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An Indian Gay e-zine

MAY - JUN 2011


Vol II Issue III

empowering expressions

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Leisure Credits

Editor’s Note Volume 2 | Issue 3 | May-Jun 2011


Editor-in-Chief: Sukhdeep Singh Editors: Siddhant Pattanaik Sukanya Mahata Team of Writers: Rohan Noronha Dibyendu Paul Agnivo Niyogi Contributors: Louis Jonval Victor Phunk Factor Dr. Taz Ozzy Aquino Aakash Sharma Souvik Biswas Rohit Avishek Design: Peeyush Jain Pawan Koserwal Mukesh Prasad Web: Apurv Gupta Cover Pic: Kat Jackson Marketing & Advertising: Divir Tiwari Published from: Kolkata, India Email: Website:


elcome back! So many things happened in the last two months, and so many things are supposed to happen in the coming months. So it is going to be an eventful month again. Especially July, since this 2nd of July will mark the 2nd anniversary of the reading down of Sec 377. Many cities are planning to hold various events on 2nd July. We will keep you posted via our Facebook page. The case is still pending in Supreme Court, but let's be hopeful for a positive outcome. Talking about the ongoing case on 377, I can't help but pass a sniding remark at the selfproclaimed homophobic Baba who was on a 'fast' gear. When the right time comes, it seems he doesn't shy away from cross-dressing at all. Onir's I AM released in April, and has also won many awards at the Kashish Film Festival. It was the first time that a movie highlighted the topic of child abuse, that too male child abuse. Personally, as well as over various forums, I have seen many men struggle with their sexuality because they had been abused as a child, many a times blaming themselves for that traumatic experience. In this issue, we focus on child abuse and how it is grossly misunderstood and seldom talked about. I hope this issue will help raise the awareness on the issue. June is the month of gay pride parades across the world. Chennai and Kolkata are gearing up to hold the marches. Read our reports to know the details of the various events that have been planned. The Chennai Pride March is on 26thJune, while the Kolkata Rainbow Pride would be held on 17th July, and would be preceded by various activities. A new social networking site for gay Indian men called Desiboys has come up and promises to be not like the usual hook-ups site. We tell you how it is different from other sites. This issue has a very interesting line up of articles. So explore and enjoy. And yes, a parting piece of news for all our readers is that you can meet the Gaylaxy Team on 9th and 10th July in Kolkata during the two day fest preceding the actual march. So see you all in Kolkata now!

For business and advertising enquiries, Contact us at :



2 Gaylaxy|Volume 2 | Issue 3 | May-Jun 2011


Inside this issue

FEEDBACK Mailbox COVER STORY The Perils of Being a Child Withering Childhood G-NEWS G-News

Pg 5

Pg 6

Pg 12

Pg 14


Eating Disorders in Gay Men

Pg 15

Ask Bhola Da

Pg 19


Chennai Rainbow Pride

Pg 21

Rainbow Fiesta: Kolkata Pride

Pg 23

Desiboys: India's first Gay social network launched

Pg 24

A Broken Reality RELATIONSHIP The Bitter Pill

Pg 26

Break-Up Bonanza LIFESTYLE Dog Flea Control

Pg 30

Pg 28

Pg 32


Power of Positive Vibrations

Pg 33

Dil Dosti Etc

Pg 35

De La Cuisine PERSONALS Homophobia: The Grey Shades

Pg 37

Pg 38

A Secret Hobby

Pg 39

A Filipino’s Struggle

Pg 41

Fighting Internal Demons LEISURE Let The Cards Speak I AM: A Review LITERATURE Poem Fiction: Forbidden Love in a Coal Mine

Pg 45

Pg 46

Pg 48

Pg 50

Pg 51


Pg 54

Feedback Leisure


Certainly a good effort :). I hope I get to be involved in something when I come over. -Bobby, Malaysia

Gaylaxy: Dear Chandrashekhar, we are glad that you liked our effort. You can always send i n y o u r a r t i c l e / s t o r y t o

Well done!

@GaylaxyMagazine Mar-Apr 2011 issue was quite informative. Baby's Day Out - an interesting read! Good stuff... Keep at it :) Cheers! – @urohboyohboy (via twitter)

– Riddlesoflife Quite amusing! -@LiteraryLapses (via twitter)

I luv the magazine! - @shuomii (via twitter)

Hi Gaylaxy team, I am impressed by the work you guys are doing. I would like to subscribe to this e-magazine. Please let me know how I will start getting the next issue of Gaylaxy. -Chickspeter Gaylaxy: Hi, Gaylaxy can be read online or downloaded as a pdf from our website. You can also join our Facebook page (, follow us on twitter ( or drop your email id at the Subscribe Now box on the website to get the latest updates from us!

It should b highly promoted if this is really possible, it will prove out to b a blessing in disguise for all community members. Thanks. -2meetup Sukhiman and the full team, Good work yet again. Amazing coverage of on-going case of 377 and TV9 episode. It sure was a victory. -(via Orkut) Hi, I am a recent reader of your magazine Gaylaxy. It was one day when I was chatting with a friend of mine and came to know that such a wonderful magazine even exists! I have lots of things to share with all the readers of this magazine, I want to share a story of me through this magazine, so I need your help to guide me to publish my story.I will be very thankful to you if you do me the needful. -Chandrashekhar

Keep it going, you people are doing a very wise job, it's very necessary to establish our right in this society and to be in the main stream of this society. -Hotchocolate_2

5 Gaylaxy|Volume 2 | Issue 3 | May-Jun 2011

Cover Leisure Story


Image courtesy Tamás Varjú

Child Sexual Abuse is more rampant than what is believed to be and recently there have been attempts to raise awareness on the issue, finds out Sukhdeep Singh


ndia –a country of over 1 billion that takes pride in the fact that more than one-third of the population is below 18 years of age, thus giving India the tag of a “young country”. Yet, when it comes to protecting this young population, the society and the government behave no less like an Ostrich, turning away their faces and thinking that no wrong can happen to these innocent children. Until recently, there didn't exist a special law which would deal

with cases of sexual abuse of children and the much reviled Sec 377 of IPC was used to deal with any such case. Many of the laws for women were extended to include children, and thus were based on the fundamental (flawed) assumption that only a girl child could be subjected to abuse. Also, only penile penetration was considered as a major offence! WHO defines sexual abuse against child as inappropriate sexual

behaviour with a child. It includes fondling a child's genitals, making the child fondle the adult's genitals, intercourse, incest, rape, sodomy, exhibitionism and sexual exploitation. Furthermore, to be defined as 'child sexual abuse' these acts have to be committed by a person responsible for the care of a child (for example a babysitter, a parent, or a daycare provider), or related to the child. If a stranger commits these acts, it is considered as

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47.06% Girls

vulnerable to sexual abuse.

How it all starts The sexual abuse of a child could start when he/she is as young as 5 years! The study found that 'the abuse started at the age of 5 years, gained momentum 10 years onward, peaking at 12 to 15 years and then starting to decline. 36.53% of children in the age group 5-12 years reported being sexually abused, while 73% of the total incidence of child sexual abuse was reported among children between 11 and 18 years of age. Contrary to what one may believe, CSA is a planned process by the abuser, who often abuses the trust that the child has in him/her. Often, the child is also lured by giving chocolates or gifts to build a relationship and gain the trust. According to the National Study on Child Abuse 2007, in 50% of the cases, the abuser was known to the child or was in a position of trust and

responsibility. Pooja Taparia, the founder and CEO of Arpanan NGO in Mumbai that has been working with victims and survivors of CSA-says, “Child sexual abuse is always a planned process by the offender or abuser. It is very important to understand, it is never an accident. Very often luring is one of the key aspects of CSA, where the abuser tries to lure the child by giving chocolates, building a relationship with the child before the abuser commits the abuse. For the child it is never abnormal, because a child does not know what is right and what is wrong, what is Ok not Ok because the child's awareness is almost nil on these issues.” It is this innocence and confusion that an abuser hops onto to further abuse the child. Aman (name changed) recalls how his abuse started as a child, “I was as a kid, around the age of 5 and it was my neighbour's dad. At first I didn't know or understand, I was told this is what all young boys have to go


52.94% Boys


39.58% 15-18 yrs 13-14 yrs 5-12 yrs

Age-wise Incidence of Sexual Abuse

Sexually Abused

* Data from Study on Child Abuse: India 2007 by Ministry of Women and Child Development, GoI

sexual assault. It was only in 2005 when the Ministry of Women and Child Development under Smt. Renuka Chowdhury initiated a National Study on Child Abuse that horrific facts about child sexual abuse in India came to the fore and dispelled any myth that our homes are safe for our children. The study, which was the largest of its kind undertaken anywhere in the world, covered 13 states with a sample size of 12447 children, 2324 young adults and 2449 stakeholders. It looked at different forms of child abuse: Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse and Emotional Abuse and Girl Child Neglect in five different evidence groups, namely, children in a family environment, children in school, children at work, children on the street and children in institutions. The study found that 53.22% children reported having faced one or more forms of sexual abuse, of which 52.94% were boys and 47.06% girls, clearly showing that boys are more

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Cover Leisure Story through and that my father wasn't teaching me the right ways of being a man.” In fact, the study found out that 31% of the children were subjected to sexual assault by their uncles or neighbours, followed by 29% by friends and class fellows, 10% by their cousins. The abuse of Aman by his neighbour's father continued for two years and ended only after the family shifted to another place. However, the abuse resumed when he was 17 and continued for another two years, this time from his own uncle who even asked to perform for his friends! “It ended when I slapped my uncle and punched his friend in the crotch. I said enough was enough,” tells Aman. For Sunny (name changed) though, it was his school seniors who were the culprits. His abuse began in his teens, when he was around 12 years and ended only after he moved from his village to city after Child in School


my private parts!! Why should I have to watch, touch or feel a grown ups private parts? When I questioned I was beaten up as a kid, as a teenager I had no choice; but I fought back and was thrown out of my cousins place,” recounts Aman. “Very often a child doesn't talk about it because may be the abuser has used some threat. Second is that the abuser has developed a great relation with the child and gained the child's trust completely; so when the abuser says that 'This is a secret game between us, don't tell anybody,' the child will not tell; because children are so innocent and vulnerable that they would generally not suspect any inappropriate behaviour. So they think that it is ok. The third reason is also that the child does not have the vocabulary to talk about these issues. So how do they report it, they don't know how to talk about it. And they also

Why do children keep quiet? With the kind of trust that the abuser develops, it is often hard for a child to comprehend that something wrong is happening to them. Threat is another weapon in the armoury of the abuser that is employed well against a child. So even though the child may feel what is happening to him is wrong, he may choose to remain silent due to the fear that the abuser may harm him or some other person close to him. In fact, the study conducted by Ministry of and Child Development found that 72.1% children did not report the matter to anyone. “In the beginning I was scared on both counts, and it w a s p hy s i c a l l y h u r t i n g . Something within always told me it was not right. Why should another man touch me was the question, especially

Friend or Class Fellow

Child on the street

Uncle or Neighbour






Child in work (Shop, factory etc)

9% Child in Institutional Care Employer

Child Sexual Assault among Different Groups 8 Gaylaxy|Volume 2 | Issue 3 | May-Jun 2011




10% Any Other

Persons sexually assaulting children

* Data from Study on Child Abuse: India 2007 by Ministry of Women and Child Development, GoI

Child in Family Environment not going to School

10th class for studies.

Cover Leisure Story

A child does not have the vocabulary to talk about these issues

think may be they might not be believed. So various reasons actually contribute to children not talking about the abuse,” explains Pooja.

Self-Esteem and Vulnerability All this leaves such a deep impact on the child that it leaves him/her completely shattered. The child starts blaming himself/herself for the abuse and withdraws into a shell and completely loses the self-confidence. The scars remain even after they grow up and forming a relation becomes hard for the survivors, because they can't seem to trust another person again. “I went into a shell, never mixed with boys and girls and grew up alone. Although there were kids my

age, I couldn't relate to them, couldn't relate to sex and sexuality as I grew up. Today I am stronger but I am still having a little pain, I want to have a relationship, but I don't seem to trust any man touching me; that explains why I am scared of a commitment, why I never allowed sex in my relationships with my guys,” tells Aman. Similar was the situation with Sunny, who chooses not to visit his village since it brings back the painful memories. “I always wanted to be silent in my village... I want to live there but I could never like my village environment/ village people because of these memories,” he says. While sexual abuse could lead to low self esteem, low self esteem could also leave a child vulnerable to abuse.

