face in the country. As Ellen tells us in her voiceover, India is dealing with a rather interesting situation. With over 1 billion citizens, and many, many different regions, growing pains and moving on from British colonial rule have created a complicated environment for its LGBT citizens. While a third gender (those known as Hijras) is accepted, life for many queer Indians is complicated at best, downright dangerous at its worst.

The duo starts off their trip in Mumbai, the largest city in India and located on the country’s Western coast. They meet with author Parmesh Shahani, who literally wrote the book (Gay Bombay) on being gay in India. He stresses the community aspect of being queer and brings up the Draconian British Colonial law, Section 377, which criminalizes homosexuality. In his opinion, there are still many who hold on to the values and mindsets of colonialism. After being lifted in 2009, the damn law was put back on the books in 2011, which was a crushing blow to the LGBT community. Still, the LGBT community perseveres.

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Ian heads to a weekly gay dance night and chats with quite a few out and proud gay men. There is a major thing that can’t go unnoticed: there are no women there. That’s certainly not lost on Ellen.

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