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Hey, are you gay?

The low acceptability of homosexuals and also towards those who are perceived to be homosexuals hasn’t changed.

entertainment Updated: Jun 07, 2010 00:50 IST
Mayank Austen Soofi

Earlier he was upset. Now he is amused. Filmmaker Karan Johar is exasperated over what to do about the queries he gets on his sexual preferences on Twitter, the microblogging site. On June 3, he tweeted, “Over familiar tweets like ‘hey are you gay?’ have started amusing me now... most undersexed people go probing into everyone else’s bedrooms!!” In March, Johar had tweeted, “Critical appraisal is welcome... but insinuations about my life, choices and orientation are NOT.”



This is also the wish of gay and lesbian Delhiites, whose sexual preferences, if not always the butt of dirty jokes, are gossip themes in college classrooms and office canteens.



“I’m intelligent and hard-working. I deliver results. I’m lesbian and I’m out,” says Priya Raajan, a software professional in a Gurgaon-based MNC. “What scares me at the office is that I don’t know when I may overhear lines like ‘Priya’s manly looks’ or ‘How tough it must be for Priya’s mother’.”



It’s more difficult for those homosexuals who are not out and whose sexuality becomes a guessing point among their peers. “I thought I was admired by my office folks,” says Saurabh S. who is not out in the ad agency he works in as a graphic designer. “I was talking to these women friends and they suddenly started making wild guesses on my gayness. I was shattered. How did they know I was gay? Who gave them the right to talk of my sexuality, that too in front of me?”



Two years ago Delhi hosted its first gay pride parade, which hoped, among other things, to spread awareness about alternative sexuality as merely a matter of personal choice. Last year, the Delhi High Court overturned the gay sex ban.



However, the low acceptability of homosexuals and also towards those who are perceived to be homosexuals hasn’t changed. “Not all of us make a show of our sexuality,” says Sarah Dubey, a St Stephen’s College alumni. “But, every day, something creepy is said by someone in class or at office, about our orientation that straight people never have to face. We call ourselves modern, huh?”



Last week, a Gallup poll survey in the US revealed that for the first time in America’s history, the support for the moral acceptability of gay and lesbian relations crossed the symbolic 50 per cent threshold in 2010. India is stuck in middle ages. Ask your gay colleague.