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Found 15 results

  1. As a nation, India is thriving hard to steer fast into becoming a super economy but when you realise that there are issues of debate that surprises one to no end, you wonder are we really developing? While, the nation continues debating Section 377 and the whole idea of how we perceive homosexuality in general, Manvendra Singh Govil, an Indian prince and the heir of Maharaja of Rajpipla of Gujarat, is doing something which few would even dare to think. © wikimedia The prince has decided to open his palace in support of the LGBT community. He even runs a centre called the 'Lakshya Trust'. He wants to ensure a proper social system in place for the people belonging to this community in order to protect their welfare. In an interview with International Business Insider he opened up about the whole idea behind this noble thought. “If I could undergo these problems then any other gay person could face a similar situation. In India, we have a family system and we are mentally conditioned to be with our parents. The moment you try to come out, you are told you will be thrown out and society will boycott you. You become a social outcast. A lot of people are financially dependent on their parents. I want to give people social and financial empowerment, so eventually people who want to come out won't be affected. They will have their own social security system. It won't make a difference if they are disinherited.” © YouTube When the Prince first came out in the open about his sexual orientation, he was shunned by his own family. His story was voiced out by many TV shows which wanted to throw light on the situation and make the world more aware about how this is not supposed to be a 'taboo'. He even appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Network back in 2007 and spoke about how he had no regrets about the whole thing. He won a lot of support and even inspired many to come out and accept their reality. He was recently spotted in the last season of 'Keeping Up With The Kardashians' as well, where he spoke to the family about the issues that surround people from this community. One needs to realise that when we try to address issues of communal harmony and dream of developing our nation, how callously we shun the LGBT community who deserve to live in peace like every one else. We have mad respect for the prince and hope he continues to inspire more people to open their hearts to this sensitive issue.
  2. Indian men have always had a tough time talking about being gay. But, we got four of them to come out about it.
  3. On 6th December, 1992, Babri Masjid, situated in the Indian holy town of Ayodhya (considered to be the birthplace of Lord Ram) was razed to the ground. In what turned out to be an unprovoked act of violence, many Hindu groups celebrated the fall of Babri Masjid which later fuelled a lot of communal incidents in the country as hundreds of innocent people died. While the issue is yet to be resolved, not many people know the history behind the ancient structure. Many believe the 16th century structure was named after Babur, who was the first Mughal emperor of India that laid the foundation for the Mughal dynasty. Many believe that Babur was an esteemed writer himself and 'Babur nama' (his autobiographical work) consists of many clues to his incredible hold on the Chagatai language, the spoken form of Andijan-Timurids. His autobiography consists of one of the most extensive details on how he started the Mughal dynasty which ruled for almost three-centuries in India. © famous people The works of Babur, written by himself, show Babur's love for young boys. Many believe that Babur was bisexual and by his own admission in Babur nama (as published in the abridged version of Dilip Hiro's Babur Nama), he was infatuated with Baburi, a teenage boy. He was so smitten by the young boy's charm that he even composed a couplet for him which goes something like this: “Nor power to stay was mine, nor strength to part; I became what you made of me, oh thief of my heart.” This history of Babri Masjid over the years was lost in translation as the original text was a mix of Persian and other ancient languages. While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) itself holds the Ram Mandir agenda close to its organisational ideals, this aspect has never been blown out of proportion. Many LGBT groups, however, enthusiastically use Babur's name in their argument against article 377. © BCCL While the demolition of Babri Masjid remains a seminal event for Hindu-Muslim communities across the country, it's incredibly hard to resist the mystery behind naming the mosque as 'Babri'.