“Children who have low self esteem, when they get attention from somebody and the person abuses them, they tend to go with it because of the attention that they are getting. Over a period of time, as adults, when the realization occurs that what happened was not ok and when the shame and guilt sets in, the shame again creates a low self-esteem. So it is like a circle,” tells Pooja Taparia.

Confusion about Sexuality With so much already happening, as the child grows, if he realises that he is attracted to the same – sex, this may lead to a lot of confusion in the mind and they start blaming the abuse for their sexuality, making it even

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Cover Leisure Story harder for them to accept their alternate sexuality. “A lot of male survivors ask me 'I am a homosexual and was sexually abused and is there any connection?'” corroborates Pooja. While science tells us that a person's sexuality is innate and he/she is born with it, studies have failed to find any link between sexuality and the abuse of a child. “If you have been sexually abused as a child, it does not mean you are a homosexual. The confusion arises because people generally don't understand the difference between sexual behavior and sexual orientation. Your sexual orientation tells you whether you are a heterosexual or a homosexual, but not necessarily your sexual behavior,” opines Pooja. “A person's orientation is largely determined by where the attraction is,” she adds. So, even if a person may have had sex with someone of the samesex, or might have “experimented” a couple of times, it need not to imply that he/she is a homosexual, because the attraction would still lie with the opposite sex.

Read the signs! Even if children may not speak directly about the abuse to an elder, they do try to convey indirectly about their suffering. A sudden change in behavior should also ring an alarm among the parents that something could be amiss. Sadly, many a times these signs are overlooked or not

People generally don't understand the difference between sexual behavior and sexual orientation... Homosexuality and abuse have no relation understood. A sudden withdrawal from social life, drop in academic performance, eating disorders or anxiety and depression, urinary infections or unexplained pain and swelling in genital area could be an indicator that the child is being abused. “Children do try to tell their parents but they are not able to understand what's going on! Children do not have appropriate vocab, they are not able to express themselves. Second, there are times when the parents are not able to believe the child because it is a case of incest where it is a family member who is involved. It comes as a huge shock and most parents are actually not quite aware about sexual abuse happening in society,” tells Pooja.

Seek Professional Help Whether it is a child victim or an adult survivor of the abuse, Pooja Taparia strongly recommends seeking professional help to judge the impact of the abuse on a

person's life. “People must go to a counselor and find out what the impact of the abuse has been. I am not saying that every person who has low self-esteem has been a victim of CSA, I am saying that very often we have seen linkages in cases where low self-esteem has added to the problems and vice-versa,” she says. Yet, going by the number of people approaching Arpan for professional help, men seem to be shying away from seeking help. When asked whether they had sought any professional help, both Aman and Sunny denied seeking any help; even though Aman admits that he has trouble getting into a relationship. Pooja blames it on the social taboo of men needing help, which is viewed as a weakness and goes against the macho state they are supposed to be in. “No child I have come across has ever forgotten their sexual abuse in the past. Any and every small incident is remembered and has a deep impact depending on who the abuser was and how long the abuse continued. If any person comes to know about any kind of sexual abuse happening to a child or has happened to an adult as a child they must get help,” she stresses.

How to teach children As they say, prevention is the best cure. Parents must be equally vigilant about their male child. Contrary to

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perception that the house is safe, the truth, points out Pooja, is that there is a lot of incest happening. Around 31% of the cases received by Arpan are of incest. One cannot monitor their child 24x7, and thus the best way to protect them is to teach them personal safety skills and tell them that it is never right for someone to touch their private body parts except to keep them clean and healthy and it is never all right for someone to ask them to do the same thing. Through there outreach program, Arpan has been able to reach out to over 20000 children and adults, raising awareness on the issue. “We tell children that if such a thing happens, you should say NO and run and get away from that situation and go and tell a trusted adult and keep telling till they get the help they need. The reason we ask them to keep telling it is that the first adult they talk to might not

Picture courtesy: Kat Jackson

No child I have come across has ever forgotten their sexual abuse in the past. Any and every small incident is remembered and has a deep impact

believe them, so we ask them to keep telling it till they get the help they need,” tells Pooja. “Another very important thing that we tell them is that it is never their fault… When children understand that it is not their fault, they grow up to be not that traumatized because very often children take on the responsibility of what happened and therefore the shame and guilt sets in.”

Society's Effort As a society, we have largely remained silent on the issue. However, there have been recent attempts to speak about the issue. One such attempt worth lauding is by Onir, whose recent movie I AM (which was a collection of four short stories) dealt with the topic of CSA in one of the stories I AM Abhimanyu. With I AM Abhimanyu, the issue of male child abuse was portrayed on the silver screen

for the first time. The movie also helped in opening up discussions about child abuse. Taking inspiration from the movie, a group of bloggers, both parents and non parents, decided to mark April as CSA Awareness month and started a blog. Throughout the month, there were discussions on twitter and the blog as well. Survivors of CSA shared their stories, parents wrote about their anxieties, and various organizations shared their views on how to tackle it. “Speak up to be heard, cane the hand that touches you, educate kids around, spread awareness, learn to convert your pain to something beneficial,” advices Aman. A vigilant and sensitized society is what can save our children. Most important of all, don't ignore what a child says! There could be a lot of hidden meaning in those words. After all, a lost childhood is no less than a lost life.

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WITHERING CHILDHOOD A survivor of child sexual abuse writes why it is important to raise your voice and spread awareness


s I write this article, it pains me from within to know that every minute three children, below the age of ten and ten children below the age of sixteen are becoming victims of CSA also known as CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE.

questions? As a man, are you brave enough to come out into the open and speak about what you went through? Would you fight to save another child's innocence? Would you battle your inner fears and go out there to make a difference?

Very few would do, people like Harish Iyer and Onir (director, producer of the I AM series) have brought out eye opening thoughts through the medium of films. Not everyone can do that, but they can surely voice their opinions and fight back. So what if you have been

One doesn't need statistics or surveys to prove the same. As they say every house has a story, I say every soul has a life untold. As a victim of CSA myself, I am honored to write about the plight most would have been through and I sincerely hope it helps those who have been through it or know of someone who has gone through it. Child sexual abuse has been happening around the world for many centuries, some cases have been grave and fatal and others go unrecorded, I can only imagine the number of cases six feet deep. Most of us who have been abused, dealt with the pain and assault in silence. We never knew where to go, or who to talk to for the same. But in the modern day and age, we have help, we have counselors, we have institutes and social working organizations who would hear a child's cry and plea. But is that enough? Ask



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Cover Leisure Story abused sexually as a kid twenty years back, you still can make a difference, this time by helping spread awareness. Here are the things you can do:


Go back to your schools you studied in and conduct a workshop for the same.


Go back to the college and do an awareness campaign, most young boys and girls, even in college silently face the brunt of being abused.

U Open a blog and

write about it, provide links of counselors and mediators who can really help.


SPEAK TO YOUR FAMILY, yes, there would be clashes and rifts, but remember; you got to settle this once and for all. In the end TRUTH will prevail, this is not filmy but a fact, I have done it and so can you! Shockingly the perpetrators of the act are from the family members or someone known to the victim, mostly male. Blame it on the laws of the country or the perverse nature of hypocritical society values, when sexuality is concerned, the pain and pleasures are best talked about behind closed doors. If one cannot speak about the pain as openly as one does about the pleasures, damn them!! This is exactly why so many child molestation cases and child sexual assaults go unheard of. Are we that scared to confront those who harm us? Why can't we seek legal help and put the

criminals to shame? Why should we care about what society is going to speak of at the end of it? Don't YOU H AV E Y O U R DIGNITY!! Are you a TOY?? Folks, I ask you to think of t h e s e questions, because if you don't allow that pain to positively find a way out, you would end up with reverse psychological effects. Make a difference and speak up to be heard, I have spoken out, now it's time you do the same. Educate the young ones around against these criminals, even if they are shown NUDE PICTURES or OFFENSIVE CONTENT, they should be told to report that to you at once. The reason why I call them criminals is because; they KILL THE INNOCENCE OF A CHILD. I write from my soul here when I say so, because the images, the experience and the pain ARE ALL TOO REAL, even twenty five years down the line. Most men and women, who have been victims and now are S O C A L L E D H A P P I LY MARRIED, suffer the pains silently, even when LOVE MAKING sessions with their

partners happen. They imagine and fantasize about their perpetrators and crave for that pervasive behavior and when they don't get it from home, they look elsewhere, some other prey (children to be precise). Most kids don't speak of it for the fear of being ostracized by family and friends. Families wouldn't listen or do anything about it because of the reputation they have in the society. MY QUESTION IS, what reputation and status are you thinking and talking of when you from within are wounded and injured?? Wouldn't you want to be different and help save a child today?

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India G-NEWS

µ Time Out launched Asia's first – 'LGBT Lifestyle Card' in Mumbai. Priced at Rs. 999, it aims to provide the Card Holders with fabulous discounts on various F&B restaurants across the city, discount on entry fees at parties and various other offers from independent clothing and apparel outlets.

µ Memories in March won the award for the Best English film in 58th National Film Awards. µ With Maryada: Lekin Kab Tak?, gay characters have finally come to television. In this hindi soap, the central character is shown as gay, who was forced to marry due to social pressure. The show airs Mon-Fri on Star One at 11 pm. µ Supreme Court has deferred the hearing on the ongoing Sec 377 case until the end of summer vacations.

µ Kolkata and Chennai are all geared up for the annual pride marches. Chennai pride is on 26th June, while Kolkata pride will be held on 17th July. µ The 2nd edition of KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival was held from May 25-29 on a much larger scale compared to last year.

Taiga Ishikawa, 36, created history as the µ first openly gay politician in Japan, after he got elected for a seat in a Tokyo ward assembly in local elections.

µ An Indian, Dharun Ravi, who was the roommate of Tyler Clementi, has been indicted on 15 counts. Clementi committed suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge after a video of his intimate encounter with another man was posted online.

In a 10-0 vote, Brazil's Supreme Court µ approved civil unions for same-sex couples in the country.

µ In a controversial move, the new Constitution being written in Nepal is again trying to criminalise homosexuality by regarding sodomy as "unnatural sex" and making it a punishable offense. Further, it goes on to define marriage as between a man and a woman. The move is being strongly opposed by Blue Diamond Society, Nepal's first gay rights organization.

µ The French Parliament voted 293 to 222 to block a bill which would have given gay couples the right to marry. A global outcry against the draconian Killµ the-Gays-Bill of Uganda finally led to the bill being shelved away.

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Science & Health Leisure

EATING DISORDERS IN GAY MEN The constant obsession with looking slim and perfect leads to eating disorders in gay men, tells Dr. Taz


ohit, a 21 year old boy had moved in to Delhi from a small town searching for a job in a fashion house. He was an average looking guy, 5 feet 7 inches, weighing 67 kgs. He suffered outright rejection at the gay circuit in Delhi where some people ruthlessly called him overweight and fat. Also at his work place, it was a fierce battle to look good and best. Thus he started working out religiously for about two hours a day, but the results weren't dramatic, added upon the exhaustion from the work and pressures to survive by himself in a new city. When someone told him that the easiest way to lose weight was to curb down on carbs and fats, he hesitantly started cutting down upon food. He lost weight fast and lost about 5 kgs in a month. He loved the appreciation he got when people saw his slimmer version. 3 years down the line he was doing well at his work place, he attended most of the gay parties in the city and had had 3 short lived failed relationships. He had been constantly abusing increased quantities of alcohol. His eating habits were ritualized. He cut food into small pieces and took a long time to eat it. Occasionally, when he would eat high calorie food at parties or outings with friends, he would immediately purge it out by inducing vomiting. He was troubled at slight changes in his

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Science & Health Leisure body. He was obsessed with his body fat and even though he was 56 kgs, he still strived to be slimmer. He would regularly take measurements of his waist and gaze at himself into the mirror for hours. Few months later, he was admitted to a psychiatric unit, when he had a nervous breakdown. He was evaluated medically and it was found that he also had gastric ulcers, his white blood cells count was low, his heart wasn't functioning well and his body sodium and potassium were deranged. A diagnosis of eating disorder along with depression was made and he was treated accordingly. This might not be a real case history but the issues it deals with are real. As detailed in Dr. Miles Cohen and Kaplan's Text Book of Psychiatry, more than 15 percent of gay or bisexual men had at some time suffered anorexia, bulimia or bingeeating disorder, or at least certain symptoms of those disorders - a problem known as a subclinical eating disorder, compared with less than five percent of heterosexual men. In contrast, sexual orientation did not seem to influence the risk of eating disorder symptoms among women. Just below 10 percent of lesbian and bisexual women and eight percent of heterosexual women had ever reported having a subclinical eating disorder. So what exactly are eating disorders and why are gay men more vulnerable to them and what are their complications and treatment? These are some questions to which we shall try and find answers in this section of medical column today.

