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Gay Scene - Some Reflections

we are more than this!!

Being a gay man, I have some reservations about the gay scene in India and all over the world. First thing is why we gays need to be so campy and flashy all the time. The gay stereotype is all about flamboyance and fabulousness which probably stems out from the extreme depression and frustration of the community. We want to be visible. We want to be taken into consideration. We don’t want to be taken for granted. This show business comes from the subconscious mind which is more like an attention seeking behaviour and this exhibition weirdly instills confidence in gay people; we celebrate our difference. Society tries to ignore this whole hullabaloo with a tin ear for dialogue. In societal dictionary, ignoring is same as tolerance; the fact remains that tolerance is never true acceptance. True acceptance is always feared, as society fear that more and more people will "turn gay" which will eventually tear the moral fabric, the fabric of family set up and finally we will be staring at the bizarre extinction of human race. God will have to start it all again. There is not even a miniscule of logic in such a thought. But that is what majority thinks. That is the popular thought. 

          This “glamboyance” will create false impressions in the societal mind that gay men are only about sex, without any morals and without any purpose; an allegation permanently conferred upon us. “Purpose of life” - no kids, no strings attached, no obligations, only sex and sex only - Are the heterosexual people envious? May be, may be not!! The principal reason of objection is the gay lifestyle which is labeled as promiscuous, immoral and dirty. There is some logic in that allegation though. Homosexual people in general follow a more liberal lifestyle, “more sexual” and “less committed”. Heterosexual people (especially males) also have a proclivity for multiple partners but they are bound to their children and repercussions of such an approach over the children and an established family set up greatly serve as deterrents.  Gay people don’t have any of these and so nothing to be afraid off. Gay scene is like an iceberg - only tip is in the visible domain, rest is submerged. But without given a chance for legitimate relationships (approved by society) how can the society assess the commitment capability of gay people and their ability to lead a stable life. There are many gay couples irrespective of countries who take their relationships very seriously and even adopt/raise children. They are in no way different from heterosexual couples. As per scientific evidences, the kids they raise are in no way inferior to the kids of heterosexual couples (link).  I still remember in a channel discussion which I used to follow, there was fierce criticism to gay lifestyle and gay sex, one woman from the audience passionately told that “why the discussions on gay people always go to the familiar terrain of sex and sex only - actually this is an issue about the love of two people”. The primary focus should be on love. But nobody is giving the importance it deserves - it is about one soul loving another soul, whether hetero or homo. When something is labeled as forbidden, it arouses more curiosity and interest and can turn deviant, just like getting sucked up in a whirlpool of negative emotions. Gay men are depressed, more prone to substance and physical abuses and the entire blame rests on them only; society washes its hands as usual by attributing this to their “gay choice”. Society asks the gay person to change instead of taking concrete measures to allow each and every gay person to manifest their gayness, live their own life and contribute to the society in a constructive manner rather than triggering self-nihilistic tendencies in them. The recent supreme court judgment on Section 377 is a typical example of the unchanged societal mindset and the judgment is crystal clear; “come to our way” or “perish”.  I wonder whether the “gay prides “are looked upon as genuine bold statements or as “freak shows”. Does society actually understands the real message behind a “gay pride”? Doubtful!! But something is better than nothing. Some visibility, even though it is freaky! 

With the advent of chat sites like Planet Romeo, secretive yet a public gay scene prevails in the underbelly of every urban street, where men hooks up and enjoys. 90 per cent of people enrolled are looking for casual sex only, a small minority looking for relationship which indeed is the most underrated word in the gay scene. The buzz words are “discreet”, “no strings attached”, “interested in all kinds of sex” etc. Gay men are real casanovas. “How many partners?”, such a question is irrelevant and rubbish, nobody counts!! Then there is the scare of sexually transmitted diseases. People are prone to more risks and they cannot reveal it and avail treatment because of the forbidden nature of the whole issue. One beautiful description about “flesh trade” found in one among the numerous Planet Romeo profiles is as follows,  

        “The body is just a piece of meat, which shifts and changes, it is just a bridge between your mind and your way to feel vibrations. So use your body as an instrument to feel that sense of euphoria and pleasure. The vision, the image that excites you is only a beginning, to feel all this vibration you have to use the other senses”.

        Yes, as he rightly mentions, it is euphoria. Sex can make or break a person, quite easily. Too much addiction to sex can destroy a person almost irreversibly. Use your other senses as well, think before you act. Temptations will blind you, lure you and you will be fain to embrace it,  but the results will not be promising, always.  

        Pornography: Unusual companion of any gay man. Pornography can turn addictive, but it is always safer than indulging in one night stands and casual encounters.  Time is a terrible thing to waste and you will lose much of your quality time if got addicted to pornography. Pornography can also distort the whole concept of sex. It can change your perceptions about your own body (a distorted body image) and create perverse ideas about sex and sexual practices. Those practices may not be even remotely applicable to real life situations. Recent reports also say that there is no such thing as porn addiction. Who knows!! Mutual masturbation via video chatting is also pretty popular among gay men which again is reasonably safe compared to sexcapades. Beware of showing the face as it can lead to blackmailing, defamation and abuse.

      Gay community also is rife with prejudices.  Because of rampant malpractices, if you look at the chat site profiles, the members are forced to apply so many conditions viz., no cheaters, no money takers, no effeminate guys, no fatty guys, no lean guys, no uncles and it goes on. Displaying statements like no effeminate guys, fat and lean guys hints at the prejudice prevalent in a marginalized community like ours. We are marginalizing it further. I agree that everybody have their own tastes and types - everyone can reject any message any time as they like. Then why display such profile taglines? These people are not even willing to message or “simply waste time “if they get a message from a particular type of person they abhor. I strongly feel that it is not a measure for saving time of either parties, but a kind of prejudice itself. Such taglines show hatred, intolerance. Everybody is looking for sculpted bodies and gorgeous faces, even though they themselves are not qualified enough. Nobody is willing to have a friendly chat or to lend ears to another person. The whole concept is utilitarian and without “potential bedroom moments” in cards, nobody will waste time on each other. During every planet romeo chat, the “third question” you get is “can we meet” (replace meet with the F word for a better translation of what is in the mind), if not interested, case closed. Genuine Friendships which are not exclusively based on external appearances or prospective sexual intimacy are hard to find.   Another Planet Romeo friend quips,  

     “Isn't it curious that a group of people shunned by the society in general exhibit the most ridiculous forms of prejudices, sophistications and tendencies to discriminate, to judge and to segregate? You do realize that in the eyes of the public we are all freaks!”

    What he said is the real tagline. There could not be a better representation of the prejudices existing in a community which is already oppressed and kicked at. As a marginalized community, gay community need to be more sensitive, compassionate and united.


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