  4. We desperately need a relatable gay couple's icon in this world. No, not the celebrity kinds; but, the more adorable ones that transcend the Disney definitions of couple goals. And that's exactly what an anomaly on Twitter ended up giving us over the last two days. Congratulations are in order for the LGBTQ community now that the Babadook has found “the one” in the scary ‘It' clown, Pennywise! © New Line Cinema & Causeway Films Yes, the Babadook and Pennywise are Hollywood's new “It” gay couple (zero puns intended) and we're all for shipping this one! Here's how the two of them came to be! A month, or two ago, Netflix ended up categorizing The Babadook under the LGBTQ section of movies on their website. Whether or not it was a mistake, or a coincidence or an act of fate; we know not. What we do know is that ever since The Babadook became a gay icon, we fell in love with the analogy, instantly! © Causeway Films Then, Stephen King's movie adaptation of one of his scariest works ever—‘It'—hit theatres. And that gave us the scary clown that is Pennywise. But, then, something else happened. On September 11th, 2017, Twitter user, @starkrhodey made the following statement (note: the tweet seems to have been removed thereafter). © New Line Cinema “A REPUBLICAN REALLY CAME INTO MY DMS BECAUSE I SHITPOSTED A PENNYWISE IS AN LGBT ALLY EDIT DNSNSND” That spiraled into a Twitter rally that brought the two horror movie icons together, as the best damned thing to happen in the LGBTQ universe! Pennywise and his boyfriend, The Babadook are off on a date to get crepes and terrorize some kids. pic.twitter.com/eakshrfkN7 — Kumi ð¨ (@kumivenarts) September 12, 2017 Look how happy the Babadook looks and Pennywise is just like "yeah this is all mine bitches". True romance ð»ð»ð» https://t.co/cBHkRTVDvf — sMC² (@SUGARYDAD) September 13, 2017 The Babadook and Pennywise are the next big horror couple... But who wears the better threads? ð¤ pic.twitter.com/QfSUMyQIzl — Antifreeze ð (@AntiBunbun) September 12, 2017 GOODNIGHT TO THE LGBT ICONS PENNYWISE THE CLOWN AND HIS LONG TERM BOYFRIEND THE BABADOOK, PROSPER QUEENS — yuri (@serphantal) September 13, 2017 MONSTER LGBTQ ICONS #Pride #babadook #Pennywise #LGBTQ ððððð§¡â¤ï¸ððððð§¡â¤ï¸ pic.twitter.com/psZPtUWwTW — Marie Evangelineð (@ghivasheI) September 12, 2017 Maybe they'll star in the ultimate horror movie in the future and redefine couple goals!
  5. <p>I am not going to give you thirteen reasons why this is important, because this isn't your tape. Think of this as your awakening.</p> <p>My relationship with straight men has always been complicated and awkward, just like my relationship with protein supplements (How do they work? When am I supposed to have them? Is one scoop enough? Should I have it with milk or Greek yoghurt?). When I was younger and a less self-aware man, I remember getting nervous sweats every time I was introduced to a straight guy, in case they dissed me or disliked me. Instead, I would scuttle over to their sisters, girlfriends, and mothers – and talk about the latest episode of Gossip Girl, or which bar made the best cocktails in town. Honestly, I didn't want them to think I was trying to hit on them. What if they thought I was looking at their biceps, their abs, or worse, their crotch?</p> <p class="articleimg"><img id="ed-img" class="art-lazy imwidth-full" title="Dear Straight Men, We Need To Talk About How You Feel About Gay Men" data-original="http://media.new.mensxp.com/media/content/2017/Jul/dear-straight-men-we-need-to-talk-about-how-you-feel-about-gay-men1-1500997550.jpg" alt="Dear Straight Men, We Need To Talk About How You Feel About Gay Men" src="http://media.new.mensxp.com/media/content/2017/Jul/dear-straight-men-we-need-to-talk-about-how-you-feel-about-gay-men1-1500997550.jpg" />© Unsplash</p> <p>Almost never, boys; almost never. It strengthened a bit over the years, this confused relationship with straight men—where I would occasionally guffaw over Sunny Leone's vital stats or nod my head (a little too energetically) over a football reference, but that was it--my girlfriends' husbands and boyfriends were just that, husbands and boyfriends - men who I always shared a degree of separation with. No life long bonds were formed; only ‘this-was-fun-we-should-do-it-again' plans were made.</p> <p>Plans that were never followed up, just like most alcohol-induced plans never are. Why did I not try? Could I have made an effort that went beyond telling them their choice in women was impeccable (Sunny Leone included)?</p> <p>Not really, because we had nothing in common – apart from the fact that we were crazy about the same women (platonically, in my case). What would I say to them? What if they thought I was weird, what if they thought I was different, but most importantly what if they thought I didn't fit in?</p> <p class="articleimg"><img id="ed-img" class="art-lazy imwidth-full" title="Dear Straight Men, We Need To Talk About How You Feel About Gay Men" data-original="http://media.new.mensxp.com/media/content/2017/Jul/dear-straight-men-we-need-to-talk-about-how-you-feel-about-gay-men2-1500997577.jpg" alt="Dear Straight Men, We Need To Talk About How You Feel About Gay Men" src="http://media.new.mensxp.com/media/content/2017/Jul/dear-straight-men-we-need-to-talk-about-how-you-feel-about-gay-men2-1500997577.jpg" />© Unsplash</p> <p>I couldn't bear to go through high school in my twenties all over again.