What are eating disorders? There are two main types of eating disorders. 채 Anorexia nervosa 채 Bullemia nervosa Anorexia nervosa is characterized by an obsessional refusal to maintain body weight at or above a minimal normal weight for age and height with the intense fear of gaining weight and disturbance in the way in which one's body weight or shape is experienced, undue influence of body weight or shape on self-evaluation, or

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Science & Health Leisure

denial of the seriousness of the current low body weight. Meanwhile, Bullemia nervosa is characterized by binge eating large amounts of food in a short span of time with total lack of control, over eating followed by compensatory methods to prevent weight gain which include self induced vomiting, using laxatives, enemas or exercising.

Why do gay men have a higher incidence of these disorders? Various factors play a role. L Low self esteem which stems out of internal homophobia and growing up in a society that disregards homosexuality in various demeaning , derogatory terms. L Seeking acceptance and approval from fellow gay men. L The obsession with male bodies and masculine stereotypes. L To become objects of desire. The combination of growing up feeling excluded and shunned, longing for acceptance and love on the

one hand, and a culture strongly linking acceptance and love with a particular physical appearance on the other hand, creates enormous pressure to attain that ideal body. This great emphasis on appearance increases the vulnerability of gay men to body dissatisfaction and the attitudes and behaviours associated with eating disorders. Another study, looking at the influence of sexual orientation on body dissatisfaction, highlighted the pressures on body image within the gay community. It showed that the level of body dissatisfaction and psychosocial distress experienced by gay men was similar to that of heterosexual women, and much higher than for heterosexual men. The study also noted that the greater the affiliation and involvement with the gay community, the greater the degree of body dissatisfaction experienced by gay men. It is very clear that gay male culture exerts great pressure on gay men to meet a physical ideal, and the costs in terms of body dissatisfaction, psychosocial distress and an increased vulnerability to

eating disorders significant.


Complications eating disorders



F Related to weight loss.


Cachexia: Loss of muscle mass ,cold intolerance, and difficulty in maintaining core body temperature, thyroid problems. Cardiac: Heart beats become irregular (slow and fast) and cause sudden deaths also. D i g e s t i v e gastrointestinal: Feeling of bloating, ulcers, pain.. Reproductive: Poor sexual performance and interest. Dermatological: Hair loss. Poor resistance of body to fight infection. Depression. Weak bones and osteoporosis







Related to purging (vomiting and laxative abuse)


Metabolic: Low sodium and potassium levels leading to sudden death.

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Leisure 10% of lesbian and bisexual women and 8% percent of heterosex ual women had ever reported about eating disorders

15% of gay or bisexual men had at some time suffered anorexia, bulimia or bingeeating

F D i g e s t i v

e gastrointestinal: Ulcers in food pipe, irregular movements of bowel.


Dental: Erosion of dental enamel, particularly of front teeth, with corresponding decay.

F Fatigue and weakness. What can be done to treat and prevent them? Treatment is aimed at acute complications of eating disorders, followed by in patient or out patient psychiatric help which is a holistic and comprehensive combination of various psychotherapies and some drugs which help tide problems like depression and comorbidity associated with eating disorders. But it is clear that most gay men do not seek treatment

for their difficulties. One of the reasons is that with the focus on exercise, the behaviour is culturally sanctioned and encouraged. It is therefore viewed as normal, and they believe that what they are doing is simply “working out.” Eating disorders are also perceived to be a woman's problem, not something that affects gay men, thus the stigma of having a “woman's illness” when trying to create an aura of masculinity would be great.

What can be done to p r e v e n t s u c h problems? Education focused on gay men's unique struggles, and the pressures placed on them by the gay community, would be helpful. It must also focus on healthier approaches to exercise where the goal is enjoyment, improved health and fitness, not strictly shaping

physical appearance. Encouragement to stay out of situations and environments that are filled with negative messages are also a possible remedy.

Role of family and friends Role of family and friends is unique because if they are aware, they can clearly point out warning signs of an emerging problem and convince the person to take help. Also, a positive encouragement can help in strengthening the moral and self esteem of a person which could be the root cause of such a problem. So friends, it's great to be hung , but not hung up. Guys play it safe and have fun! Dr. Taz is pursuing his masters in Kolkata

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Science & Health Leisure

ASK BHOLA DA Hola readers! Hope you missed me, because I surely did. The time that flew by was one of its kind. History witnessed history being rewritten. Political changes in Calcutta swept everyone by their feet and the feeling certainly is that of being liberated. Change and freedom is in the air since it’s time again for pride marches, and second anniversary of the historic Delhi HC verdict is just a month away. Today, I will talk about another sexually transmitted disease – Gonorrhea, caused by the gram negative bacteria Neisseria gonorrheae. It is not limited to homosexuals and can be contracted by oral, anal, vaginal sex. So let us explore the disease in details. Question: What are the symptoms of Gonorrhea?

treated? Bholada: Antibiotics are successfully used

Bholada: Gonorrhea symptoms are very

in the cure of gonorrhea. However with the increasing instances of drug resistant bacteria, several other treatments are being explored, like two pronged approach of using two different drugs to widen the spectrum of action of antibiotics.

visible and appear early after infection. In men, it begins with a discomfort in the penis, sensation of pain during the act of urination, coloured discharges from the penis. In case of anal sex, gonorrheal infection of the rectum is accompanied by soreness in the rectal muscles, itching, anal discharges, and severe pain during defecating.

Question: How can gonorrhea be prevented?

Question: How is gonorrhea spread?

Bholada: The fool proof method of prevent-

Bholada: Gonorrhea is transmitted by

ing gonorrhea is to abstain from sex. Well, we all know the demands of our system and hence that would be a bad choice to make. Then how do we keep ourselves safe? Answer lies in the question, safe sex. Using condoms (haven't I said this MANY times before?), practicing monogamy, regular checkups, and not engaging in a physical relationship with a person without a knowledge of his sexual history are some aspects of practicing safe sex.

infection in the vagina, anus, penis or mouth. Like all other sexually transmitted infections, gonorrhea also is spread by unprotected sexual intercourse. It is spread through anal and vaginal fluids. Touching infected parts of the body spreads the infection. It can also be spread from a pregnant woman to her baby.

Question: How can gonorrhea be diagnosed?

A healthy body is key to a wealthy living. While indulging in the pleasures of life, we should not end up harming ourselves in the long run. Without wishing to make this interaction preachy, I would draw the curtains. Until the next call time, let the stage await the actor.

Bholada: Swab tests from cervix, vaginal fluid, or rectal discharges can be sent to laboratories for test. Bacterial colonies are collected; cultured and relevant tests for identifying Neisseria are performed. Urine samples can also be analysed.

Question: How can gonorrhea be

h h Have any query? Write to us at 19

Gaylaxy|Volume 2 | Issue 3 | May-Jun 2011

Your One-Stop Party Destination in


Current Affairs Leisure

Chennai Pride March is the culmination of a month long celebration, discovers Sukhdeep Singh


f June brings the sweltering heat, it also brings reasons to cheer and celebrate. It could be the joy of savouring Mangoes for some, the happiness of all play and no studies for students, or, the ability to stand up for one's own self and show to the society that we exist, and there is nothing wrong with us. Yes, June brings with it the Pride Parades across the world and in various cities of India too. Well into its third year, the Chennai Pride will be held on 26th June to mark the anniversary of Stonewall Riots. The pride parade will be preceded by a month of activities to celebrate the diversity and highlight the various issues faced by LGBT community. “In Chennai we treat June as the Pride Month and we have a series of

weekend activities and one of the last activity is the pride parade, which is the 26th June,” said Ramki L Ramakrishnan, one of the organizers of the Chennai Pride. The activities kicked off from May itself, beginning with a small workshop on how to interact with the media during the parade so as to send a unified message, followed by a press conference and poster making session on May 28th. Screening of a documentary of gay and lesbian Indians and their parents by Sonali Gulatie I AM was organized by the Chennai branch of Sangama on June 4., followed by a panel discussion with doctors, lawyers, psychologist etc and an interactive session with the audience on June 11thand screening of the documentary Bold and the Beautiful by transgenders of Kalki Sahodari

Foundation the same day. There was another poster making session the next day. The following weekend will then see a cultural performance by members of the community from Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu. A pre – pride party will be hosted on June 24th, while 25th June will have a parents meet – up, where parents of LGBTs can share their worries, and express their support and love for their child and would be fo l l o w ed by a p l ay o n transgenders by a local group of Transgender people the next two days. The month long activities would then culminate with the final pride march on June 26th. W i t h t h e decriminalization of homosexuality last year, the participation in this year's pride march is expected to

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Current Affairs Leisure are a lot of other people who won't necessarily go to the march but come to the cultural event or come to the panel discussion,� hinting at the increasing sense of confidence

among the members of the community. Visit the Chennai Rainbow Pride site.

Event List Courtesy:

swell. Talking on this matter, Ramki said, “Typically, when you compare to Bangalore or Kolkata pride, we don't have the kind of numbers that you have in these cities. But there

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Current Affairs


Agnivo Niyogi reports on the preparations for Kolkata Pride


olkata is burning high in organizing its 11th Pride Fortnight Celebration. The fortnight is scheduled to start on 2nd of July and end on 17th culminating in Rainbow Pride Rally. The two week long celebration will have events like Parents-Peer meet, Stake Holders meeting, and also a couple of Fund Raising events like a Queer Party and a day/two Long Exhibition. The fundraiser party is scheduled for 2 July (the same day when the historic verdict decriminalising homosexuality was meted out by the Delhi High Court). An entry fee would be collected from attendees as funds for the pride week, while the business hosting the event would benefit from the sale of drinks and food. This is to be followed up by a gala two days long event on 9 and10 July, comprising meet with the Parents, talk with mental health professionals, film screenings and exhibition/sale. The exhibition is expected to be put up on a grand scale and the plan is to have on display clothes, fashionables, and ornaments and accessories; parlour stuffs like Mehendi and make-Up; and also queer Books and gay magazines. Knowing the abundance of fashion designers and creative p e r s o n s f r o m t h e g aycommunity and also number


Ü 2 July – Fundraiser Party Ü 9-10 July

– Meet with Parents; Talk with Mental Health Professionals, Film Screening, and Exhibition.

Ü 17 July – Rainbow


Walk. of gay titles and magazines in the market, it is slated to be a big show. It would be a great chance for the Kolkata LGBT community to get access to their favourite gay literature as well as collect some fashion/boutique items of their choice from the fiesta. A part of the amount collected would be contributed to the Rainbow Pride Event as a fund raising medium. The entry fee for the event has been priced at Rs 20 to ensure affordability as well as self sustainability. As an attempt to popularise the Pride Fortnight and take it to the public beyond the LGBT community, a pamphlet and leaflet distribution campaign will be taken up. Leaflets soliciting people's support and participation would be distributed in public spaces like Sealdah or Howrah stations, as well as colleges and other educational institutions to generate mass awareness. In order to raise additional

money for the events, the organisers have also decided that donation coupons would be printed and sold to both community members and public at large for Rs. 5 each. This would also take the event a step ahead to reach out to people. Preparations for the walk too are in full swing. Plans of a “float” which would double up as a dais during the march, a water truck, banners in English and Bengali are on the cards. The slogan for this year's walk is “Chai manusher odhikar niye banchte”. The banners and all other festival literature and paraphernalia would bear a common logo for the Rainbow Pride Festival 2011. All in all the city which hosted the first Pride March in India is all geared up for the eleventh time to put their best foot forward and keep the legacy alive. Team Gaylaxy wishes the event becomes a success and promises all cooperation and help.

