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Conversations with a man who runs a blog on the city’s gay life.
[Interview and picture by Mayank Austen Soofi; the picture has no relation with the interviewee]
Sir, welcome to The Delhi Walla. Your blogsite, Yugyag, is perhaps Delhi’s first exclusive blog on gay life in the city. But it has a strange name.
Oh, yeah. It is the reverse of 'gayguy'. Yugyag symbolizes my status as a closet gay guy who somehow doesn’t have guts enough to come out. Through this blog, I’m trying to come out.
Mr. gay blogger, you may be trying to come out but we don’t even know your name. There is no picture of yours in your blogsite. Why so discreet?
Discreetness cannot be measured in degrees. Either you are discreet or you are not. When I started my blog, many of my buddies were shocked. I’m such a closet guy after all. They never imagined that I could publish my thoughts and events from my own life so openly. And yet there is a picture of mine. Just that my eyes are closed and you can’t see the rest of my face.
OK. Tell us how old is your blog?
I started it in March this year. But blogging is a big-time job. I daily have to spend three to four hours on it. The response I have received so far is just fine. People do find my style of writing very frank.
You describe yourself as a typical Indian gay guy. Means what?
A typical Indian gay, I guess, take years to understand that gayness is not about only having sex with other men. It is also about sharing emotional bonding with other men.
I’m in the gay circle since last seven years, and I have seen a dramatic change since then. Today, gays are not ashamed of their sexuality. They feel a part of the society, even with a sexuality that is not up to the societal norms. But our lives are still circumscribed. We are still confined within four walls. A typical Indian gay still suffers from emotional insecurities. He still questions his sexuality. He still hides it in the wraps of marriage. Some of us still want to appear so straight among straight folks that we don’t mind making fun of “those gays.”
Describe one evening in the life of a 30-year-old gay man in Delhi?
Not much different than any straight Delhi walla. For a 30-year-old gay man, sex becomes less of a priority and the companionship becomes more relevant. He would love to spend evenings with a nice friend over a cup of coffee perhaps. And yes, if he is horny, he doesn’t mind having a steamy session afterwards.
How difficult is Delhi to gays?
That’s an irrelevant question. The city is blind to us. We homosexuals don’t exist here.
Going through a few of your posts suggest as if homosexual men in this city end up marrying…women.
Gay men in India have two options: get married or be single. Imagine if you are living alone? How many gays are interested in a 50-year-old, pot bellied gay man with white hairs?
To make matters worse, the older you are, the more the emotional craving for a partner. When you are retired with lots of vacant hours, you really need someone with you. The need for sex is there but that’s no longer the driving passion. That’s why most gays get married just to avoid the vacuum of loneliness in that second half of life.
How culturally vibrant is Delhi’s gay life?
Thank God there’s internet. Gay life here starts with asking “ASL” to a person on net; second question is about “place available”; and, finally, it ends on a guy’s bed.
Are there hangouts where folks can hang out freely?
There is no exclusive gay pub here but there is Pegs and Pints, in Chanakyapuri, which is popular for its Tuesday gay nights. There was one in East of Kailash-- Polka, but I have heard it has discontinued its gay nights.
But look, no pub has a weekend night for gays. Its only on Tuesdays or Thursdays, because the attendance is usually low during these two days due to religious reasons (people keeping fasts etc.). Its purely biz sense.
Are there social divides in the city’s gay community?
Unfortunately, the gay world believes only in physical beauty. The guys from lower social strata are not well groomed and so no one wants to have relationships with them. But hush, many people fantasize about having one night stands with plumbers, barbers, drivers etc. By the way, you must know that most pubs offering gay nights are situated in the posh south Delhi.
Thank you for talking to The Delhi Walla, sir.
You are welcome, Mayank.