The Publisher Poems

How It Is Like Being Gay In India

The weekend began on a cheerful note, slithering in my bed after a satisfying workout and tummy filling lunch. I was on phone with someone I like, blushing and laughing about stupid every day stuff. After a while, I bade good bye to him and was drifting away feeling happy. Then my phone buzzed. Hoping to see lovey-dovey texts from him, I checked my phone. But it was from a friend telling me not to feel alarmed just before he shared a couple of images he had received anonymously on Facebook. It was apparent that it was from my ex-boyfriend and the images were revenge porn.
My heart started racing. I got to know about fake profiles on dating sites. My ex confessed that it was him but that was not enough for me to take it public and prosecute him. It's because I live in India, where women get blamed for the sexual crimes committed against them so I can't expect any sympathy for a closet gay like me. With a colonial era law staring down on me, I could be jailed along with him for my "crime". My voice was silenced even before I spoke up.
Mine is just one of the many muffled voices. The voice of a man who gets hazed for his sexuality, the voice of a man who gets robbed, the voice of a man who lives a love-less life with his wife hiding his sexuality and the list simply goes on. The expanse is so high that a big movie star who has all the influence in the world cannot speak up. By blaming a heteronormative society, we Queer people forget about the prejudice that exists even within our community. People who don't want their own partners to discuss their sexuality in open. The very purpose of being happy and at peace by being open about who you are is lost. When you cannot do that, it's simply an identity theft.
I have spent many hours wondering the reasons behind all this. One of the reasons is that there is only a certain section of the society that is well read and have access to different thoughts and ideas that are accepting. Every day people on the streets largely don't seem to be aware of the existence of sexual minorities. Sometimes, they do know it but simple choose not to talk about it because it's still a taboo and my fellow queer people are hesitant to voice it out because of this very reason, the fear of being marginalised and it gets into a vicious cycle. When people are unaware or fed false thoughts, the responsibility falls on the shoulders of the media. But with the exception of one or two outlets, others plainly ignore it especially the vernacular media. Internet can only do little in a country like ours.... more »

Karan Johar Opens Up About His Sexual Orientation For The First Time

Is he gay or isn't he? Karan Johar may have finally answered that question. In a forthcoming biography, 'The Unsuitable Boy', the filmmaker has come out candidly on matters of sex and sexual orientation, just stopping short of a bald admission. 'Everybody knows what my sexual orientation is. I don't need to scream it out. If I need to spell it out, I won't only because I live in a country where I could possibly be jailed for saying this. Which is why I Karan Johar will not say the three words that possibly everybody knows about me, ' he says.
Also Read: Karan Johar: 'I don't speak about my sexuality 'coz I don't want to deal with FIRs'
He talks of being traumatised by rumours about him and Shah Rukh Khan, whom he calls "a father figure, an older brother." He admits to waking up to 200 hate posts on Twitter daily. "This whole homophobia is so disheartening and upsetting, " says Johar.
I lost my virginity at 26. Yes, it is true. Why would I say this on record if it were not? It's not something I am proud of. It was in New York. Up till that point, I was sexually completely inexperienced. Even when I was a kid, I was very backward in this department. I still remember the first time someone told me about blow jobs. There was a kid in class who told me, 'You know what a blow job is? ' I said, 'No, what is it? I've heard about it, though.' He said, 'You take off all your clothes and put your fan on high speed, and that's a blow job.' I said, 'I can do that. What is the big deal in that? ' And at 12, I remember, I removed my clothes and put my fan on full speed. Later, I told him about it and he said, 'You did it! ' I said, 'Yeah, yeah, I did it three times.' He said, 'You had three blow jobs yesterday! ' I said, 'Yeah, I had three blow jobs.'... more »

Coming Out

If I had managed to come out to my
mother, she would have blamed not
me, but herself.... more »

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