Mid Day July 19, 2009

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Information about Mid Day July 19, 2009

Published on July 20, 2009

Author: hiyer

Source: slideshare.net

2 COVER STORY July 19, 2009, SUNDAY MiD DAY, Mumbai 3 How Mumbai’s coming out never suspected anything. She ON AN BY VARUN SINGH hasn’t even told their married kids varun.singh@mid-day.com Just last week, a gay couple in the story. their late twenties from Mumbai People in the closet are also AN increasing number of gays in met Patil. They wanted to come approaching others who are out. India have started calling clean to their parents. But Said Harish Iyer, an executive with 1 helplines for advice on coming then, they went for an HIV an event management company, out. For instance, before test and one of them was “People have been calling me since July 2 (when the Delhi High tested HIV +ive. The HIV- July 2 for advice on how to speak to Court pronounced its ive partner is adamant their parents about this.” Patil extraordinary decision), the that they disclose their added, “The main problem is that Humsafar Trust got about 10-15 sexual identity to their parents, most parents are in denial, so it calls every day. That number has not only because they want to stay takes a while to make them now swelled four times over and together but because the HIV-ive understand.” OUTING most calls are from people who partner wants to take care of the Humsafar can be contacted want to disclose their sexual other. “I was touched by the on: 022- 26673800. Or, email preferences to their close ones, couples’ decision. I am still them on including parents and friends. The counseling them. They have qs_humsafar@hotmail.com NGO receives not less than 35-40 decided to disclose their sexual The main calls daily at all/each of the three identities to their parents, but they centres located in Vakola, Kalyan won’t tell them about the HIV problem is that Bangalore is nonchalant and Juhu. thing as it might cause some The garden city has taken the Kalpita Lanjekar Patil, chief problem in the future,” said Patil. most parents ruling in its stride. NGOs coordinator of Humsafar’s are in denial, so say that it is easier to issues of homosexuality and sexual to document. But alternately- counseling centre, is a clinical A 65-year-old hetero couple from broach the subject as minorities. Earlier, people were shy, inclined people still can’t get psychologist and has been here for Mumbai approached the it takes a while the issue has got but now they are open post the married or adopt kids, and it’d be three years. Patil says most callers counseling centre. The husband, acceptability. demolishing of article 377.” wrong to say that many new faces Since the Delhi HC ruling, gay helplines are are between the ages of 20-35. who came in with his wife, was to make them Alternative Law Forum are coming on the scene. That’s “Earlier, callers asked us to help gay. His wife was understand (ALF), a Bangalore-based because homosexual sex between ringing off the hook. Closet gays are asking Delhi wakes up 2 them find partners. Others unaware of it until they firm, has been working on consenting adults has only been hesitated in opening up. This has came to the centre. — Kalpita Lanjekar the Lesbian Gay Bisexual In Delhi, where the historical decriminalised, not legalised,” she for advice on how to come out, to their changed after July 2. Callers are more open. Most ask us how they Recollecting the conversation, Patil said, Patil, chief coordinator of Humsafar’s and Transgender (LGBT) movement for the past three judgment took place, the response is overwhelming. Betu Singh, said. One can contact Sanginii on 011- hetero partners and their parents should tell their parents and even if they can come to the centre with “The husband started narrating his story and that he had counseling centre years. Siddharth Narayanan of ALF said, “It’s founder, Sanginii, a lesbian support group says call counts are up by 20 65676450. For video, go to www. their parents,” said Patil. a boyfriend who was 28 years old easier to address the issue per cent. More women want to The trust has been approached and how they were deeply in love now as people are more know what is safe and what isn’t; Pune wants to date mid-day.com via phone and mails in the last few with each other. As he spoke about aware. It has visibility.” previous help-seekers want to know In Pune, the judgment has made weeks. Reading one such mail, their relationship, the wife started Swabhava, an NGO that runs how far they can go in terms of date-seekers less fearful. Daljeet Patil said, “One man wrote that he crying. Of course, she could not the Sahaya helpline, holds a legal freedom. Singh of Adhar, an NGO, said, was gay and wanted to tell his believe it. They’d been married for similar view. Vinay Chandran, “Even heterosexual partners “People come to us because they parents, but was nervous as he four decades. I ended up counselor, said, “There has been who know their spouses are want to meet like-minded people.” was an only child and they loved counselling the wife; the husband no drastic change in the number homosexual are calling in, thinking Citing the example of Sandeep him very much. I’ll counsel him was only thinking of himself.” of calls. For the LGBT community, ‘ab toh haath se gayi’. So, everyone (name changed), Singh said, and if needed, even call him,” said Patil reveals how the woman’s it has always been a personal wants us to decode the change in “Sandeep wants to meet people Patil. husband often shared messages journey of coming out in front of law, clear it to them, tell them how whom he can spend some time that he and his lover exchanged, their folks. We still address these it’s going to help them be free or with. So far, he has been meeting but she issues.” retain a homosexual partner,” said gays discreetly at parks or bus stops Akkai Padmashali, who works in Singh. and then they go their separate the information division of Anjali Gopalan, director, Naaz ways. He is fed up with this Sangama, a gay rights NGO, said, and Men having Sex with Men secretiveness. He feels counseling “More people are asking us for (MSM) help group which filed the will help him.” advice now; the number of calls has petition against Sec 377 eight years — With inputs from Soumya gone up. We also meet up with ago, admitted that calls have gone Mukerji in Delhi, Anita Mischel in people on Sundays and address up hugely. “The change is too large Bangalore and Shree Lahiri in Pune Printed and published by Shaikh Anwer Dawood on behalf of Mid-Day Infomedia Ltd. Mumbai and printed at Mid-Day Infomedia Ltd at 156 D. J. Dadajee Road, Tardeo Mumbai 400 034 and R/847/3, T.T.C. Industrial Area, M.I.D.C., Rabale, Navi Mumbai published at 156 D.J. Dadajee Road, Tardeo, Mumbai 400 034. Editorial and advertising offices at Peninsula Centre, Dr S S Rao Road, Parel, Mumbai 400012; Telephone 6701 7171, Fax No: 2415 0009, RNI number 37610 /80 Postal Registration No MH/MR/WEST/66/2009-2011. Editor: Alpana Lath Sawai (Responsible for selection of news under the Press and Registration of Books Act 1867)

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