</p> <p>I got the validation at the beginning of this year. An acquaintance once stopped me on the way to the washroom, at a bar just a few months ago. ‘I've been meaning to tell you something for a really long time,' he slurred down my ears, his breath reeking of vodka and bad choices.</p> <p>‘What is it?' I asked, keeping a polite distance. Bad choices always give off a really strong odour.</p> <p>‘I don't want this to sound rude, but…' he trailed off.</p> <p>‘But?' I asked, slightly worried.</p> <p>Was my fly open? Did I have something stuck in my teeth? Had he seen me swipe my beer coaster? Did I have ketchup on my butt? Had he managed to catch me checking the cute waiter out? Could he know about that one time in 2013 when I shoplifted?</p> <p>Fortunately, it was none of the above.</p> <p>‘Dude, you are gay, but you are so…so...normal!' he lisped out, downing his fourth (or was it fifth?) shot for the night. He made me have a shot as well, but that's another story.</p> <p class="articleimg"><img id="ed-img" class="art-lazy imwidth-full" title="Dear Straight Men, We Need To Talk About How You Feel About Gay Men" data-original="http://media.new.mensxp.com/media/content/2017/Jul/dear-straight-men-we-need-to-talk-about-how-you-feel-about-gay-men3-1500997604.jpg" alt="Dear Straight Men, We Need To Talk About How You Feel About Gay Men" src="http://media.new.mensxp.com/media/content/2017/Jul/dear-straight-men-we-need-to-talk-about-how-you-feel-about-gay-men3-1500997604.jpg" />© Unsplash</p> <p>The list of dull clichés attached to being a gay man is as endless as the number of players on standby in a cricket match – we are stylish, great at whipping up Pinterest DIY projects, love the colour lilac (and know what it is), hedonistic, ***-crazed and drug-addled party junkies to just name a few. Some of these will be self-perpetuating – there will always be hookup apps, there will always be drugs, there will always be clubs – and the only reason these clichés exist is because such people exist. But there's strong resistance by anyone who even slightly lives beyond these (terribly) narrow parameters to see beyond them – it's not always Grindr, gay bars and glory holes for us gay men.</p> <p>We also love our gimlets.</p> <p>It's unfortunate, though. I get that some straight men don't get gay men, just like they don't get independent, career-driven women. But then again, there's no magical cure for homophobia – no pill that wipes off strains of hate, and strands of intolerance from the bodies of the most right-wing, misogynistic bigots.</p> <p>But it's 2017, bro (for lack of a better word).</p> <p>Now the lines are blurring, all thanks to underground music and undercover drugs. The new age gay man has become your ‘quintessential straight guy'. He likes his beer (gluten-free), trips on techno music, loves to mansplain and isn't just guilty of sending (and receiving) dick pics; but also has them for breakfast (or brunch, which is the single favourite meal of the gay).</p> <p class="articleimg"><img id="ed-img" class="art-lazy imwidth-full" title="Dear Straight Men, We Need To Talk About How You Feel About Gay Men" data-original="http://media.new.mensxp.com/media/content/2017/Jul/dear-straight-men-we-need-to-talk-about-how-you-feel-about-gay-men4-1500997626.jpg" alt="Dear Straight Men, We Need To Talk About How You Feel About Gay Men" src="http://media.new.mensxp.com/media/content/2017/Jul/dear-straight-men-we-need-to-talk-about-how-you-feel-about-gay-men4-1500997626.jpg" />© Unsplash</p> <p>The modern gay dude (because that's what he is) goes to the gym, and exchanges notes on HIIT workouts and keto diets with his gym buddies. They sometimes even do the MetaShred together. This new gay guy shares dank memes and gets excited about the Marvel Universe. He follows the Wimbledon, and also has a favourite football team, which is entirely unbiased of how attractive the players are.</p> <p>The gay man of 2017 has a ‘bro'verload of emotions and adrenaline - he follows the same rules of dating as the next red-blooded heterosexual down the corner (only he's better dressed, and well-groomed), rating his potential plus ones from fantastic to fuckboy – there's no difference really, unless one has to think about who fits the bill when things are going so bad, they might probably never see each other ever again.</p> <p>And this is just the beginning, my heterosexual peers. We are officially here, and we aren't going anywhere anytime soon.</p> <p>So how about we start up a bromance and just share our beers instead?</p>