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Current Affairs Leisure

INDIA'S FIRST GAY SOCIAL NETWORK DesiBoys was launched in May as possibly the only online gay social network for gay Indian men The website aims to connect the worldwide gay Indian community, weave social conversations and inspire action. It is a designled, social network aimed at resolving some of the challenges associated with trying to connect with other gay men and gay-run businesses. It is about doing more than just finding a date (though that's possible too!). Like Facebook, allows its members to view profiles, add friends, add their thoughts, videos, images and blogs and comment on activities of other members. Members also manage their travel, social and business lives through the website's unique social networking tools. Surfing around the network, the most consistent impression is of quality, from the member contributed content that is fused to, and fully shareable with, the social networking element of the site, to the evident spit and polish of the event planning. Within the community, you can:

C Seek travel

advice, business opportunities and discuss social interests in the community Forums.

personal Event Calendars.


Discover the best restaurants and hotels with the member-generated City Guides.

C Post and find jobs. C Re c e i v e s p e c i a l offers and opportunities from desiboys exclusive brand partners. “There are some gay dating websites, online magazines and regional support groups in India now but there has been no effort to bring the very successful Indian gay community worldwide to a common space. We envision to be that space, where the Indian gay man can discover interesting people, share information and explore opportunities in a trusted environment. We are sort of l i ke a f a c e b o o k m e e t s LinkedIn meets for gay men,” said Siddharth Arora, the founder of has no competitors, beyond a few fragmented and regional networks. This site, which features a quick and painless signup, helps gay men figure out where to go, what to do, who to meet and more. It's

C Meet members

not exclusive to gay men — or “out” gays, as the case may be — and allows “friends of gay guys” to sign up for the site and get in on the fun as well. Users can tag themselves in any way they choose — a nice change from the more heteronormative websites such as Facebook or MySpace, which offer only the most bipolar of gender and sexual preference identifiers. The interface is easily accessible and intuitive. In addition to self-tagging, which lets you easily find articles and blogs, the site allows you to share photos, videos, interesting articles, travel/outing plans on the site, RSVP events, get details and directions, and see who else is attending from the site. All in all, this new website has grabbed some of the best elements from incredibly beautiful, successful and viral web applications and given them a unique treatment. Borrowing from the best online efforts, the social network's rendering of a profile page is impressive. Without slipping into stereotype, is precisely what you might imagine an urban gay man might demand: tasteful and design-led while functional.

from your city/travelling to your city.


Organize and/or attend interesting events through the Global and

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Current Affairs Leisure

“WE DIDN'T WANT TO MAKE A MOVIE LIKE DOSTANA� A Broken Reality, a movie based on a true story and described as a thought provoking effort to make parents realise that though they have homosexual kids but still they are their own kids, is under production. Sukhdeep Singh talks to the lead actor Apoorv Jaiswal , who, along with Kshitij Mathur, is behind this whole project Tell us something about the movie. The movie is based on a real life story. There was a very close friend of mine who actually tried to commit suicide because of all the social pressures, parental pressure, marriage issues and everything. This story in a way is dedicated to him. The story is about two guys, one is Aditya and the other is Manav. While Aditya is a jolly character, very full of life kind of guy and the only son of his parents, Manav is a reserved person whose parents have separated. The movie is about how these two people meet each other and fall in love, and what happens when Aditya's mother finds out about their relationship. How did Unique Horizons Entertainment happen? I met Kshitij on Facebook first. We both were from Bhopal and we had the same dream of making it big in the film industry and we kind of clicked. We then formed the banner Unique Horizon Entertainment. We had five scripts to choose from for our debut, and we chose this one as little efforts have been made in India to

portray homosexuality in a sensible way. We didn't want to make a movie like Dostana where we are making fun of such people. The script-writer and director is Kshitij Mathur, while the story and concept is by me and Kshitij both. The role of Aditya is being played by me and Himanshu plays Manav. The role of a girl in love with Aditya is being played by Anshika. The mother's character has yet not been finalized. Has the production started? Everything has been lined up. People have come up on their own for donations. We are looking for more donations. Previously, our film was a short movie of 20 minutes. But we felt 20 minutes is a short time to show each and everything that we want to portray. So we extended the length to 1 hour and we are striving hard that if we go for a 1 hour long movie, we have a theatrical release. We are going to send it for Film Festivals and are also in talks with some of the production houses. If everything goes fine, and depending on the response we get, we shall go

for a theatrical release in India at least in the multiplexes. We are trying to keep a point in front of the society that these people also have a right to live, right to smile, right to live as per their own terms and wishes , because these are absolutely normal people. What are you trying to portray through your movie? We are breaking two myths. First myth which normally people have about homosexuals is that gay men are always feminine. Second myth which parents have about homosexuality is that it is abnormal and is a kind of communicable disease, that other people who are gay are turning my son into gay. We are trying to break such myths and that is why the name of the

26 Gaylaxy|Volume 2 | Issue 3 | May-Jun 2011

Current Affairs Leisure movie is A Broken Reality. The society is actually living in a broken reality and is not able to see the actual reality in the world. It has closed its eyes When will the shooting begin then? We have begun the rehearsals part because we want to do as less retakes as possible since we have a very tight budget. We are happy that people have come up on their own and donated money. Donations have ranged from Rs 100 to Rs 10000, without any expectation of any returns. We are going to include all the names in the producer list. Pratibha is assisting us in the editing and is also doing it for free. That is how we are cutting on the cost. We want to make a master piece, but we want to make a masterpiece with as much support from people and as less money as possible.

What has been the biggest challenge that you have faced till now while making this movie? The biggest challenge was that we were dealing with a very fragile topic and the emotions of a lot of LGBT people are involved. We did not want to make a movie like Kal Ho Na Ho or Dostana. It is a very serious film, a very romantic film in which people will connect with the characters of Aditya and Manav. The actors are all working for free, they are doing it as a social cause and none of them even thought twice before saying yes. We have got positive comments, but we have also got negative comments. Many people have tried to discourage us too, saying that this is a topic you shouldn't touch in a country like India. But we wanted to do it, and so we are doing it.

So you mean to say that it is a crowd sourced film like I AM? Yes! Initially we were planning to produce it on our own- me and Kshitij. But then we realised that this kind of movie needs a big platform and more and more people and parents should watch the movie. Rather than LGBT people, we want straight people to watch it more, we need to open their eyes. Yes, the idea is similar to I AM and that is why we are proud of our movie, because people have accepted us with open arms.

You said this is going to be a romantic movie, so will there be any intimate scenes? We were thinking of putting some intimate shots as in some bed and kissing scenes, but we scrapped it, and right now there is only a passionate hug scene, which we are keeping because it is the demand of the script. We just want to portray that they are not doing it for fun, they are not doing it for pleasure but they are in a loving and committed relation. They both are complementing each other.

So when is shooting for the movie going to start? Shooting will most probably begin by 3rd week of June. By what time do you plan to finish the shoot? We are already working day and night and plan to wrap up the shooting in three weeks and then editing will take another week. So, our film should be ready by July end. Then we will be sending it for film festivals all over the world. We are also looking forward to sending it to Kashish International Queer Film Festival next year. Depending on the response we get in the Film Festivals, some of the production houses have come up on their own knowing about our efforts, that they will, in collaboration with U n i q u e H o r i z o n s Entertainment, go in for a theatrical release

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Leisure Relationship


PILL A wonderful date need not mean the other guy is interested for anything further, Phunk Factor tells you how to read the signs


ho hasn't ever been dumped?

No one! We a l l h a v e b e e n dumped, rejected, denied and erased. That's how it is done in the dating scene. Nobody wants to waste time dating somebody that does not have what they want. While this decision making process is usually very unreasonable and senseless, but we all have

certain check points which we want from our significant other. As I talk with my friends and acquaintances, I can't believe the basis on which rejections are dealt. Quite honestly, if people have such specific criteria then perhaps not even God can knock sense into us. However, we all want someone special and we need to have the ability to roll with the punches. The worst part about

dating is that you never really know how the date went, especially if you happen to like the guy. You would have looked your best, treated him your best, said all the right things and even texted him after the date what a great time you had with him. However if he didn't feel anything, it's very likely that you will be tossed into the Rejects. In most cases, the other guy doesn't even have the guts or class, to come up to

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Leisure Relationship you and say that it's not going to happen. There isn't much you can do about it. The best time to check up is the next day or the day after that. Some guys have the habit of ' f o r g e t t i n g ' a b o u t yo u . Nobody forgets in a day, but in case he does –it's a clear sign for you to make an exit. And the message – now that's the deal breaker. You can and may message him once, just once. If he doesn't respond, there is no need to go back for a second message. Nothing you can say would be better than your first shot and will be seen as 'desperate' by the other guy. If there was any possibility for anything to happen, you would shoot it in the head with a second message. A message on the networking site is better than a text message, in my opinion. In any case that you are handed the bitter pill and there is absolutely nothing you can do but swallow it. You swallow it and you let it go down. Then you hit the hunt again, there are plenty of guys out there and not everybody would be as stuck up as the previous one. There will be more, there are ALWAYS more! What to do if you are on the other side of the fence? What if you are the one who actually has to turn a guy down? What do you do then? Even then, it's not an easy task. It's not that it's hard to do, but the thought

that you actually might be turning down someone who could actually treat you the best possible way can be. I know guys who feel remorseful about having turned down some guy at some point because they were too pretentious at that point. The best thing to do is to tell the other person. Save him the time, energy and money of pursuing somebody who is not interested in him. But save yourself some dignity as well and don't fire off the bat like a diva. Let him actually give you a clear sign of interest, besides, with time you just may actually find out that he's a great guy. Rome wasn't built in a day, right? When giving the bitter pill, you just reply once. I'm not sure if it's the right thing to give a reason for turning down somebody. If it's

something that he's put up on display on his profile that does not settle well with you, by all means it's fine if you let him know about it. About anything else, not the right thing to do! You message him and that's it! He may hit you back with more messages but best bet is to ignore them. Do not offer to be friends either; it's like giving a consolation prize. If he wants to be friends, he would say it and then you consider it. At this point, make it absolutely clear that you guys are best left as friends! Rejection is definitely the worst thing to deal with, but that's a part of the whole package. If you can't handle rejection, then don't bother stepping into these turbulent waters. Life is complicated enough as it is, no need to make it more of a hot mess!

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Leisure Relationship

Break-up Bonanza! The fear of failure shouldn't hold you back from forming new relations, writes Aakash Sharma


roken up? Here's a way out. To begin with, stop blaming your partner (now your ex) for having committed to that relationship which didn't last. There is an expiry date for blaming your ex-partner. Instead, think about the payback that very break-up has offered you. For example, after the break-up, the sudden loss of appetite, together with weeks of nausea you may have struggled through, will have caused you to shed those extra pounds of flab, you see. Benefit, it is. Sounds like a silly joke? I know it does, but think over. The more you cry over the spilt milk, the more miserable you feel. Ultimately, it gets you nowhere – except of course into that smelly state of the dark. Break-ups entail fear, and humiliation, and sometimes depression. It translates into a hundred lowly synonyms of misfortune and suffering. It leaves you unwanted. So much so, that a lot of new relationships start off with questions and doubts, “Will this last?”, or, “Should I allow myself into this relationship?”, or, “What if it fails?” That's exactly my point: What if it fails? The perception

of relationships failing into wasted remains of a shortlived indulgence is well known and realized. Scary thought. In fact, this fear causes many to scrutinize their relationships though a lens of 'will it work for me or will it not'. I have reasons to believe that a lot of relationships, in its formative days, are more driven by a fear of failure than anything else. And hence to overcome this, some even choose to try their best to throw all sorts of fantastic-facts-about-me, for a good first impression. Meanwhile, you might assume that, “a good first impression will make it work”. Correct, and wrong. More importantly, the

question to ask here is: What next? If answering this leaves you tongue-tied, be wary. And especially if you are young, with a clear lack of knowhow's, and if you are spending far too much time experimenting, and far too less time preparing, you are more vulnerable. Should you then stop scrutinizing every bit of forging new relations with these questions? Yes. Better, get rid of that fear of failure. Let us be in the moment, and let it be. And if it actually fails, so be it. Failure in life is inevitable. Out of so many friends you make, a couple of those fail – one might end in a

