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Readers Experiences

This is what people are saying about life for LGBTI people in INDIA...
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Ajay Sathyan (user currently living in INDIA) posted for gay readers on 28/06/2014 tagged with hate crime and violence prevention, gender identity, human rights, sexual orientation, armed forces, illegality of male to male relationships
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My name is Ajay Sathyan and I live in Chennai, India. Three weeks ago I was molested and beaten by the police. Below is my write up about that incident.

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I’ve mustered every bit of courage that is left in me to write this. To finally write about the darker side of Chennai. By doing this I know I’m risking a lot, but I’m not going to be just another victim who is not going to show his face, who is not going to share his name or tell his story. I want tell everyone that violence against LGBT people is real and it exists even in Chennai.

It may come as a shock to many Indians and expats who have lived in this city for a considerable time. You may have known that Chennai is the most tolerable and one the most hospitable cities in India. You may have heard that it is a city that harbors the friendliest of people and the smartest of minds. But there are exceptions to the rule; I’ve experienced those exceptions – horrific, painful and haunting exceptions. Experiences that have left me traumatized and damaged to the extent that I wake in the middle of the night screaming in agony. Here is one such incident that has deprived me of my sleep, my peace, my strength, my sprit, my faith; an incident that pushed me to take my life – once again.

It was one of the worst days of my life – Friday, 6th June 2014. Earlier in the evening, I was laughed at an interview yet again. The HR was convincing me that I will never get a job anywhere as long as I existed and I had to wait till 8:30 PM to listen to her yap after clearing rounds of interviews and tests. I was so close to telling her my hindrances. So close to telling her about my learning disabilities and that I’m obviously gay and that these factors have cost me my career. But I decided not to tell her. I knew she would not understand, I knew she would judge me because she is ignorant and I didn’t want to be embarrassed all over again in this company too. Crestfallen, I was on my way to my parent’s place where I stay these days. I had to take a bus and a train to reach my destination and then walk another 40 minutes in the dark, crossing a cremation ground, a lake, and a few creepy deserted places. Every day when I step out, I always hope and wish that I don’t get molested or hurt.

On that blessed Friday, my hopes were meant to go down the drain. I got off the train late in the evening around half past 10 and began to walk towards my parent’s place. I always wear earphones listening to music and swiftly walk to avoid anything near or around me. When I was 20 minutes away from my destination I noticed around 8-10 cops standing near a police jeep. Almost all of them were not in their uniforms from their waist above. I was able to confirm that were cops by the khaki pants and the brown shoes that they were wearing. I saw three policewomen and five -six policemen. One of the policewomen, as I quickly passed them pointed to me and yelled “Why are you wearing that thing that women wear? Why are you wearing leggings?” I picked up my pace and walked faster pretending not hearing her. She immediately signaled two policemen to grab me. The two policemen ran to me, grabbed me by the back of my neck and dragged me to the group, as I kept protesting and fighting. One of the men hit me in my shin with his stick for not stopping and instead, walking away. The women kept saying “Ai ombothu (offensive term for a hijra), pottai (offensive term for an effeminate man) can’t you hear me? Are you deaf?”. She then asked why I was wearing leggings. I kept quiet and I didn’t respond. She then said “Your kaai (offensive term for breasts) are really big.” As I’m chubby and as I have a fleshy chest she was referring to my chest as breasts. The two policemen who held me, immediately felt my chest and when I protested a third policemen with a stick hit me on my knees. Then the two policemen felt my ass and commented on how big and plump it is. They said I may be taking a lot of dick up my ass. The policeman with the stick commented about my face. He said “I can fuck your pretty face as long I live.” and then tried to put the wooden stick in my mouth. When I turned away from him a fourth cop walked to me and slapped me right across my face.

I cried out to them to stop this and asked them why they were doing this. They said that all the ombothu and pottai men have become a nuisance which is unacceptable. I told them that I’m not a hijra. One of the policewomen looked at me and said “Your face is prettier than ours, you’re a ombothu.” The policewomen looked at the policemen and then looked at me and asked if I underwent an operation. When I kept quite one of the policemen lifted my kurta and felt my crotch and then he laughed out loud and asked the others to feel me up. There were suddenly a lot of hands feeling me up and vandalizing me. I struggled and protested and one of them slapped me again across my face, another punched me in my stomach and then I was hit with a stick again on my knees.

While all this was going on, they took my bag and ransacked it, they found my address book, my id cards and took down my address and my phone number. One of the policemen warned me to behave and said that I should visit them whenever I was called. They warned me never to speak of this to anyone as they know where I live and that they will hurt me and my family, that they will book me in a false case and incarcerate me and my family if required. They warned me that they will strip me naked and force a man on me, take obscene photos and incarcerate me under IPC section 377. One of the policemen said “Since IPC section 377 has been criminalized which makes your kind illegal, we can do anything we want and nobody will question us, even the government will support us.” They said that they have strong political support and influence from both the national and regional ruling parties and said that any wrong move from my end will lead to my ruin.