  6. As you all probably remember, Kendall Jenner came to India recently to shoot for the 10th anniversary edition of Vogue India. She flew down to Jaipur to shoot for the magazine, for which she was accompanied by Sushant Singh Rajput, and even got a lot of backlash for it. Now, we finally have the episode of ‘Keeping Up With The Kardashians' with her visit to India. In case you didn't know, KUWTK is a reality (debatable, tbh) show that has been documenting the lives of the Kardashian-Jenner family for 13 seasons. In this specific episode, Kendall can be seen recounting her experience in India to her half-sisters, Kim and Khloe Kardashian. Then she told them about how she met Prince Manvendra during the visit. She talked about how Prince Manvendra's story was so interesting, and how he had a lot of similarities with her dad Caitlyn Jenner, who came out as a transgender woman in 2015. And, Kendall ended up inviting him for dinner at Kim's house in Los Angeles. When Prince Manvendra came, he talked about how he went to San Francisco to raise funds for making India's first LGBTA community centre. Then he proceeded to share his experience of coming out. They were intrigued by his story and wanted to know more. When they asked him about his relationship with his parents now. Then Kim also pointed out the similarities Prince Manvendra's coming out and Caitlyn's journey as a trans woman. Then they were discussing the stigma around the whole world regarding coming out. They asked him when did he realize he was gay, to which he said he was about 12-13 years old. He was then asked if he was still in touch with his wife. And Kim seemed really touched. And, finally seeing so much similarity between Prince Manvendra's story and her parents' story,she invited the prince to meet her mom Kris Jenner, for the latter to understand Caitlyn better. You can check out a clip from the KUWTK episode here:
  7. Earlier this month, we reported that Leo Varadkar, a trained doctor of Indian origin had strong chances of becoming Ireland’s youngest and first openly gay Prime Minister. Fast forward to the present day, and this man has created history after he was formally elected the country’s first Taoiseach aka PM of Indian descent. The fact that the once-staunchly Catholic country now has an openly gay Prime Minister is what makes 38-year-old Varadkar’s victory a big deal and shows how far the country has come. © Reuters However, his sexual preferences or Indian descent are not the parameters that define his dynamic personality and the results of the June 2nd elections, established the same. After winning the leadership of the center-right party, Varakar, said “If my election today shows anything, it is that prejudice has no hold in this Republic.” Varadkar succeeded Enda Kenny, who held office from March 2011 to June 2017, as the leader of the governing Fine Gael party. He, reportedly, won by 57 votes to 50, with 45 abstentions. © Reuters Talking about his early years, Varadkar said, “I know when my father travelled 5000 miles to build a new home in Ireland, I doubt that he ever dreamed that one day his son would grow up to be its leader and despite his differences, his son would be judged by his actions not his identity.” He further added that “Every proud parent in Ireland today can dream big dreams for their children” and we completely agree with him. In fact, in his first speech in the Irish Parliament or Dail as they call it, Varadkar said “I’ve been elected to lead, but I promise to serve.” © Reuters The former GP was born to an Irish nurse Miriam, from Waterford and Ashok Varadkar, a doctor from Mumbai. In fact, the happiness of Varadkar’s relatives back in India knows no bounds and they have already started rejoicing his victory. Shubhada Varadkar, Leo’s cousin told PTI “We watched the oath ceremony on TV yesterday. We were almost glued to the television. It is indeed a moment full of joy, happiness and pride for the entire Varadkar family.” We totally understand the buzz around Varadkar’s victory and why people are lauding him, but only time will tell how and what transformation will his tenure bring about in Ireland. Source: The Economic Times
  8. Do you remember the horror movie from 2014, ‘The Babadook’? The movie, in which the title character is a terrifying manifestation of the female protagonist’s grief and depression, is considered to be one of the best horror movies to come along in recent years. ‘The Babadook’ has already become somewhat of a horror icon, and has also inspired Halloween costumes and all sorts of fan art. But, now this character has come back in the limelight for a very unexpected reason. All of a sudden, after three years, ‘The Babadook’ has become an overnight sensation, all thanks to Netflix. © Netflix For some reason, Netflix listed ‘The Babadook’ under the LGBT sensation and this scary character has become a viral meme across the internet, being hailed as an LGBT icon. People on Twitter are doing what they do best – making hilarious memes! A lot of people are confused as to how it even started but everyone is still playing along with all the madness. my new favorite Tumblr meme is insisting that The Babadook is gay pic.twitter.com/Id1PJpkkgX — Ryan Broderick (@broderick) February 15, 2017 © Tumblr openly gay and with an affinity for hats and drama, the Babadook was the first time I saw myself represented in a film — JuanPa (@jpbrammer) April 19, 2017 BABADOOK: I'm a terrifying monster that destroys families that try to suppress me. GAY PEOPLE: Oh my god, SAME. Drinks later? — Carlos Maza (@gaywonk) June 7, 2017 this physically hurt to make pic.twitter.com/xwP8ogaDNV — alexis (@lgbthansolo) June 5, 2017 Me: Being gay doesn't define who I am The Internet: Demonic creature the Babadook is now a queer icon Me: pic.twitter.com/9o1ePfiDbD — Sam Stryker (@sbstryker) June 7, 2017 happy pride month from queer icon the babadook pic.twitter.com/f2JxwQbRDd — jacob (@jacobbullards) June 3, 2017 pic.twitter.com/reZDJbT82E — This is horrible (@melongifts) June 4, 2017