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Leisure Relationship dispute, one might not work out. It is ok. It is not a huge defeat. It is also common for relationships to end. And you and I know it, that same-sex relationships are as it is more vulnerable. Breakups happen. Failure is normal. You cannot escape it. It is impossible to succeed without a failure record, unless you have lived it so vigilantly, guarding every bit of it, that you haven't lived your life at all. And in that case, you fail by default. I too have had a break-up. Few months back, a brief romance had reached its uneven end. My boyfriend found someone more interesting. And he didn't tell me of his new choice. Worse yet, I learnt about the apparent 'switch' from another source – his new boyfriend. I didn't confront, or make fuss. I wanted to know if it were true. So, I wrote a couple of texts to meet up and discuss; I would also at times call up. They all fell unreturned. I felt deprived of my chance, or my turn. But I didn't bother anyone, anymore. More so, I didn't bother myself to know any further. Yes, there were unanswered questions. I often asked if we were ever in love in the first place. And I suppose, I do not know how to answer that question. And maybe, I will

never know its answer. But I felt as wasted as possible it is to feel, without being thrown into a dust-bin. What I feared most, manifested. What if it fails? It did fail. It was unfortunate. Today, after a deep retrospect, I ask: Should I continue to fear each time I think I must start a new relationship? The more I fear failure, and the more I continue to ask myself “What if it fails?”, the more it happens in actuality. Instead, I learnt that even after break-ups, there are still lots to feel good about. To m e , f a i l i n g i n a relationship meant shedding away the unimportant. And how is that so? Let me explain. I stopped asking myself what I looked like to the world, and what I should do to make myself better fitted to those expectations. I stopped evaluating myself on my perception of the external. I stopped lying to myself as to who I was. I, instead, channelized my mind into doing what really mattered to me. Had I really succeeded in my relationship – or for that matter everything else – I would have probably not been set free to do what I always liked. I had a small wish and a big interest to enhance it. It was public speaking. I took up the challenge of

learning that skill. I faced my fears – of speaking in front of an audience, and of failures. Yes, it was tough. But I fought with my fears, diligently. I forced myself to talk freely, move freely, and deliver great speeches freely to an audience. I learnt to overcome my fears. Gradually, I started mentoring those in fear, to help come out of their inhibitions, the way I did. After my greatest fear had appeared, manifested and been realized by me, I learnt a new thing. I discovered an inner sense of security, and I saw I had more compassion in me, than what I had originally estimated. Could I have learnt it any other way? I wonder. The knowledge that you derive, after seeing yourself still remain afloat, after a jolting misfortune, makes you so much more informed and sturdy. You learn how to swim to safety. So given a magical opportunity to go back in time, I would tell my younger self that true happiness lies in knowing that life is not a checklist of successes – the more you acquire the more happier you become. No, not at all. Life is rather complex, tricky and difficult. And knowing that will help you to deal with its turbulence.

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Lifestyle Leisure

Rohan Noronha tells you what you should do when Mitsy goes itchy


as Mitsy, your poodle, being scratching away like no ones business? Maybe it's time you get her checked for fleas!! Now don't say that your dog doesn't have fleas, if she doesn't good enough, but if she does, get her rid of it as soon as possible and learn today, how to best prevent by using Dog Flea Control methods. The most effective way for dog flea control would be to use one of the best topical treatments which are available at the vet store these days. It solves all the problems of fleas that Mitsy might be suffering from. According to vet sources, we get to know that the solution should be applied between the dog's shoulder blades and from that point it spreads evenly over the body.

This is an easy way for the pet to get rid of fleas on a monthly basis. Also check about the flea cycle, the egg, the larva, the pupa and the adult, the adults bite and which is why Mitsy scratches herself non-stop. An IGR would be important to use to get dog flea control effective right from stage one of the flea's lifecycle. Some products at home also work wonders to get the fleas killed when they are in stage one and also from the bedding and carpets where they hide and lay eggs. Just by getting dog flea control done and adhering to it wouldn't solve the issue, you need to check other sources from where they hide and build homes. Take into account all the places where the fleas could be exposed to, like the bedding on which Mitsy sleeps, her toys, her rugs, pillows and

even if there are curtains nearby. Get it washed in hot water with strong detergents and if it cannot be washed, dispose them off as soon as possible. Vacuum the house, which will suck out hidden adult fleas and their eggs or larvae. Get Mitsy to wear a flea collar and place one of them in the vacuum bag which sucks up these little monsters to get them done away with. Check the nook and corners which are flea hideouts, since they are never exposed everyday. Vacuum the house every alternate day, especially if you don't use flea bombers or dog flea control sprays. Remember, Mitsy may not be able to tell you all that she is going through, but as an owner, you sure would want to have her in the pinkest of health at all times, so be alert!!

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Lifestyle Leisure



ften we hear people say, “Why are we set up this way? Why does it appear to be so hard if we appear p o s i t i v e ? W hy i s t h e r e resistance surrounding us? Why do we worry about

everything and it keeps us from being in the place where we really want to?” Well, the entire universe is based on the idea of summoning new life into our living space, a life which is easier to be connected, since you are free to choose thought. The answer is if you didn't prefer to be where you want to, you cannot have the benefits of the contrasting environment which is much more important than just dwelling on the negatives. If we cannot source the positive vibes through the bad times, we cease to be happy. Then you would ask Wouldn't it be better if there is an environment to connect to the right life to live? But there is no perfect environment than an environment in which you are free to choose thought. You may wonder it is hard to choose thought which has perfect answers, but that's only because we cease to practice happy thoughts. Some say we should encourage another to have good desires, some say it is not right. Those are the people who are insecure and

want to be in the dumps, since they haven't themselves learnt how to allow. The answer is you find a thought that makes you happy and allow it to manifest. There is nothing more important than feeling good, because it gives you control on your vibration and when you have control, you have a really happy life, materialistically as well. We are all born to love everything that makes us happy, but you wouldn't be stimulated to a new idea, because we all need an active calling. It has to be an activation of summoning of positive energies and life will always continue to give you the best things in store. You have to learn allowing, if you learnt how to disallow. Now why were you born in an environment of disallowance, you didn’t want to come into an environment where you only said YES YES to everything, you needed to learn how to make your choice and how to make your opinions. You may ask, but we are all one and it's painful to learn how to ALLOW all over again.

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Lifestyle Leisure Well, it is still easy to bring yourself to grounding and it just takes you to decide on how you would like to allow yourself to the path of abundance and peace. You would much rather praise and criticize, know your success and failures, you feel your pain when you choose the other. This allows you to appreciate even the smallest things in life. We don't understand sometimes why it is so tough to be happy, my mother wasn't, my grandma wasn't, so I am not. If you dare take your path away from what

was, it is a sweet relief; even though the ancestors still have the path unknown to them. Who are you to move away? Understand, these are your choices, you should understand that it is not hard to ALLOW. It is lot harder to be confused, down on finances, to be negative than to be positive, to be pessimistic than to be optimistic. All you have to do is give yourself the permission to do so and with your individual preferences without harm to others, will be answered to the best for your life. There is just one thing you need to

remember, it is GOOD to feel GOOD!! Clarity is your natural state of being, so is with your health, eagerness, loving, desires, anticipation of pleasant outcomes and so goes for your hobbies, singing, joyful state of mind and well being. It is natural for you to question, to find interest, to want more and it is natural for you to feel amazing, and anything else is resisting the natural state of who you are. There is great love and abundance for you, if only you ALLOW it to imbibe in you‌ SHALOM!!

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Lifestyle Leisure

Aditya Bondyopadhyay tries to resolve the problems plaguing you in your daily life

Hi, I know you would be aware of PR. Recently I created my profile and met a guy in Lucknow. I visit Lucknow twice a year or on functions as my grandparents live there. This guy, named Faiz, met me at his friend's house in Nov mid. Then I met him again in Dec mid. I liked him at the first instance and felt he also liked me. We were connected on phone/SMS. From end of Dec till Jan-end, he started borrowing money from me on various pretexts like getting plaster, mother's death, declining health of father etc. He had told me that he works in Amity Lucknow as Lecturer in Fine Arts Department and his salary is held up. He has borrowed about Rs. 62,000. Since the beginning of Feb , he is neither picking my calls nor responding to SMS. When I wrote a comment on his guestbook "regarding money" he blocked me on PR Can you help me in any manner. It is important that this person does not cheat any other guy on PR. Thanks. - Gaurav Dear Gaurav, If you have proof of the fact that you have been sending money to this person (for example, checks that were issued, or bank transfers that are recorded in your bank), you can proceed and file a police complaint of cheating against this person and if the police does not act, you can also move the magistrate’s court asking for the police to act against this person.

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Lifestyle Leisure

Simultaneously, you can file a suit for recovery of your money. But again for this you need to have proof that you had actually given money to him as a loan etc.

want to take any legal action against this person is something that you have to decide and I would recommend that in that case you speak with a lawyer in Lucknow about the options that I have given you above. You do not have to fear anything in terms of homosexuality being used against you, since your actions were completely consensual and also since the decision of the Delhi High Court on the matter of Section 377 IPC, homosexuality is not a criminal offense in India any more.

I think you should write to the PR website managers immediately with the details that you have given here and request them to remove the persons profile since he is into cheating others of their money. You can cite the fact that when he stopped responding to your phone, you had posted a comment on money dues on his profile and thereafter you have been blocked by this person, and mention that he will be cheating others of their money if his profile remains there.

I also urge you to take care in the future and not part with your hard earned money on such flimsy claims. There are enough sharks out there ever ready to fleece you.

Whether you would actually ultimately

Aditya Bondyopadhyay is a gay rights activist and lawyer, who has done a lot of counselling as part of his community mobilising efforts.

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Lifestyle Leisure


Cinnamon ( cinnamomum cassia ) Cinnamon contains a substance "Arginine" which allows better erections. It increases the fertility of the sperm and facilitates the ovulation. And that is not everything! It also helps eliminate toxins as much as it modifies the pH (indicator of the acidity or the alkalinity of a substance) of the sweat. Thus, if you tend to have the malodorous armpits, do not deprive yourself of cinnamon. It is necessary to know that arginine is also present in many foods: peanuts, chicken, garlic, chocolate. In any case, a cinnamon wine has never hurt anybody! It is necessary for a wine bottle:

å 75 cl of red wine å Add 50 g of powdered cinnamon and an untreated lemon peel.

å Shake and let it

soak for one


å warm it, without boiling å Filter it and drink either warm or

cold. And if you like apples, I will recommend you to prepare Apples with cinnamon because in French cooking, apple and cinnamon get married very well.


å Preheat the oven to 200 degrees å Wash and wipe 6 apples and hollow them out, then cut and keep cover them each.

å In a pan put 150 g of brown sugar and 1 spoonful of powder cinnamon.

å Pour 25 cl of water. å Let it melt and

simmer for 5 minutes to obtain a thick syrup.

å Arrange apples in a dish å Pour the syrup over every apple å Put a little bit of butter on each and cover them back.

å Cook approximately for 35 minutes

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become the most discussed gossip in no time. In hindsight when I look back at my own life, I feel blessed I never went through any phases of homophobia against me. My friends were all the best of buddies and my sexual preferences never made any difference to them. But yes, initial days were a bit tough since some of them behaved like doubting dimwits but eventually fell in line. Post graduation was tougher, because of the huge strength of the class with students of various backgrounds, with different prejudices. While some of them reinforced the idea of homophobic society in me, some were overtly cooperative. Largely, after I came out to them, it was just a matter of fact and did not need any corroboration. But a silent rebellion was brewing inside me; a revolution to quash the unspoken (and to certain extent unintentional) homophobia inside everyone (including me). But life is not made of black and white. Largely painting people homophiles and homophobes would be a silly mistake. People need to know the person inside you to appreciate your identity apart from your sexuality. On the other hand, a cup filled to the brim spills over when loaded with more fuel. So they must also leave their inherent biases away. And charity begins at home. Liberalisation of mind can only be a reality if our upbringing reflects the same. Education, and not degrees, can only do that. To quote the bard, “Where the mind is led forward by thee Into ever-widening thought and action Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.”

hen you walk down a street full of people, stare at them. Do this as an exercise. Try to deduce the ethnicity, religious identity or sexuality of a person just from the look of him/her. I am sure in most of the cases it will turn out to be rather an excruciating task. Unless of course people wore their identities on their sleeves. A big struggle homosexuals have to encounter once they are out, is that they have to tide over the constant jeering and assessment of the society. Abuses are hurled, friends are abandoned, barbs are hurled in guise and sometimes physical harm rains on people with “alternate” sexuality. There is a class of people who say that lack of education makes one homophobic and the “educated” citizens of urban India hardly care who is sleeping around with whom, let alone whether with the same sex or not. The vice of hatred for homosexuals emanated from small towns and villages according to many people I spoke to over the years. This basic notion is not just flawed, but fallout of inherent homophobia. The sheer indifference smells of repulsion for gays and attributing homophobia to only rural folk also signifies a shade of arrogance. The fallacy of their claim can easily be nailed by their own reactions to gays, despite “education”. Major acts of hate campaign against gays happen in educational institutions. Peers making fun, silent sufferings, biased teachers, even ostracization – homosexuals have to bear it all in institutes. Rumours of sexual life, “abnormal fetishes”, and “camaraderie” float in the air and

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Leisure Personals


Avishek writes about his secret hobby whose thrills today's Facebook generation will probably never experience


t was 2nd July, Friday, 2010, I had planned to attend a public function organized by a Bangalore based queer friendly organization but fate intervened and ruined my entire plan. I got some unexpected guests who wanted to tour Mysore. So I was off to a sight-seeing tour of Mysore. On the way, the tour operator was kind enough to show a movie as a mode of entertainment in the bus. They showed the famous Hindi movie of the 90s-Mohra. Initially I was reluctant to watch such an old movie but as the scenes followed, I soon got lost in the flow. First it was the introduction of the jailer calling his d a u g h t e r, R a v e e n a Tandon, then the entry of halat-se- majbur (victim of the circumstances) Sunil Shetty and finally the hugely popular song of “Tu cheez badi hai mast mast”. As soon as the item number began to play, a great gay adventure of mine began to emerge from the fathom of my nervous system as a flash-back scene.

