The Delhi high court’s decision in 2009 legalizing consensual homosexual acts was a powerful example of judicial wisdom. However, in 2013 that decision was set aside when two Supreme Court justices (out of 29) ruled otherwise. Countless legal professionals and India’s LGBT community were appalled. Five years later in 2018 the full Supreme Court reversed
India is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country, and the largest democracy in the world. It has the world’s twelfth largest economy at market exchange rates and the fourth largest in purchasing power. Economic reforms have transformed it into the second fastest growing large economy; however, it still suffers from high levels of poverty.
Homosexuality in India is generally considered a taboo subject by both Indian civil society and the government. Scholars differ in their views of the position of homosexuality within India’s main religious traditions. There have been arguments that homosexuality was both prevalent and accepted in ancient Hindu society. Since 2001 a major legal challenge was mounted against Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalised homosexuality. The Delhi High Court ruled in favor of decriminalization on 2nd July 2009. This ruling had the effect of making homosexuality legal across India. However many religious and fundamentalist groups challenged the judgement in the Supreme Court which, in 2013, reversed the Delhi Court decision thus re-criminalizing gay sex between consenting adults. It was a shocking setback for gay and human rights in India. The decision still stands today as activists strategize to change the law in parliament. Also see: Islam and Homosexuality.
Gay India–Part 1 (Intro): Bombay/Mumbai
A Four-part Journey Through South India in Search of LGBT Life Also see: Islam and Homosexuality Gay India Stories Gay India News & Reports 2000 to present Gay India Photo Galleries Introduction Read this historic story first The sheer size of India makes ‘a’ Gay India story an impossible task, and it’s not just size
Gay India–Part 2: Hyderabad
A Four-part Journey Through South India in Search of LGBT Life Also see: Islam and Homosexuality Gay India Stories Gay India News & Reports 2000 to present Gay India Photo Galleries Read this historic story first Hyderabad Hyderabad is the capital city of the state of Andhar Pradesh in central India. Over the past decade
Gay India–Part 3: Chennai /Madras
A Four-part Journey Through South India in Search of LGBT life Also see: Islam and Homosexuality Gay India Stories Gay India News & Reports 2000 to present Gay India Photo Galleries Read this historic story first Chennai (Madras) Sahodaran and SAATHII It’s no easier to find a publicly visible gay community in Chennai than Hyderabad
Gay India–Part 4: Bangalore
A Four-part Journey Through South India in Search of LGBT life Also see: Islam and Homosexuality Gay India Stories Gay India News & Reports 2000 to present Gay India Photo Galleries Read this historic story first Bangalore Bangalore is another of India’s forward-leaning mega-cities. In the center of the country and at an altitude of
Gay India 2001-03: Many Faces, Secret Traditions and Bold New Times
Intro: Two academic commentaries and three interviews serve as a basic introduction to the vast and complex potpourri of cultures known as India. Gay India is one of the convoluted subcultures folded
into the intense tapestry of languages, customs, religions and secular traditions in this country of a billion people.
In parts one and two, guest authors discuss widespread male-male sexuality as an unspoken and unquestioned–and unlabeled–way of life integrated into family and village customs. The public–spoken or written–label of ‘gay’ or ‘homosexual’ is questioned as a valid description of such men: traditional MSM does not necessarily mean today’s ‘queer’.
Following these academic commentaries are links to parts three and four: interviews with three important gay and lesbian leaders who give a more ‘flesh and blood’ feel for gay life that is ‘out’ and evident in modern India.
The final fifth section is a story about Calcutta’s first gay pride parade and a reflection of its extended meaning.
India – Bombay
Mumbai is formerly Bombay and is the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra. With an estimated population of thirteen million, it is the second most populous city in the world. Maharashtra is the one of the most urbanized states in India, contributing to 15% of the country’s industrial output and 13.2% of its GDP
India – Bombay – Humsafar
Humsafar Trust is the premier health education and sexuality rights organization in India. They offer services and outreach to thousands of people. These photos are of the drop-in center in Mumbai. The Humsafar drop-in center, inaugurated in November 1995, has a long history and has played host to several Mumbaikars from college students to Page
India – Bangalore
Bangalore, with 6 million people, is another of India’s high tech progressive ‘success’ stories with its blend of old poverty and new earned wealth. It is the capital of the Indian state of Karnataka. It’s a crowded place with an elegant capital building, traffic jams, famous cafes and trendy shops. It is also home to
India – Chennai – Madras (1)
Chennai is a major city of over six million, India’s 4th largest metropolis. It has its share of propserous new-age companies and flashy structures. In this gallery are some historic venues such as the Fort St. George built by the British East India Company in 1653, now the administrative headquarters for the legislative assembly of
India – Chennai – Madras (2)
Chennai is a major city of over six million, India’s 4th largest metropolis. It has its share of prosperous new-age companies and flashy structures. Tucked into the myriad of crowded streets and dense alleys are occasional leafy cafes such as Amethyst Cafe/Boutique that offer fine food and quality merchandise for middle and upper class customers.