  9. Meet Leo Varadkar, who if selected, he could become the youngest Prime Minister of Ireland and the country’s first openly gay leader. However, all of this does not even begin to define the personality of the 38-year-old Leo Varadkar, whose fate as well as that of the country depends on the June 2nd elections. A trained doctor, Varadkar was born in Dublin to Miriam, a nurse from Waterford and Ashok Varadkar, a doctor from Mumbai. Considering the current wave in the Irish political scenario, Varadkar, who is a Fine Gael politician, has a really strong chance of becoming Ireland’s next Taoiseach (Prime Minister). © Reuters This paradigm shift that could be one of the most historic moments for Ireland is a proof that one cannot be defined by their sexual preferences or gender differences; it’s their work and solely their work that speaks for them. Varadkar’s victory will only establish the same. Presently, he is serving as the Minister for Social Protection in Ireland. According to a report published in CNN, Prashant Shukla, Chief Executive of the Ireland-India Council, said “This is a proud moment for his father, Dr. Ashok Varadkar and his mother Miriam, to see their son is contesting for the leadership of Fine Gael and ultimately for Taoiseach.” He further added, “The over 30,000 strong Irish-Indian community is interestingly looking forward to it.” © Reuters In 2015, when Ireland made the ground-breaking decision of legalizing same *** marriage, Varadkar came out publicly on national radio. In fact, he even said, “It’s not something that defines me, I’m not a half-Indian politician, or a doctor politician or a gay politician for that matter. It’s just part of who I am, it doesn’t define me, it is part of my character, I suppose.” Homosexuality was decriminalized in 1993 in Ireland. Given the position he is at, we understand why Varadkar feels that people should put more emphasis on his work rather than his personal life. © Reuters However, Varadkar’s journey hasn’t been all rosy. He suggested the deportation of unemployed immigrants to deal with the growing unemployment in the country. Since both his parents are reportedly immigrants, his decision on immigration sparked off some controversy in the country. So this time he played safe and did not include any plans for immigration in his current electoral campaign. Although he will continue to work with his current policies and given the support he is getting from the Indian community in Ireland, his victory doesn’t seem too far. Post Irish PM Enda Kenny’s resignation as head of the governing Fine Gael party, Varadkar and Housing Minister Simon Coveney are left in the race for leadership. As of now, Varadkar has gained the support of 46 of Fine Gael’s 73 lawmakers. Varadkar’s victory will make him one of the two openly gay heads of state currently in office. Xavier Bettel, Luxembourg’s Prime Minister is the other. Source: CNN
  10. Beauty pageants have always been controversial. At the onset, they reinforced the idea that women should be awarded for their physical beauty over other traits. Then came the men; to be evaluated for characteristics like strength or fitness; establishing a clear gender binary of feminine and masculine traits to aspire to. Now throw into the mix the Mr Gay World Pageant. Gay men being evaluated for their social campaign, the work they want to do help the homosexual community, their reach on social media etc. Of course as with everything in the world today, physical beauty is a criteria but it is relatively free from pandering to the gender binary. Sushant Divgikar, the winner of the 2014 Mr Gay World, India edition and now national producer of the same pageant, emphasises the importance of why a separate pageant is needed, if not necessary. “If we send our boys to other pageants (a Mr India for example); they don’t look a certain way, they don’t promote a certain machismo so they will never get selected.” The way representation works is, one needs to see people like oneself succeed to believe it is possible: whether that representation is in terms of race, gender or sexuality. What a Mr Gay World manages to do is celebrate beauty in a community that has been largely ignored. Till the mainstream pageants don’t become more inclusive of different kinds of male beauty, the Mr Gay World pageant will remain a necessary niche. “… if you look at the Mr Gay World India winners – there is a diversity in the past and present winners. Nolan was very masculine (2013), I am the skinny boy (2014). Anwesh is this very cute chocolaty types (2016), Darshan is very athletic (2017)”, says Divgikar. © Ara Alexander It is equal parts astonishing and not-so-much that even though India has been participating in this pageant since 2009, it has not made a splash into the mainstream. Divgikar thinks, “…maybe that’s a good thing” considering how our country treats our homosexuals. The legality of the issue aside, there is rampant homophobia even in the public discourse with plenty of politicians (Rajnath Singh) considering it ‘unnatural’ and many doctors and self style yoga gurus (Baba Ram Dev) considering it ‘curable’. But suffice to say this behaviour is not signature to India alone. All of Africa (except South Africa) has a homophobic attitude, officially. The father of the winner of Mr Gay Ethiopia cut off all communication on learning about