The year is 1994; location-Bhubaneswar, Orissa. Internet is still one year away from arriving in India. and all the social networking websites are in the future. So the word “Internet” is far away from being added

into the Indian lingua franca. The only mode of entertainment is either TV or movie theatres. The said item number is ruling the countdown shows of the now defunct TV channel of DD

Metro. Every time the song is being aired, I eagerly wait to see the two sexy studs of the time-Sunil Shetty and Akshay Kumar. I fantasize both these heroes in a shirtless sequence. I become very excited to watch the movie as I have read in a newspaper that the bearish Sunil has appeared shirtless in one of scenes. But alas! My exams are near. Being a rank-holder, going to a movie hall during the exams will only invite brickbats from my parents. So I put on hold the plan until the exams a r e o v e r. Shriya, Stutee and Swati form a famous triad of movie halls in B h u b a n e s w a r. Few days after my exams get over; I rushed on my bicycle to the nearest of this triadThe Shriya Talkies. But the fellows there informed me that there are no more screenings of the movie. I was heart- broken. I felt like the film distributers added salt to my injury. But hurdles always pave the way for other opportunities. I decided to collect a barechested photograph of Sunil Shetty as a souvenir instead of

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Leisure Personals craving for his video clip. Within minutes, I was off to Puruna Bus Stop (Old bus stand). The area is somewhat similar to Avenue Road of Bangalore or College Street of Kolkata. The bookshops in this area are still the happy hunting ground for students and jobseekers. These shops are filled with the latest information on public sector jobs, study materials and off course all types of magazines. But I did not find the thing I was looking for. Every day, in the evening, I would visit these shops but would return empty handed. Gradually I spread my hunt in other areas of Bhubaneswar like Baramunda bus-stand, shops selling old magazines, public libraries and so on. My search went like this for six months but I was far away from hitting the bull's eye. Finally after six months, I succeeded but from an unexpected source. Once a month I used to pay a visit to the local saloon to get my haircut done. It was during one such Sunday morning, I was sitting on a bench in a local saloon, waiting for my turn to come. Usually the saloons would contain any latest issue of any film magazine or newspaper so that the waiting customers can read them for time-pass. That day I was also doing the same thing, reading the newspaper. I was scribbling through the crossword section, when I noticed just below it; there was a hairy, shirtless

photo of Sunil Shetty with his hand raised-his body hair spread from his armpit till the waist-line. Adding to my bonhomie was an ad of Rivolta underwear, in one corner of the same page, showing a male model only in his undies. I did not want to lose this once in a blue moon opportunity. To escape from the barber's ire, I went to one corner of saloon, away from the people sitting there and tore off the page of the newspaper cautiously to avoid damaging the photos. I quickly folded the torn-off page and slipped it into my trouser's pockets. Back in my quarters, I made two cut-outs -one of Sunil Shetty and the other of the male model. I took a notebook, put multiple layers o f c o v e r, m a d e f r o m newspaper, over the notebook, and put those cut-outs in the innermost layer to carry on my activity surreptitiously. I craved for more such photos. Collecting bare body photos of male celebrities became a full-blown hobby for me. I put multiple layers of covers in all of my books and note books, continued to visit the magazine stalls and would not hesitate to buy any magazine if I saw any photo of my interest in it. After buying it, I would make a cut-out of the photo and slip it into one of the layers of the said covers. I would also put date, time and name of the source in the back of those cut-outs. After making

the cut outs, I sold these magazines in the old book mart. Over the next few years my collection of photos grew to a staggering 80000-90000. I segregated the photos into different categories of my ownErotica( contained photos of male celebrities who appeared nude for any animal rights campaign, etc.), Naked Bollywood, Naked Hollywood, Fashion, Political (contained bare body photos of world leaders like Hitler, George Bush, Boris Yeltin, Putin and so on) , Sports( contained the bearish Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras of 1990s) and miscellaneous. But in few more years, with the advent of the internet and as I started concentrating on my professional studies, my interest in collecting photos began to wane. However this never stopped me in preserving the collected photos very carefully until the month of October, 2004. During that period my family shifted from Bhubaneswar to Kolkata. At the time of packing, controlling all of my emotions, I put the entire collection of the photos up in flames. This is how my adventure came to an abrupt end. This was also one of my best kept secrets but now it is out. Nowadays there may be thousands of blogs and websites containing lot of photos but I doubt any of them will have such different categories as I had.

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Leisure Personals

A FILIPINO’S STRUGGLE Ozzy Aquino writes about coming to terms with sexuality in Phillipines and the struggles endured


eing gay, life is full of struggles and excitement. In the Philippines, most gay people experience the cruelty of life because of rejection and internal and external discriminations from society. But mostly, being gay in Philippines isn't as harsh as in other parts of the Asia. I n t e r n a l s o c i e t a l discriminations and rejections refer to family and relatives, while external societal discriminations and rejections refer to the community, daily networks, groups of individuals and conservative organizations in the society. But, should we then shout to the public that gay people here be accepted as fair members of the community? Well, let me ask you, what's wrong with us? I'm out of the dark. I'm no longer scared. I'm no longer afraid. I'm done shedding pain. I'm done crying tears. I'm done having nightmares. Way back during my childhood days, I experienced a lot of discrimination and rejection from my family, my relatives and neighbours. I remember when I was a kid, I was a battered child. I suffered due to my father's attempts to change me, maybe he had dreams for me to be a seaman

or soldier (LOL). Well, I said to myself, this is me, and I want to be happy as real me, in my real world! It was hard for me then because I came from a completely Spanish influenced family (in terms of culture and tradition); besides, I came from a famous and royal clan, especially in the world of politics. I would think my family just needed respect of the people, especially during the time of government elections. I would think of the a d v a n t a g e s a n d disadvantages of being gay, shemale or ladyboy in the family, well, there's nothing wrong. I also discovered that you can still manage the respect of the community; you must be decent, honest and sophisticated to the community to remove the misconceptions of the people in the country about being gay. I started finding my way to happiness and way out of the dark. I believed I am intelligent, talented and proactive and began asking myself how I can get out of this? I always excelled in school and was granted many meritorious awards, but my father was not proud of me. Mom always cried. I felt that my mother loved me and was proud of me. When I

graduated from high school, my father gave his verdict that I was not to go to college, even though I knew we had money and assets to support my tuition fees; besides, it was their obligation and responsibility. I am eldest among five boys. Well, I am a transgender now. Our family has farms and business which have sometimes failed due to my father's mismanagement and bad habits like alcohol, girls, gambling. I have a beautiful mom who comes from the famous Aquino clan. She stayed at home and took good care of us. My parents always quarreled; we always heard it in the house and we, the kids, just cried. I felt her hardship and sacrifices, but she couldn't leave us, because of us, her

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Leisure Personals kids. I told myself that I need to leave them for my future. I went to college and was granted a full-scholarship program in Accountancy. I got admitted to the said program because I wanted to prove to my father what right business is. I wanted to be an expert. In college, I experienced a lot of hardships and made a lot of sacrifices in order to survive and manage my expenses including food, lodging, etc. I remember making ''polvoron'' after my last subject in the afternoon to sell it to my classmates and professors. I remember the ''turon'' (banana cue) vendor outside our school campus, I'd become friends with her (she is in Kuwait currently) and she gave me free merienda every time I went to her store after my classes. I remember the restaurant owner where she gave me free breakfast, lunch and even dinner but in order to pay her with deepest gratitude, I helped her in washing dishes. I remember the old woman, whom I called “nanay or mother'', to whom I am her caregiver, I took care of her and loved her in exchange for free lodging and allowances for my school projects; their family and relatives treat me as a real family compare to my real family and relatives from my father's side. Now, she's dead. I can't forget her and her family. I saw their happiness when I received a gold medal in academic excellence in Accountancy Program (the highest honor). I graduated in

my program with highest meritorious awards in academic excellence. After college, I went to Manila (the Capital City of Philippines) from the province in order to pursue my career and passion and be successful in life, be trained in my p r o f e s s i o n , a c h i e ve my dreams, to help my mom and siblings and to pursue my career in the Celebrity World or Showbiz. Fortunately, I was appointed as the Bank Officer of two foreign banks for Philippines operation due to my expertise in handling Banking and Finance, Mining Development, Real Estates and Commercial Trading. But I still wanted to pursue my career in the world of showbiz, and I believe it's really my core gift. It finally happened when I got to meet the cousin of our employee, the famous TV Host and Newscaster Sol Aragones and some gay people behind the magic of stage and television. She was an inspiration to me and had a lot of advice for me and even invited me to her TV Show. Next thing, I was being offered an indie film but I didn't accept it as I was not ready for that. At that time, I was the corporate secretary of the board of directors of a Philippine registered corporation. We were 5 incorporators and my business partners were the member of a conservative church and invited me to join them and undergo doctrines, which I did. I finished the doctrines. I decided to be a discreet gay,

but I couldn't. They wanted to throw me out of the company a n d m a d e a ve r y embarrassing issue about me when I was connected with Rash Juzen, Hollywood star Charice's cousin. They believed that I had a sexual relationship with him. I underwent church court trials and the church listened to their stories without getting to actor Rash Juzen about the issue. Also a church member listened to famous veteran entertainment writer and editor Chito Alcid's articles. My apology to Rash Juzen about what happened. And to Chito Alcid, I now know the advantage of your articles and I realized I want to be true and honest to myself and that's who I am but to clear the issue, Rash Juzen and I are only friends and I managed his career that time as an actor. Still I want to extend my greatest thanks to my friend Chito Alcid. Well, enough is enough! I am focusing on my passion and career now in the world of showbiz to have my own show in television and being one of the prime casts of the best film. I also love talk shows, just like the success of my idol, the most controversial gay TV Host, the King of Talk, Boy Abunda. I am very proud of him as I can see how he builds up the respect of the people and the masses, is most trusted and has now earned the Philippines pride. One thing that makes me proud of Tito Boy was that he has been honest to the public about his

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Leisure Personals

Sad Days Band (now, Lopez Jaena Band) at Myx Bandarito Performance of ABS-CBN (Photo courtesy : Italento Pilipinas)

life partner Bong Quintana, a PAGCOR Official (Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation). They are such a role model for us. Hopefully I can find someone to answer the missing piece of my life and be the father of my two years and eight month old adopted son. Precisely, I am different now! I remember the day when my friend, ABS CBN Host Sol Aragones invited me in her show, outside the studio, many fans had mistaken me for famous TV Personality and Gay Comedian, ''Icy Mendoza''. I also remember when I organized DMI fans organization of famous Actor/Host Ding-Dong Dantes and famous Actress Marian Rivera in SOP, a GMA7 noon time show, now Party Pilipinas with my friend Nemia D. Anoche. Many fans mistook me

for the famous ABS-CBN Showtime Host and Gay Comedian Vice Ganda. And I am not! Finally and finally I got an idea to evolve my image and fashion as who I am because I believe it would lead me to succeed overtime, as the, ''Ozzy Aquino'' in the industry. And now, I have managed the career of Sad Days Band (Now Lopez Jaena Band) seen in the national television show, Myx Bandarito of Studio 23, ABS-CBN with its Lead Vocalist Jeff Mercado and the Pride of General Santos C i t y, S i n g e r / C o m p o s e r, Singing Champ Heartthrob Felix Calixton trying his track in Star Magic audition in ABSCBN and the pride of Laguna where Hollywood Singer Charice Pempengco came from, introducing the Diva Kid, Nyoki Beltran and the Pride of Antique, Balladeer Heartthrob,

Brian Sabayon, now a singer in Bangkok, Thailand. Kudos to the famous gay commentator, author and professor of USA and my friend Scott Thompson for being here with me in times when I needed some advice on my cruel life. To my friend Dave Cole, a successful gay businessman from United Kingdom who was there with me in times of my trials in business and for some advices. To Ate Cora and Kuya George Bustria, a couple who was always there with me in times of my very trials, my best friend Kenneth Patron for being an inspiration and my loving friend, Daizy Aldana. My greatest thanks to my mother who is always there with me especially in taking good care of my adopted son, Kean and most of all, to God for giving me thy greatest gift and love.