This is the city I live in. I live everyday waiting for something hurtful to happen to me. I live a life with imminent threats. This is what they did to me and it wasn’t the first time I’ve experienced horror like this. Late in the evening in 2013 after attending a Film Festival, I dropped my friend at his place and was waiting for a train at the Nungambakkam railway station. I managed to catch the last train and the compartment that I was in was completely deserted. As the train neared Saidapet, 4-5 men got in the train and they didn’t look friendly. I could smell cheap alcohol and I knew that they were drunk. The men noticed me and quickly walked towards me. One of them complimented my kurta and asked me where I got it from. I immediately moved away from him and walked closer to the door. The men came closer to me asked me to join them to drink and have sex with them. When I tried to get away from them they grabbed me and hit me. Then they tore the back of my kurta, turned me around to face them and tore the kurta from my neck to my waist as another guy tore my sleeve off. I struggled hard and pushed them away and tried to run to the end of the compartment. One guy tripped my leg and I fell crashing down on the floor.

One of them grabbed my legs and another tried to pull my jeans down. I kicked the guy who was holding my legs and hit the other with my bag and quickly pulled myself up and as I tried to run, one of them tore some more of my kurta. The train slowed down at Guindy and I quickly jumped out of the train. All I heard was a railway police whistling but I didn’t want to wait to tell him what happened to me and I ran out of the station and to the road covering my body with all the torn pieces of my kurta. There were few rickshaw drivers who immediately without questioning put me in one of the rickshaws and rode away.

I was able to defend myself from those men now that I’m grown, but I couldn’t do that when I was 13. When my face was smashed in a urinal and when eight men raped me. I couldn’t defend myself, I couldn’t but try to scream even though I was muffled and took the pain. The scar on my right eyebrow reminds me of that horrid day till now and it doesn’t stop there, it’s been 15 years and I still ache with phantom pain in my nightmares waking up screaming in horror reliving them again and again. I still do. I don’t know when they will stop. I’ve now shut myself away from all human contact, except my family. I’m now too scared and damaged to even meet my acquaintances. Unable to deal with all of this hurt I tried to stop it all last Saturday. I tried to take my life but I was saved yet again. Now that the moment has passed – I’m too afraid to take my life. I will have to relive my horrifying past again and again and again; hoping for an even horrifying future ahead of me.


Below are the publication/news/blog/forum links which mentioned about the incident.

http://gaysifamily.com/2014/06/13/singara-beautiful-chennai-asingamana-ugly-chennai/

http://theaerogram.com/indian-man-attacked-policemen-policewomen-chennai/

http://www.sify.com/news/sexual-harassment-when-cops-turn-criminals-news-national-ogqjW8hfdggij.html

http://disbursedmeditations.blogspot.in/2014/06/sexual-harassment-when-cops-turn.html

http://www.gaylaxymag.com/latest-news/gay-man-alleges-sexual-assault-by-cops-in-chennai/

http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/chennai/Gay-Man-Alleges-Abuse-Assault-by-Cops/2014/06/14/article2279588.ece1

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=663605343693646

https://www.facebook.com/NEWSLGBT/posts/664922823563665

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1488076128076200

http://www.reddit.com/r/india/comments/282rs2/this_is_the_city_i_live_in/

http://whotalking.com/chennai+gay

http://www.toptweet.org/search.php?q=chennai+gay
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It's a taboo to be a lesbian in India. I cannot go anywhere without being stared at if I'm with my girlfriend and even though I try not to let other people bother me, how can I ignore almost over 100's of people staring at the same time, every second when Im outside the house.

I want to feel safe to hold my girls hand and kiss her in public without always having my alert button on, hoping noone kicks up a fuss.

My girlfriend is British and she came to visit me in February 2013. It was the best time of my life even though I was scared to be open in public, regardless of the fact that I'm out to my family. We want to get married as soon as we can but the law doesn't allow us to. It would be ideal if we could get married in India but India doesnt recognise homosexuality yet , and I can't go to UK to get married that easily.