his son’s pageant win. Mr Gay Namibia has been at the receiving end of death threats. The Chinese contestant was unable to make it to the contest last year, as was Mr Gay Syria. Lack of funding and institutional support, a negative attitude of the government, and little publicity are some of the many hurdles the pageant (at least at the national level) has had to face. Divgikar paid for everything from the tickets to the wardrobe, personally, when he was representing. After becoming national director, he’s looking at everything from crowd-funding sources to corporate sponsorships for future contestants. He says, “It was amazing to see Celina (Jaitley) just call in to say don’t worry about the (contestant’s) tickets, she’d handle it. And she was explaining that she was not in the country, how would she know, please give her some time – when I wasn’t even expecting anything…and she just sent it! This year the Humsafar Trust has been a blessing.” But generally brands, even some of which are largely marketed to the LGBT community, are reticent about being sponsors. © Ara Alexander At the calm centre of the storm is this year’s Indian representative, Darshan Mandhana, spearheading the #Untag campaign. It drives the point home that one is more than the labels one is given. They are reductive and only limit us; and while this may seem like a cliché that is hammered in, in every ad campaign; we’ve only learned this intellectually not internalised it. In this campaign, you have people sending in their images with the tag of things they may have been called. They take up the mantel of the word proudly and re-imagine the word for what it means to them. And in a way, this is a joint effort to do the same thing with the pageant, to create an alternate narrative for India: that we are not only a country limited by the archaic British law criminalising carnal *** of an ‘unnatural’ nature. We are also a country of pride parades, of a gay man on the cover of a national daily expressing his right to protest. © India Today Group Mandhana has a very clear idea of the significance of this platform. “I come from the small town of Jaisinghnagar…” where there is little or no discourse of these things. “Winners of this pageant are going to become the voice of so many people who look up to you to bring about their change, their right, their freedom, their right to be themselves.” The people who may as well be from such small towns who see one of their own, living his life not being marginalised rather revelling in one’s beauty and sexuality. He considers this pageant very special because, “We are representing something that needs to change. We have started something good, something that people need.” © Instagram Mandhana realises he is a representing a country that doesn’t condone of him. But his idea is not to be held back by that. “It is very important to become part of society where you feel comfortable with them and they feel comfortable with you. Thankfully I have never faced any discrimination. I have been part of the corporate world for 7 years, my close friends and colleagues know about me and they’re OK with it.” And he has been lucky in that regard, because there is a huge hypocrisy towards the gay community in India and within it. There is a hierarchy, Divgikar explains “The gay man is the ‘whitest’ of the lot, the Bi’s suffer discrimination even from the gays, and the transgender – they have it the worst I think.” And the same thing gets magnified outside the community. We celebrate the homosexual identity as a sign of our so called liberalness; we attend their fabulous parties and we are happy with them being our designers and hair stylists. But they can’t be lawyers or professors or they are fired or driven to suicide. It’s a presumption to think the homosexual tendency tends to be more creative. It’s actually creative people who are more embracing of different tendencies. Even when Mandhana is proud to represent a country where he can walk freely as a gay man, he does rue the legal impact things can have. “For a same *** relationship to survive, so many factors need to come together”, he says. “I need to be ‘out’ my partner needs to be ‘out’ and we need to feel accepted as a couple. But tomorrow if marriages are binding and same *** marriages are legal, it becomes that much easier” and he intends to work for it. “I, as an individual may not have that much of an impact but with the organisation of the Mr Gay World pageant backing me, I can do so much more.” Every participating country has some problems that it struggles with. Syria with its war-torn issues, India with our supposed sanskaar, Russia (that only participated in 2010) with its homophobic president but the show goes on. Because even in times of crisis, the one thing you can’t forget is: identity. The very nature of the pageant makes it a gladiatorial competition where everyone is hoping to win but Mandhana has a very sobering attitude to it all. “It’s a huge responsibility, firstly to your country, then to your community and then to all the people in the world that you want to represent and speak for.” Sounding completely pageant ready, we have fingers crossed for him for the contest, being held this year in Spain from May 5th to May 10th. It will be live streamed on the Mr Gay World Youtube channel. You can check it out here.
