“Gaycation” recap (2.2): India

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Next up, Ellen and Ian address something that affects 88% of the Indian population: arranged marriage. They meet with a family who made a big stir when the gay man’s mother put an ad in the paper looking for a husband for her son. Harish is a vegetarian, cat loving gay man who is just looking for a match, and his mother,┬áPadma, loves and accepts her son and wants the same for him. While they did meet a few eligible men, Harish has yet to become engaged. That doesn’t mean Padma and Harish will stop trying, though.

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Our hosts travel to meet one of India’s most well known and respected LGBT activists, former journalist Ashok Row Kavi. Row Kavi points out that issues for LGBT citizens in India are divisive. The needs of queer women are different than those of queer men, which can make it difficult to create a united front. While women deal with violence and oppression within the home or their familiar close-knit circles, gay men deal with a more public side of violence and ignorance. He also doesn’t shy away from bringing up another issue that keeps gay men and women divided: misogyny.

So, where are the queer women and how are they fighting for a place in this world? Ellen and Ian meet up with a social organization for queer women called Gay-C and get their asses handed to them on the bad-mitten court.

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Gay-C holds events and creates safe spaces for queer women. One of the members of Gay-C speaks about privilege, and how their backgrounds make life a little easier being both queer and female. This is not everyone’s experience as we will see later. Another one of the women points out that women’s sexuality, queer or not, is invisible in their experience for the most part in India. It’s about marriage and children, so female sexual desire is not given the credence it deserves.

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