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Leisure Personals

FIGHTING INTERNAL DEMONS Homophobia and Transphobia within the community also needs to be fought against, writes Sukhdeep Singh


very year May 17th is celebrated as International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia. In countries like India, homophobia and transphobia runs deep. We say that the lack of visibility adds to misperception and misrepresentation and leads to more of such phobic reaction from the society. We cry hoarse at any movie that presents gays as effeminate and say that it leads to a wrong impression in society. We fight the society against homophobia, and we then fight to be portrayed as “straight acting”. Surprised at the use of the term “straight acting”? I don't think anyone of you would be. Isn't that the term you come across in majority of the profiles in those gay dating sites. Or maybe just a different version of it as in “manly gays”, “non-sissies”. It doesn't end there. Many of these profiles have it written clearly, “I hate feminine guys” to “effeminate men please stay away”. And this brings us to the larger question – While we seek to fight against hatred based on sexual orientation, are we ourselves free from it? Those very lines smell of hatred. And these lines are something that you don't come across in just one or two profiles and so can brush off. Rather, a significant number of profiles have such things mentioned! Isn't the whole “queer community” supposed to be a community where everyone is welcome, irrespective of how they identify themselves as? Yet, even while we demand equality form the society at large, we treat people who do not fit into the very definitions of gender set by the society that we are fighting, with contempt and hatred; marginalising them within the marginalised. Transphobia runs deep within the gay community, and I have many times heard

people say, “They bring bad name to the community” or “Why do they behave like this?” Many aren't aware of what transgenders are in the first place! And if you go through the “rules and regulations” of the party organizers of those innumerable gay parties being organized, you will find that most of them have it written that crossdressing is not allowed, which in essence rules out the transgenders. While the organizers may argue that they don't allow cross – dressing as otherwise they might not get venues for the party, the truth may lie in what I had read in a forum, where a member had posted that parties that allow transgenders turn off gay men who stop coming to these parties and the organizers go out of business soon. I hear similar things from many people about the pride parades, where they complain that they don't like taking part in it because of the presence of transgenders who portray a wrong image of the community. Many such “self-conscious” gays, if they are walking in the parade hide behind masks themselves, but don't think twice before expressing their hatred for the brave transgenders who not only have to fight the society, but their own community. May be, if they stop hiding and muster enough courage, people will start seeing the other hues of the rainbow too. IDAHO shouldn't be just restricted to homophobia among straight people, but should be extended to homophobia and transphobia within the LGBT community. Even before we reach out to the larger society, seeking equality, there is an immediate need to curb this internalized homophobia. But sadly, no one seems to be addressing that.

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LET THE CARDS SPEAK - Rohan Noronha As I holiday in Pune, I wonder why people find so much discomfort in being friendly to the mute spectators, the strays per se. It's not only in big cities but also small towns where the strays are given a rung lower than that of the garbage trucks!! Remember, if we don't care for our MOTHER's children, she won't care for us. It is not important you take these strays home, feed them or even pat their heads, even the thought counts. Do your bit, offer a biscuit or a bowl of milk every third of the month, especially to a black dog or cat and watch how you get blessed. Cancer June 21 - July 22

Aries Mar 21 - Apr 19 The time ahead is not too pleasant, especially with a nagging boss and a boisterous behaved partner. But if you know how to keep your calm and play the cards well, this phase would be a breeze. Manage your finances, because you have the tendency to splurge, rainy days ahead, don't be the man overboard!!

Balance your inner sanctorum, your private space and do not let that be invaded, learn to detach from the ones you love and stay aloof from the ones you cannot attune with. Sometimes it is important to be a spectator to the world and that too in silence. See what signs you get, you never know how the spirits show you the way, but when they do, grab the opportunity!!

Taurus Apr 20 - May 20

Leo July 23 - Aug 22

You gave enough of pain and that's why it came back to you. Now you need to endure it, body, mind and soul. You shall be successful if you go back and make peace with the one's you hurt, intentionally or otherwise. Your finances are going to be shaky till the end of the year, but if you learn to put things behind you and drop that EGO, things may look up sooner.

You definitely can't be the leader of the pack always, every leader has a godfather figure as well, and you are in for a surprise when this person comes your way, to pay you back in your own coins. It's best if you control your urge to be promiscuous, you know what the cards mean, and if you don't, you would figure it out sooner or later. Stop DOMINATING or else, doomsday would be out to dominate you.

Gemini May 21 - June 20

Virgo Aug 23 - Sept 22

Stop asking what others can do for you, ask what you can do for yourself. There are many moments in life where answers don't come easy, but there is a reason why delays happen, and that is for the best. If work was overburdening months back, it would pay you fruitfully, take care of mom at home, she needs emotional support.

The coming full moon will bring you that much awaited news of happiness, don't worry if delays happened on your work front, there was a reason, let that unfold for you slowly. Next time onwards, you know how to be more cautious, especially with money matters. A female at home or work would be very dependant on your intelligence, help as much as you can, you will reap the benefits soon.

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Leisure Tip: As the rains arrive this year around, make sure you get all wet and wild if you please. Enjoy the cool breeze, the thunders and the lightning streaks, because the Goddess has decided to heal and cleanse you. On a small piece of white paper, write down your desires and when it rains go out there and offer it to a pond or a running stream or simply to the puddles that form around. Wait for 7 days for an answer, don't expect instant manifestation, but expect a path to be shown to reach your desires. Libra Sept 23 - Oct 22

Capricorn Dec 22 - Jan 19

Be ready for good times ahead and try to share those happy moments with as many as possible, even if you met the beautiful stranger for an hour. Mom and dad would give you valuable life advice; use it to your benefit. Try to look at things from a perspective and not as the real thing happening for the moment, things will show you more glorious moments.

Family would be very demanding, but that is because you ignored their feelings all the while, while you made moolah and went laughing to the bank. Don't be surprised if you readily agree to spend more time at home, because your heart desires it to be so. Manage your stomach and heavy chest issues of health, visit a doctor or things may go down.

Aquarius Jan 20 - Feb 18

Scorpio Oct 23 - Nov 21 Look at the morning Sun, it comes with hope and renewal. Sometimes we wonder why we lost someone or something, the answer is because the purpose of our learning or to be taught was over and done with, and now we have to move on and apply that thought. Money matters will be of prime importance, so invest wisely.

Ok now listen up, the world doesn't want to hear you blow your trumpet, so silence is what it asks you to offer. But if you still choose to make a noise, you shall be shunned, even by the closest around, because no one wants your whining anymore. At work if things didn't go well, you should evaluate your ego and alter a little of your attitude.

Sagittarius Nov 22 - Dec 21

Pisces Feb 19 - March 20

A break or a vacation is what will benefit you the most, if you are on one, enjoy it to the fullest. Money matters are amazing for the next 2 years. You will find justice for what has happened to you, the perpetrators think they won, but they forgot, before the storm there is always silence and false happiness, SHE WILL STRIKE THEM and make them eat dust. YOU CARRY on!!

Manage your temperament; go on a spiritual journey first from within and then out there. You need to focus on things that bother you the most, but don't dwell on it. Its easy for us to come up with 1000's of problems, knowing solutions to none of them whatsoever. Your task this time would be to focus on solutions, without any one helping you at all.

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A review by Agnivo Niyogi


our different stories, yet interconnected by a common string. Afia, Megha, Abhimanyu and Omar, I AM explores four independent individuals battling the society in their struggle for existence. A woman whose husband had been cheating on her, an embittered Kashmiri Pandit who goes back to Kashmir to cut off her last remaining link to the valley, a successful documentary film

maker with a dark past, a homosexual man grappling with the homophobic system which wants to exploit him, I AM slowly narrates the stories, unravels the hidden “me” inside them and takes the audience through a two hour long journey of the human spirit. The success of I AM lies in the huge list of “coproducers” the film got when the threat of shelving the project loomed large. Onir is

an honest film maker. After a failed attempt with Bas Ek Pal, he has emptied his creativity in I AM. A slice of life is complemented in each of the stories. After Mumbai Meri Jaan, I have seen the first film where four different tracks meet without looking forced. Out of the four films, I Am Omar touched a chord with me especially because I have heard many tales of how gays are harassed by the police and “Bhai's” for “violating Indian

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Stills from I AM

culture”, even post the Delhi High Court verdict of July 2009. I have experienced the deep seated hatred and loathing some people still have for men who love men. I Am Abhimanyu was a half baked tale according to me. Some strings were deliberately let lose, and Onir did not bother solving the puzzle. But, Radhika Apte and Shernaz Patil (with their miniscule roles in this segment) made up for the loss with their acting. Nandita Das has been my favourite actor since I first saw her in Earth. She is her usual self in this film, although a bit under toned. Deliberate? Or experimental? Another magnificent facet of this film that you can treasure is the background

score mingling with the sublime pictures of the cities the stories are based in. Calcutta was last portrayed so beautifully in Antaheen and The Namesake. From Maidan to the Metro, Floatel to Tollygunj, dusk to dawn, Onir captures the city as if she were his muse. But the story that you take away with you, screen time that becomes an experience, makes you sit back and think, is definitely I AM Megha. The everlasting hatred between Kashmiri Pandits and Muslims, the past that does not let us move forward, the present that is caught up in the past and the illusionary prospects of future – Megha and Rubina project Kashmir as it is now. Rubina's

last comments as Megha is leaving will keep your neurons over worked: “What if I was the one who left, and you were trapped in this confinement of paradise?” I AM may not be the best technically sound film you have watched in recent times. It works because it has faith in its production. I AM clicks because in some frame of the film, you can see yourself. If life throws a lemon at you, make lime juice and drink it. The journey of life faces derailment at every crossroads; it is the decision which we make that charts our course. Worry not about the road not taken and travel miles before you sleep. I AM therefore I WILL LIVE.

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Leisure Literature


Oh! friend my friend , no better than foe, To turn your back when I have nowhere to go, No hand to hold, no shoulder to weep, When I thought, we had promises to keep, Queer you call me in your mocking way, Different you are, I'm just gay. Oh! Brother my brother, with whom I grew, What bonds fell, and what winds blew, That blood fell thin and so did its right, Every battle was ours, together to fight, Not man enough you call me this day, But you couldn't stand, I'm just gay. Oh! Father my father, the revered one, No shelter, no food, for your begotten son, For arms that rocked me up into air, Failed to protect, love and care, Ashamed of me you stand today, You couldn't defend, I'm just gay! Oh! Mother oh mother, who carried me in her womb, I stand alone, in my tomb, Deserted, destructed spirit to soul, For one touch of love, complete and whole, Unacceptable to you, in here I lay, But I was always your son and I was always gay!

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LOVE,ME AND SOME OF HER.. -Souvik Biswas And there she orchestrates, Mirroring the grass And the smirks... Torching her majesty... With the twisted necks of lilies... Beyond the blood... Upon the slippery dreams... Hails and sharpens her ancient nails... Cloyed in the pockets of dead clowns... Breaks the rhythm… And the hearts of every painter She swims across the strained beauty Her floating organs up on the mast The grey cat curls around her victims In envenumed manouvres of her craft She slips and swaps her screams… Under those golmohors of broken skies I closed my eyes and there she grew Like burnt snakes Black as night Kissed my throat and claimed my dreams… Being a warrior of my heart… Surprised my skin And forked my hairs Shone with all the queenly might The passing traffic all at once… Gaped its fangs To chew my eyes I to her in an enticed silence Mocked and murdered And blocked the world In smoky rings of our love story.

