Open Letter to Subramanian Swamy from a “Genetically Handicapped” Gay Dude

Social Commentary

Open Letter to Subramanian Swamy from a “Genetically Handicapped” Gay Dude

Illustration: Sushant Ahire/Arré


ear Subbu,

(Can I call you Subbu? I just feel like we’re so close because you speak on my behalf so much.)

Every couple of months, some reporter makes the mistake of asking you a question about something unfolding in 21st-century India, like the existence of gay people. What they do not realise is that you don’t belong in 21st-century India. With your archaic opinions and deranged rants that make absolutely no sense, you happen to be India’s finest imports from the Vedic era. So I think it’s high time someone wrote a heartfelt appeal to your sane side (yeah, still counting on that.) 

Oh, who am I? Just a gay dude who is constantly worried about making love to his partner unless all the entryways (of the room) are blocked and I’ve done a clean sweep for bugs under the bed.

You have a lot to say about a lot of things, Subbu. And with time, more and more people have let go of your company. You have to admit you’re a little at fault here. You’re like that friend now who hijacks every conversation, every event and makes it about himself. Now you see why Jaitley and Rajnath won’t hang out with you?

But we can change that.

I want to tell you that I am here for you, Subbu. You can tell me all your nasty thoughts so others don’t have to hear them. I could have even offered you my shoulder to cry on, but as of yesterday, that’s going to count as “flaunting” our indecent (gay) relationship. We can’t have that!

See now here’s the deal, we Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer folks don’t want a lot. We’re not greedy for the limelight (ok chalo, some of us are) and we don’t want the world’s sympathy either. All we want, is to be left alone. It might seem alien to you, but gender and sexuality is a concept that is still ever-expanding. Your septuagenarian brain might not be able to comprehend all of it — anyway, you’re a man who believes in the Ram Setu.

Despite your Vedic leanings, may I make an unpopular suggestion? In 2018, a section like 377 in the Indian Penal Code makes absolutely no sense. Heck, 377 has been around for so long that it might just agree to play rummy with you before your 6pm dinner time, Subbu. Not only does it have a problem with how people (heterosexual people too, not just gay people) choose to make love, but it also gives bigots like you a shield to hide behind while saying scathing things. So when a dumbass law starts invading your bedroom, then damn right we’ll have to flood the streets. Hold hands and cuddle up with the one we love because we want to.

With your archaic opinions and deranged rants that make absolutely no sense, you, Subramanian Swamy, happen to be India’s finest imports from the Vedic era.

Don’t get your you-know-what in a twist, dear Subbu. I am aware that you do not mince words; that’s just who you are, even if it means being fired by the Harvard University for those un-minced words. In fact, I agree words shouldn’t be minced at all, unless they come with pav and some chutney from a Mughlai restaurant. Your illustrious history of outspokenness has hurt many sentiments, many times.

Back in 2015, you tweeted that gay people are “genetically handicapped”. In one go, you expertly hurt three sets of people: gays, ones with genuine disability, and people with brain cells. This allowed the folks devoid of brain cells to use your pithy tweet as a launch pad for more hate and abuse.

This isn’t even the first time you’ve opened your mouth without letting out a swathe of pus-filled bees, and gay folks are not your only target. You’ve made derogatory statements about members of the Dalit community. You have even called for the voting rights of Muslims to be reconsidered, and labelled your Muslim Twitter followers mental retards. (Once again a double blow to two different minority groups. It’s like you’re on a roll.) The amount of garbage that you’re capable of spewing could keep the BMC employed all year.

According to your Wikipedia page, you’re a smart fella: What with degrees in economics, law, and mathematics. For a smart fella, you don’t realise that Amit and Smriti are Modiji’s favourites now. You can try but their Friendship Day selfie will never include you.

So stop trying so hard. Because when a man of your stature and with your social media presence makes such half-arsed comments, it drives a young LGBTQ person deeper inside the closet. And it’s a dark and lonely place, that closet. And bullies like you know exactly how to use your words and tone to make the closet seem more like a coffin.

The gay pride marches and everything else you consider foul happens for that very reason. It’s a simple law of action-reaction, and you with your PhD, should know what I’m talking about.

There’s another thing you should know about — that you and the gay community share something in common. Doctors and researchers have concluded that there is no cure for homosexuality. And there isn’t one for foot-in-mouth disease either. So I guess salvation evades us both.

But now that the Supreme Court has asked the centre to deliberate on section 377, I sincerely hope your alarm doesn’t go off on the day of the judgment. Don’t worry, Subbu, I will pray with my double minority status that some day, you do get to have the last laugh. Because that will be confirmation that you have indeed lost all of your sanity.


A “genetically handicapped” human