India – Goa-Baga-Calangute
Two of India’s most popular beaches for locals and foreigners are Baga and Calangute beaches that offer miles of white beaches, many hotels and restaurants. On these lovely beaches, Goans and tourists spend summers, bathing in or walking along the sea. Most people enjoy the sun and sand fully clothed. Baga is a small but
India – Hyderabad
Hyderabad is one of India’s major cities (almost 6 million people) that has prospered with the coming of the information technology age. It’s a major outsourced call center in the country. One of it’s suburbs is called High Tech City with numerous slick high-rise office buildings. Built around a large lake called Hussain Sagar it
India – Hampi
Hampi was once the capital city of a Hindu Vijayanagar empire in the 15-16th centuries. The vast area of temples and shrines, markets and roads covers 43 square kilometers. Hampi is located within the ruins of Vijayanagara, the former capital of the Vijayanagara empire. Possibly predating the city of Vijayanagara, this village continues to be
India – Vijayawada-Pondicherry-Trichy
Vijayawada and Pondicherry and Tiruchirappalli in southeast India offer places of history, spirituality and commerce, as well as colorful friendly people. Just outside Pondicherry is the international city of Auroville–started in 1968–intended as a place of "human unity". At the center of the commune is the huge round meditation globe known as the Matrimandir, pictured
India – Kanyakumari (Cape Comorin)
At the southernmost tip of India is the city of Kanyakumari with its variety of sites including a busy fishing port, a mahatma Gandhi memorial, extensive bazaars, pilgrimage temples and offshore monuments to the spiritual guru Vivekananda and the Tamil poet Thiruvalluvar. Read the stories about gay India
India – Kochi/Cochin
Kochi is an appealing delight for visitors and natives with its high-rise modern buildings on one side (Ernakulam) of its large shipping port and many historic charming European-style buildings and markets on the other in the Mattancherry colonial district. The old European buildings and ambiance attract many tourists. Vasco da Gama was originally buried here
India – Goa-Palolem Beach
Palolem beach in southern Goa offers a respite from the heat and congestion of southern India. The beach is largely unspoiled and is inhabited by both local fishermen and by foreign tourists who live in shacks along the shore. It is about one mile (2km) long and is crescent-shaped. One can view the whole beach
India – Old Goa and Panaji
Old Goa is the former capital of the Portuguese colony on India’s west coast. Once a thriving city, it’s only remains are numerous impressive churches and cathedrals that are World Heritage Monuments. Panaji is the modern capital of Goa, a city of 100,000 with busy a shipping port in nearby Vasco da Gama town and
India – Mysore Palace and City
Mysore is a medium-sized city of about 750,000 people. Before India became independent from England, the ‘state’ of Mysore was ruled by the wealthy Maharaja of the Wodeyar dynasty whose stunning and immense Mysore Palace is now a museum. His descendant family still live in relative splendor in a private wing of the palace (photo
India – Country Life
Driving through rural India offers a wide spectrum of poor and simple life, manual labor, friendly people, slow transportation and even a new airport near Hospet, which accommodates visitors to the great ruins of Hampi and to the huge steel plant adjacent to the airport. This gallery takes us through the areas of Colva in
India – Train Travel
India’s train system is one of the most extensive in the world, with thousands of train departures and arrivals every day. It operates about 9000 passenger trains and daily transports 17 million people across twenty-eight states and three union territories The levels of comfort range from the regal to the ragged. Check out this Youtube
India – Jaipur-Fatehpur-Agra
Agra achieved fame as the capital of the Mughal emperors from 1526 to 1658 and remains a major tourist destination because of its many splendid Mughal-era buildings, most notably the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri. (photos 1-10) Fatehpur Sikri is a fortified city; it was the political capital of India’s Mughal Empire under
India – Bombay-Delhi-Khajuraho
Mumbai is formerly Bombay and is the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra. (photos 1-21) Delhi has been continuously inhabited since at least 6th century BC. (photos 22-31) Near Udaipur are the the Nagada temples at Sas Bahu with some erotic carvings. (photos 32-36) The Khajuraho group of monuments has been listed as a
India – Udaipur-Varanasi
A visit to the beautiful Lake Palace Hotel in Udaipur and to Varanasi on the Ganges River with the ghats for burning corpses. Read the stories about gay India
India – Buddhist Monastery
An hour west of Mysore is the impressive Namdroling Buddhist Monastery and School where 5000 monks and students from many areas of India and southeast Asia come to teach, pray and study ancient scripts and modern science. Read the stories about gay India