While Mumbai’s gay community will walk the city, heads held high for the Queer Azaadi March (Mumbai Pride) on August 16, it looks like India’s gay men are still closeted travellers in their own country.
That is Delhi-based fashion designer Sanjay M’s view. He is the founder of India’s first luxury travel boutique for gays indjapink.co.in, which customises exclusive travel vacations in India for gays. From adventure treks in the Himalayas and golf tours in Gulmarg, indjapink offers a host of ‘bespoke’ travel experiences to gay men. How-ever, most of its clients are foreigners. “Only 15 per cent of our business comes from Indians,” said Sanjay. “Indian gay couples are reluctant to travel together in India.”
This, despite Sanjay’s efforts to ensure a private environment for his clients. He has handpicked “small, yet posh” hotels that are ‘gay friendly’ — hotel staff have been sensitised to understand their clients’ sexuality and not subject them to any mockery.
Even though business has picked up, Sanjay is disappointed with the lukewarm response from Indian gay men. “It’s time Indians start feeling more comfortable with their sexuality,” he said.