Graphic Art by Ashish Kumar Art

Leisure Literature

“A tale of love and lust between an upper class brahmin & an uneducated rural boy� by Victor

Till Now: The barriers broken, both Bagha and the mining engineer are moving closer.


ur sexual inhibitions completely overtaken by our desire for each other, we were however careful not to attract anyone's undue attention to what went on in private amongst us. To the colliery township people and my colleague executives, Bagha was a good worker and I was lucky in getting a domestic who was so trustworthy and who took no leave. In the weekly parties at the officer's club, the bejewelled Bhabis piled on, trying to glean as much matrimonial information from me to pass on to their respective unmarried relatives waiting in the wings to garland the first eligible bachelor engineer available in the colliery. My very young age came to my rescue as it was difficult to get a marriageable graduate woman much younger than me. Still, some of them wanted to reserve my candidature and had invited me over to their bungalows on a few occasions as a covert and sometimes overt marriage proposal with temptations of various forms of material benefits associated with an Indian marriage. On our off days, after lunch, we used to ride out to the Gowai railway bridge about 4 kms from the colony. Away from the madding crowd, it was a serene, peaceful place and surrounded by the shrubby greenery characteristic of Dhanbad Disrict. Gowai was a trickle in December. We would move about on the warm sand of the dried river bed, and then spread out a durree behind a shrub and insolently lie down on with my head on his strong thighs. He would move his fingers through my hair and we would talk about my family, my city, and he about his village and his life before the colliery. I would carry my walkman along to listen to Kishore or Paul Anka or whoever when Bagha

fell silent or asleep in the indolent sun, look at the clear azure sky to see a few lazy eagles circling above waiting to spot a prey to swoop down on. A few goods trains used to rattle by. Local cyclists, traveling from one village to another would stand by on the protrusions to let the train pass by and would look down from far up towards us and indifferently walk by with their cycles precariously perched on the corrugated tin sheets between the rail tracks. The sounds of the wheels moving against tin and resultant clangs could be heard from where we used to lie. Unless one had been to a place like that, it is practically impossible to imagine the calm and the languid atmosphere pervading the surrounding space. Sometimes, the sound of silence around us was shattered by the whistle of the passing Neelanchal Express carrying people from the capital to the city of Lord Jagannath. I was not a regular smoker back then, but I liked to indulge in my cigarette while lying on the sands, and watch my smoke rings slowly blow into his beautiful face and curls while he looked down on me, his face and his full mouth tantalisingly close to my parched lips. I offered him a smoke every time but he never accepted. Instead he dipped his face further to touch mine and we lost in each other, kissing under the open sky with only the dogs and the birds watching us We would indulge in light making out, but never went beyond a limit while at the Gowai. The evenings would approach fast, as the shadows of the pillars and the girders lengthened on the darkening sands. The birds would chirp incessantly and fly back to their respective abodes and the west sky would turn the hue of the setting sun. We would get up at that point as it was unsafe to stay there beyond sundown. The bike would be parked on hard ground in our line of view. On the ride up to the unmetalled kuchha road from the depth of the river bed, he would walk beside me as I accelerated the bike

51 Gaylaxy|Volume 2 | Issue 3 | May-Jun 2011

Leisure Literature in first gear, overcoming a steep upward was testing my patience. gradient. Once on comparatively level ground, he would jump on, hugging me from behind Ultimately, I locked the door, picked up my 2 just one time and kissing on my nape. I would wheeler and started off for the mess where I turn and kiss him back and thereafter behave had lunch and then moved on for the mine. The normally as we approached the colony. On the evening was just not going to end. There were way we would stop at the colliery yard level so many disruptions. First a tub turned turtle. A crossing for tea and samosas. Sometimes he conveyor belt got torn, and to top it all a got naughty in the dark and slipped his hands bearing in the endless winch gearbox seized. I to my zip and opened it to fondle my asset. The had to flit about the level through galleries and ensuing hard-ons could be come up to the surface three satiated only after we got back times. The production at the He would move his and we almost fell on each end of 8 hours was very other crashing into the bed fingers through my hair depressing. What a way to minutes after entering the begin the year! I didn't have a and we would talk bungalow. chance to think about my about my family, my missing man and could only get My parents were expecting me city, and he about his an opportunity to lament my village and his life home for the Christmas loneliness that first night of the holidays and Bagha too had to year when I kick started my before the colliery go home as it was his “Bada bike. It was dark outside and Parab�. I was happy that I strangely for that part of the didn't have to expose Bagha again to the year there was a light drizzle. From the insides devouring eyes of Tuka, the man-eater in our of the earth, it was not possible to know what apartment building. But, I was missing him, games the elements were playing on the and returned in six days. Bagha was to return surface. Later I came to know that there was a in the new year. cyclonic weather brewing in Gangetic South Bengal and it had The New Year Eve was affected a part of South spent in our colliery Bihar too. office club boozing with my colleagues and I was damp, upset and discussing production lonely and was inclined targets. I had never felt to race the throttle. I so lonely before. sped above my usual However, the new year limit along the pitch brought with it new dark metal road, hopes. Bagha would be slippery and slimy due coming sometime to the drizzle. Usually I midday on the first day would watch the road of the year, to be in time ahead carefully while for the 2 P.M. shift. driving at night, but then, I was distracted at that time. If I say that I was eagerly waiting for him, it would be a euphemism. My whole being was I didn't see the cyclist coming from the yearning for him. I wanted to ring in the New opposite direction clad in a dark raincoat with Year with him, but that didn't happen. Now I no head lamp. He appeared at the last moment wanted to start 1995 with him in my arms. like an apparition suddenly veering towards Every time there was a shuffle at the gate or me. I swerved sharply, fell into a pothole and some clang of iron gates being opened skidded. I remember a sharp pain in my hand anywhere in the neighborhood, I rushed to the and head, and a flash in front of my eyes before windows, only to be disappointed. The day I passed out. turned into afternoon, I had to put on my colliery dress perfunctorily for the shift. Bagha I woke up in the colony health centre bed quite

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Leisure Literature in pain. Dr. Satpathy was standing beside the bed at my feet. He smiled and gestured to stay quiet as I wanted to get up. I felt my left wrist was in a bandage. And when I touched the right side of the back of my head, I felt an adhesive plaster in a portion of my crewcropped hair. The nurse on duty came forward to adjust my blanket and told me that I have been saved by God's grace. The injuries were minor and I just needed 2 stitches at the back of my head and one in my lower left palm. And that I needed at least 5-6 days rest for recuperating fully. Dr Satpathy left after instructing the nurse about the treatment, told me to have a CT scan done next day at Dhanbad Central Hospital, for which he had given the referral and ordered me to be discharged. I looked My whole at the round clock on the wall yearning in front of me. It was well past midnight. wanted to

that attracted my attention was the eyebrows which were joined in the middle above his nose bridge. Mercy came up to me and asked me if I could sign the discharge paper. Since my right hand was ok and I could lift my head, I got up from the bed and barefoot walked to the table and signed. The guy introduced himself to me in Bangla, and said that he was Tapan, the son of one of my mining overman, and that he happened to see me being brought to the hospital by a group of people and, curious, he followed them and discovered that it was me. He said that he had been entrusted by Dr. Satpathy to take me to my Bungalow and since it was known in the small colony that I had Bagha at being was home, to deposit me in his for him. I care.

ring in the New Year with him

I knew the nurse, a very friendly middle aged Malayali Christian woman, very well as she was in the quarter just in front of my bungalow. I feebly called out, “Sister.� She turned from whatever she was doing at the table to look at me quizzically. I asked her several questions about the accident; what happened to my bike, who brought me there and so on? She replied to my queries one by one with her omnipresent smile at the corner of her lips. My bike was more or less unharmed, I was brought there by some night shift employees who were on their way to the mine, and that I was knocked out for about 40 minutes. While handing me my cheap digital wristwatch with a torn band, she declared that it was by the sheer grace of Christ that I didn't crash into the post nearby as told to her by the people who brought me to the Health Centre.

I informed him that Bagha was not in the house and that he had been visiting his village for Christmas. He seemed to think a while, and immediately went to the internal ramshackle gadget that worked as a phone in the hospital ward. He had a talk with presumably Dr. Satpathy and told him of this changed situation. He himself volunteered to stay for the night with me and on getting the approval from the medic, disconnected.

He asked me gently if I could walk out, and I said yes. However, I was looking for my safety boots, which I found were outside the ward door. I sat on the wooden bench in the Health Centre and tried to bend down to open the laces and slip my feet in them. The moment I bent downwards, my head spun and I gripped the edge of the bench. Tapan, standing in front of me, saw me disbalanced and caught hold of me with his hands. I steadied myself and was about to try it again when he stopped me with a shaking of his head and knelt down to help me. I was extremely embarrassed and thanked him numerous times till he asked me to stop.

I was still feeling drowsy and though I was told that I had been injected with a painkiller, could feel the throbbing ache at the back of my head and at my wrist. Sister Mercy Sebastian called out to somebody beyond the ward door, and I saw this young strapping guy in his early twenties step inside moving aside the green curtain. He was medium complexion, quite tall, about 6' with a very athletic body showing through his tight pullover and a blunt face with a very prominent full mouth. The other thing

Having tied my laces, he put his right hand underneath my left shoulder and pulled me to an erect position. To be continued...

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Leisure NGO

WEST BENGAL THE PRATYAY GENDER TRUST Contact person : Anindya Hajra Address : 293 Jodhpur Park , Calcutta, Pin 700 068 Phone : 033 2464 1893 E-mail : Target populations : Hijras, MSM (particularly kotis)

DURBAR MAHILA SAMANWAYA COMMITTEE Contact person : Mrinal Kanti Dutta Address : 12/5 Nilmoni Mitra Street, Kolkata West Bengal, India Phone : 033 2543 7451 / 7560, +91-33 2530 3148 Email: Website: Target populations : Female, Male and Transgender sex workers SAATHII CALCUTTA Contact person : Pawan Dhall, Chief Coordinator Address : 229 Kalitala Main Road, Purbanchal (N), Kolkata Pin 700 064 Phone : 033 2334 7329 E-mail : / Website : Target populations : MSM in general, male sex workers, transgender people, bisexual

Sappho Contact person : Malavika Address : 11A Jogendra Gardens(South),Ground Floor, Kolkata, Pin 700 078 Phone : 033 2441 9995


Email: , Website: Target Population : Lesbians and bisexual women

Prantik Bongaon Contact person : Niloy Basu Address : C/o Niloy Basu, Peada Para, P.O. Bongaon, Pin 743 235 Phone : 91 3251 257 029, 9332254855 E-mail : / Target populations : Hijras, Kothis, MSM in general

Northern Black Rose Contact person : Souvik Ghosal Address : C/o Hori Roy, M. B. Mukherjee Nursing Home, Hill Cart Road, Rajani Bagan, Khudiram Palli, Silliguri 734 401 Phone : 91-9433009116 E-mail: Target populations : Hijras, Meitis, other sexual minorities,

Astitva Dakshin

SWIKRITI Contact person : Rajarshi Chakraborty, Secretary Address : 42/57 DumDum Road, Kolkata 700074 Phone : +91 9831743608, 9433009190 E-mail: Target populations : Bisexual women, lesbians, MSM in general, transgender people

PEOPLE LIKE US (PLUS) Contact person : Agniva Lahiri Address : 254, Bonomali Bannerjee Road, Kolkata 700082, West Bengal, India Phone : 033 2402 9305 E-mail : Target populations : Support group for young gender variants

SWAPNIL Contact person : SUMAN RUDRA Address : Kotalhat DistBurdwan, P.O. Burdwan, Pin 751015, West Bengal

Contact person : Debasish Mitra Address : C/o Bablu Bajikar, Baruipur Ukilpara, Kolkata 700144 Phone : 919836185589, 9830837440 E-mail : Target populations : Hijras, Kothis

Phone : 09932241372 E-mail : Target populations : MSM & TG Groups

Madhya Banglar Sangram

Contact person : Sk. Jalaluddin Address : Santi Seva, C/o Fellowship, Tarini Bhawan, Baliorada, P.O. / Dist. Bhadrak, Orissa, Pin 756 100, India

Contact person : Arunava Nath Address : Kazi Ali Aftab Vill. Goaljan, P.O. Radharghat, P.S. Berhampore Phone: 91 9932760967, 9232694700 E-mail:

Orissa Santi Seva

Phone : 93487 87724 E-mail : Target populations : Hijra, Maichiya and other male-tofemale transgender people

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Gaylaxy|Volume 2 | Issue 3 | May-Jun 2011