  11. He knew he was gay when he was 5. And yet, it took him 90 years to say it loud – the most vital truth about his being. 90 years of living a dual life. 90 years of staying inside the closet. He has a wife, two children, 5 grandchildren and one great grandchild. Roman’s ‘tragic’ story, as he likes to call it, shows what the fear of being isolated could do to someone. Hearing him narrate what it was like to hide his identity from the whole world is the most heartbreaking thing ever. But like the host says, his story is also proof that it’s never too late to be yourself. More power to you, Roman. The internet is collectively hoping you find love!
  12. poetry

    جو خیال تھے نہ قیاس تھے وہی لوگ مجھ سے بچھڑ گئے جو محبتوں کے اساس تھے وہی لوگ مجھ سے بچھڑ گئے جنہیں مانتا ہی نہیں یہ دل............. وہی لوگ میرے ہیں ہمسفر مجھے ہر طرح سے جو راس تھے وہی لوگ مجھ سے بچھڑ گئے مجھے لمحہ بھر کی رفاقتوں کے........... سراب اور ستائیں گے میری عمر بھر کی جو پیاس تھے وہی لوگ مجھ سے بچھڑ گئے یہ خیال سارے ہیں عارضی... یہ گلاب سارے ہیں کاغذی گلِ آرزو کی جو باس تھے وہی لوگ مجھ سے بچھر گئے جنہیں کر سکا نہ قبول میں.......... وہ شریک راہِ سفر ہوئے جو مری طلب مِری آس تھے وہی لوگ مجھ سے بچھڑ گئے مری دھڑکنوں کے قریب تھے.. مری چاہ تھے ،مرا خواب تھے جو روز و شب مرے پاس تھے وہی لوگ مجھ سے بچھڑ گئے
  13. رُودادِ محبّت کیا کہیے کُچھ یاد رہی کُچھ بُھول گئے دو دِن کی مُسرّت کیا کہیے کُچھ یاد رہی کُچھ بُھول گئے جب جام دیا تھا ساقی نے جب دور چلا تھا محفل میں اِک ہوش کی ساعت کیا کہئیے کُچھ یاد رہی کُچھ بھول گیے اب وقت کے نازک ہونٹوں پر مجروح ترنّم رقصاں ہے بیدادِ مشیّت کیا کہئیے کُچھ یاد رہی کُچھ بُھول گئے احساس کے میخانے میں کہاں اَب فکر و نظر کی قندیلیں آلام کی شِدّت کیا کہئیے کُچھ یاد رہی کُچھ بھول گئے کُچھ حال کے اندھے ساتھی تھے کُچھ ماضی کے عیّار سجن احباب کی چاہت کیا کہئیے کُچھ یاد رہی کُچھ بھول گئے کانٹوں سے بھرا ہے دامنِ دِل شبنم سے سُلگتی ہیں پلکیں پُھولوں کی سخاوت کیا کہئیے کُچھ یاد رہی کُچھ بھول گئے اب اپنی حقیقت بھی ساغر بے ربط کہانی لگتی ہے دُنیا کی کی حقیقت کیا کہئیے کُچھ یاد رہی کُچھ بھول گئے (ساغر صدیقی)
  14. Aah Ko Chahiyay Ik Umr Asar Honay Tak Kon Jeeta Hai Teri Zulf Keh Sar Honay Tak Daam-E-Har Mauj Main Hai Halqa-E-Sad Kaam-E-Nehang Dekhain Kya Guzray Hai Qatray Peh Gauhar Honay Tak Aashiqee Sabr Talab Aur Tamanna Baitab Dil Ka Kya Rang Karoon Khoon-E-Jigar Honay Tak Hum Nay Mana Keh Taghaful Na Karo Gay Lekin Khaak Ho Jaayen Gay Hum Tum Ko Khabar Honay Tak Partau-E-Khoor Say Hai Shabnam Ko Fana Kee Taaleem Main Bhee Hoon Aik Inayat Kee Nazr Honay Tak Yak Nazr Baish Nahin Fursat-E-Hastee Ghafil Garmi-E-Bazm Hai Ik Raqs-E-Sharar Honay Tak Gham-E-Hastee Ka 'Asad' Phir Say Ho Juzmarg Ilaaj Shamma Har Rang Main Jaltee Hai Sehar Honay Tak ,,,,,
  15. We posted a BTS-image of model Saket Sharma from Narendra Kumar’s show at Lakme Fashion Week where he was wearing a full face of make-up that included a red (almost tangerine) lipstick and blue eyeshadow. There were a lot of comments on the post; some were good, some even encouraging, but most of them were just mean-spirited and hateful. Saket shared the post, writing, “Hurts my being to even read the comments, not because I'm the subject here but because it's difficult for people to be themselves in this country. I don't wear make-up in my everyday life, but I have friends who do and it doesn't bother me or alters my life in any shape or form. It's about time people need to keep going with their life. In the truest hour, I ask for the world to end because this is not the way we should live.” © MensXP Like any lifestyle website with a big reach, we usually receive a mixed-bag of comments and emails. Name calling, abuse, and even death-threats—we’ve seen it all. And even though we’d usually never call out our readers, this is an exception, because