Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Gay Parade And The Media


Last Sunday, India witnessed an event that was huge (really huge!) for the Indian LGBT community - the first ever gay pride parades happened on the streets of Delhi, Calcutta and Bangalore (although Calcutta has been having small parades since 1999.) I'm happy and proud to see that many of us have got the balls to finally demand equality and to show our resistance towards IPC Section 377 openly. This could help many to see that the so called "homosexuals" does not necessarily imply that they are hijras, transexuals or crossdressers. This could also help them realize India too has a large population of homosexuals and homosexuality is just not a western phenomenon.

Crazy Sam's Bloginess
'Rainbow Pride Walk' in New Delhi on June 29, 2008. Photo courtesy: AP.

But media can be a bitch sometimes.
They have their own convoluted methods to twist the reality and present the facts to the world based on what can attract the audience.

This is how the report from Associated Press started:
Men wore sparkling saris, women wore rainbow boas and hundreds of people chanted for gay rights in three Indian cities Sunday in the largest display of gay pride in the deeply conservative country where homosexual acts are illegal.
Men wore sparkling saris? What The Hell! Did the writer not see any men other than those wearing saris? (Yes, I'm talking to you Mr. Sam Dolnick! And the photo above is from your team itself!) Is he trying to report what the people want to read or is he himself so ignorant to have such a narrow outlook or what! This is like the western media trying to showcase India as a country of elephants, snake charmers and gurus. And thanks to those numerous sites for copy-pasting this report thereby propagating the same words and also insuring that still larger number of readers see whatever stereotypical image they had were indeed true!

The TV media is not bad either. All of them are so hellishly dedicated to push the same stereotypical image into the minds. Let me ask you, are you guys trying to enlighten the viewers or trying to be bollywoodish by showing gay men as crossdressers and feminine? We are talking about enlightment here. We are talking about eradicating the misconceived notions that one associate with gays.

all gays are:
- HIV positive.
- Feminine.
- Crossdressers.
- Transgendered.
- Guys who feel like they are gals trapped inside man's body.
- Perverted to force sex with a straight man.
- Having it easy as you see in Dante's Cove.
- Fashion conscious! (:P)

So next time when you hear about gays, would you please try to picture these images too? (If you are reading from email or using feed reader, please access the site to watch the slideshow.)

Please note that I have nothing against transgendered and crossdressers. I believe in equality and there should be no discrimination based on the race, ethnicity, colour, sex, religion, caste, language, sexual orientation and whatever lame divisions that narrow-minded people can come up with.

Check out these related posts too!
The Right To Do "I Do"
Curing Homophobia
Is Internet Becoming Homophobic?

  • Rambunctious WhipperSnapper July 7, 2008 at 3:03 AM

    Well said, Sam. My sentiments exactly. Beautifully put.

    Nowadays, the media does not exist to bring the truth to the people. Nowadays, the media concentrates on pandering to the people. They report what people want to hear. Like for the pride parade most of the coverage was so condescending and patronizing that it made me sick of these people. It's really hard for people to see beyond stereotypes.

    The pride parades were a BIG, BIG step for homokind in India and I hope things do change, in fact they need to change.

    All those people who are biased against people based on their race, religion, sex or orientation don't know what they are talking about. And all those who use the "Indian Culture" bit against gays don't even fucking know anything about our culture. Article 377 is an archiac colonial law and it needs to go. But if a government, which is supposed to protect ALL kinds of people, gives a statement to a court of law that "since a majority of people in India are against homosexuality it justifies it being illegal", is utterly contemptuous.

    sorry for the long comment

    p.s. i think nobody has it as easy as the people in Dante's Cove ....:P...

  • Sh@ney July 7, 2008 at 4:13 AM

    You did a great job here Sam.
    To the point and precise!
    There really is nothing more to add to this, only my support in hope that our homosexual brothers & sisters in India have some success in aborting those laws which prohibit consenting love between same sex couples.

