What Small-town Queer India Needs More than Sec 377 Repeal

Social Commentary

What Small-town Queer India Needs More than Sec 377 Repeal

Illustration: Akshita Monga

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wenty years ago, being an effeminate man required thick skin because it would elicit that most loathsome of questions: “What, are you, a chakka?” In the fanatical need to prove that he was not actually a chakka, the ’90s’ queer boy had two options: He could either outperform his buddies in the homophobic arts or retreat into his own cocoon of shame. But there was a secret third option, known to a few and available to fewer: a window into the infinite prospects of the interwebs.

Luckily for me, the internet’s reckoning in India coincided neatly with the blossoming of my loins. If that imagery makes you squeamish, take a moment to imagine how I felt as a prepubescent gay boy surrounded only by references to boobs and pussies. Being this different from your friends is an awful thing, this feeling that you are the antithesis to maleness. It makes you internalise the vitriolic resentment for desiring something you are not supposed to.

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