comments like these are simply just...hateful! And then we received this gem of an open letter, from 18-year-old, Ishan Dhage—whose words definitely echo our sentiments (read the letter below). Why so much hate? Sitting behind a computer, commenting on posts in an obscene language doesn’t make you a stud. What makes you brave is having the ability to face your fears—whether it’s wearing a full face of make-up, dressing up in uncomfortable clothes or wearing heels. If that's what you have to do, then that's what you have to do. You cannot mess with someone else's free will just because it represents the "other" for you. This world is filled with all sorts of people. In your lifetime, you'll meet various kinds, who will open your minds, show you grace and kindness ... if you let them. Should you look at the world with a jaundiced eye then believe us, your hateful comments will truly end up representing who you are: hateful, violent and miserable. So, who do you want to be? The choice is yours, but leave others to make THEIR choices. © MensXP “Do you know what gender stereotypes are? Of course, you do. You are also aware of the fact that they are utter rubbish. This is 2017 and we have progressed so much. We have made advances in every field possible from medicine to science, art, literature and what not. So what I’m failing to understand is, why can't our regressive ideas and thoughts, progress? Why do we—as a progressive society—have to stick to a very ancient and conventional (read: ghastly) mindset? Why can’t we ALLOW girls to explore their masculinity and guys to explore their femininity? Why is it that we always make fun or belittle anyone who is slightly different than the norm? I honestly DO NOT understand. Let’s discuss make-up and the big fuss about it. I mean why would you make a big deal out of someone wearing make-up?! Putting on a full face of make-up doesn't make you 'gay' or 'artificial'. And, judging someone’s personality or sexuality based on a palette of colours...is just stupid! I stand up for simple things in life that bring people joy—whether it is a pair of high heels or a bright red lipstick. I stand for girls who are tired of hearing 'too much makeup', ‘you don't need it', 'artificial', ‘plastic' and what not! I stand up boys who are brave enough to go against the grain and stand up for what they love. But what happens when someone is actually brave enough to defy norms? One word: Humiliation! Instead of applauding them for taking a stand and overcoming their fears—we start calling them names— 'unnatural', 'gay', 'fag’ etc. Is your masculinity so fragile that the only way to win in life is by taking someone down? **** you if you think this is unnatural. **** you if this goes over your head and against your immature ideas. **** you if you ever shamed someone based on their choices. **** you if you think makeup is only limited to one gender. **** you if you ever made fun of someone for something they love to do. **** you and your gender norms. Oh and you can judge me all you want, because honestly, I expect nothing better. I know a number of people who'll judge me just for standing up for someone. But guess what? Neither my masculinity nor my ego is as fragile as yours. So please, give it your best shot. © MensXP This is not a 'coming out' post. This is not about me. This is much, much bigger than me. This is written in hopes of giving someone courage or at least some kind of inspiration to face their demons. This is me standing up for all those who have to deal with so much unnecessary bullshit. This is me standing up for that one person who’s scared to do what they truly love, out of the fear of being judged and ridiculed—I'm with you and I’ll stand by you.”