  • nick July 7, 2008 at 6:01 AM

    Great post sam!

    I only wish I could have been there to witness such a groundbreaking even in the history of India as well as LGBT folk. Did you go down and mingle? :o)

    The media is exactly how you posted - they tend to focus on totally irrelevant points or work hard to project the 'typical' gay image so that people can have some sort of familiarity when they come across the article. What the media doesn't understand is that it's in fact hurting our community, and further fuels hate crimes and discrimination against us. I guess it's only going to be a few pride marches later that people are really going to see the real 'rainbow' of gay life.

    Thanks for this post - one coming up on my blog soon!

  • flygye12 July 7, 2008 at 7:25 AM

    you have managed to put the feelings i was having when i read that exact article in 'The Hindustan Times'. bebe n I were planning to go (n watch) but that stupid broker had to call us right that day for the new house (which we ultimately didn't get :(. our frens went tho' and reported that there were more families there than these sparkly people )

  • Anonymous July 7, 2008 at 9:20 AM

    There could have been one guy there in a sparkly sari, and that's enough to make the article more "interesting"... face it sweetie: nice, normal, happy people who look just like everyone else just don't make good copy.

    Media doesn't exist to enlighten the public, it exists to sell itself. Throw in a sparkly sari or two and you've got yourself ad sales... the bright side is that times ARE changing, even if it is 2 steps forward, 1 step back :)

  • Anonymous July 7, 2008 at 10:08 AM

    Glad to have another post from your side! Yes, you echo thoughts that pass so many of our minds. I don't agree entirely. I think I'll write a bit about it on my blog, as I've been intending to for so long, but was lazy.

    PS - Not all gays are fashion conscious?!! Then they're in denial of their heterosexuality :P

  • Dark Knight July 7, 2008 at 12:58 PM

    You are right Sam. Media are ignorant or say they too live in hypocrisy.
    They always run after negative aspects only (after all they have to sell), and when they can't find any, at last they accept the positive aspects.

  • Ryan July 7, 2008 at 6:42 PM

    Whoa! Well said! I always hate how the so-called "normal yet narrow-minded people" perceived and look at homosexuality! They know nothing yet their simply judge and comment based on don't-know-what fact.

    Anyway, glad to know there's a gay parade happening in India. I am waiting it to happen in my country, Malaysia.

  • Anonymous July 7, 2008 at 10:36 PM

    just another instance of the media reflecting dominant power structures and ideology... i SO need to write a paper on this...! :)

  • pepe M. July 8, 2008 at 4:26 PM

    man wearing saris? gosh, im sure journalist could come up with a better jargon than that!

    im so proud my bf was a part of the milestone in the bangalore parade without putting any mask!!!

    wish chennai will be having soon too!!!

  • Sh@ney July 15, 2008 at 3:17 AM

    Hey my friend,
    You are todays LGBT DAILY -spotlight!

  • pepe M. July 19, 2008 at 9:37 AM

    psst, long time no hear pretty boy :)

  • CHIKI July 20, 2008 at 1:22 AM

    The most pride demostration always is in Madrid, Spain


  • jay July 23, 2008 at 4:19 AM

    While the media always twists everything, the fact that the event itself happened is amazing and a major step forward.

    Where I am originally from in the Caribbean I don't see a parade occurring anytime soon.

  • Soul Seared Dreamer July 25, 2008 at 10:35 PM

    Wow - that's great that India had a Pride.

    And yes I agree with Jay - whilst the Media might twist everything - it is a huge step forward.

  • Manish July 28, 2008 at 11:01 AM

    I love these images....very cute! Yes people should have a look at these and not present an exaggerated picture!

  • Dany August 26, 2008 at 5:57 AM

    great slideshow how can i put it on mu blog

  • Anonymous December 6, 2009 at 11:02 AM

    There ain't nothing wrong with being transgender... I'm just sayin'

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