We've been together close to 2 years now and all we do is love each other dearly, I want to be able to walk freely and proudly in my own country with my -to-be- wife wihtout being scared and looked at like I'm some sort of freak.
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Kaniz Fatima posted for lesbian readers on 20/12/2012 tagged with hiv/aids , human rights +5
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My name is Kaniz Fatima and i am from Calcutta and i was in relationship with a woman for 1yr and 7months and she broke of with me for 4 times and she broke off with me before but she came back but this time it very hard and there are some reason which was not true which she should have asked me rather beleaving on others. and the people whom i have trusted from Velvet Group of NGO's and they are the partner of NGO whom i told that my Partner she doest want me to get engaged with NGO people and i told NGO partner that when ever you people see us togather anywhere in kolkata please do not let her know that we know each other or else she will broke off with me but they told her when she asked them for help and they made a mess in my life instead of helping us they ruin our life. i told her we all need help and support but she denied me. And when she was in trouble she took there help and she even informed me about and i was so happy about it and thought that once i am back in calcutta i will tell her everything and i will take her to there house but it was too late and the NGO people they ruin our LOVE LIFE. But yes i told her a lie just to save our relationship and i still Love her no matter what but all i need a support from her end she should have waited for me and i told her her let me come back from Chennai i will talk to you but she refused to talk to me what i should do now and yes i will take those NGO partner's name who doesnt helps anyone they only think about themselves anh there Lavish life. This is USA based NGO of LGBT comunity they provieds everything for people like us that we can live our life but they do not think about us they are only concern abut themselves. Is all my request to USA based NGO Head Member whom i concern please take care of this matter as soon as possible. I LOVE YOU DEBJANI DAS you are only one whom i loved alot and still i love you.
And this is my contact number of mine +91 8124841967 +91 9748570328
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BREAKING FREE is a landmark film project that attempts to bring in change for the LGBT community in India by highlighting the pain & trauma as well as hope & happiness.

With more than 100 interviews across India of LGBTQH persons as well as activists, advocates, changemakers, etc; the film weaves poignant personal stories with the landmark events and huge changes in the community space.

Post production is now in progress and we NOW NEED YOUR SUPPORT MORE THAN EVER to complete the project.

WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT. Every small bit help. And there are fabulous incentives.

Please contribute to our project through below links. EVERY CONTRIBUTION IS VALUABLE and greatly helpful.

International Supporters: http://www.indiegogo.com/breakingfreeindia

Contributions can be ANONYMOUS too. There is also facility for paying by CASH OR CHEQUE through GharPay option. See right hand top on the site.

Get regular updates about the film at www.facebook.com/breakingfreeindia

WATCH TRAILER:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3uRelpzJIM
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Rahul Bharadwaj (user currently living in INDIA) posted for gay readers on 08/05/2012 tagged with hate crime and violence prevention, human rights, illegality of male to male relationships +9
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Hi, I was just being a normal gay when this guy +91 9126034652 gt into my life nd made a hell out it. continuously mkin fun of my orientation nd harassing me in public. he's gttin me tocommit suicide.
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Velvet Milestones:

2008- Conceptualization of Velvet to create a safe space for LBT community which was absent in kolkata specially. People needed a friendly environment with privacy and security where they can discuss their day to day life and ask for help if needed.
2009- Velvet Facebook group launched. Base shifted to Delhi. More than 300 members joined. Regular nteraction, discussion and exchange of ideas started actively on facebook.
2009- Took part in Delhi Queer Pride 2009
Organized community based programs
Active participation in queer scenario of Delhi
2010- Took part in Delhi Queer pride 2010
2011- Networked with Mumbai queer community actively
Back to kolkata to focus dedicatedly on VELVET along with Alka Kedwal
Actively participated in KOLKATA RAINBOW PRIDE FESTIVAL 2011
Introduced LBT participation in Kolkata Pride walk 2011, 17th july for the
first time.
Velvet Became support group for LGBT
Velvet became recognized by ILGA
Started personalized counseling for LBT community
Started close interaction with Sangini to have them as Mentor to Velvet
Sonali and Alka came out in FEMINA ANNIVERSARY ISSUE 14th October
2011 as lesbian couple
Took part in IBN7 Zindegi Live talk show as Lesbian couple- to be aired on
November 2011
More than a dozen individual ongoing cases handled and still getting requests
everyday.
Creating Network between LGBT community in Kolkata to fight loneliness
among queer population
FUTURE PLANS:
To register Velvet as a trust by January 2012.
To start mainstream activities to build and spread awareness and eliminate Homophobia
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Srishti the first LGBT friends circle of Madurai (user currently living in INDIA) posted for gay lesbian bisexual straight readers on 17/10/2011 tagged with teaching lgbt rights in schools, health, hiv/aids , gender identity, human rights, sexual orientation, religion +4
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Madurai throbs with more than 3700 gays &
we the Srishti first Gay friendly LGBT circle of Madurai is here for gathering all Bisexuals & gays in & around our city

Srishti works for creating awareness among all college students in madurai through NSS

we arrange progrms on Sexual orientation

our people counsel the uneducated community abt homosex

we conduct seminars with our officials from delhi, mumbai, chennai for teaching college students by conveying them homosex is not a sin or
it is not a disorder or gay are not transgenders
or its not unnatural task with human


we fight for LGBT rights in madurai & trying to make madurai as a comfortable place for Gays & Lesbians.

we works with TamilNadu Govt Aids awareness progs in madurai

planning to conduct the LGBT rainbow festival in madurai on 2012.

plz refer wikipedia about LGBT & Homosexuality in India

you can be a supporter for gathering all Homosexuals under one roof in madurai.

if u like to volunteer our progrms contact Sarva 9092282369

come & join with Srishti
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Subhankar Zac (user currently living in INDIA) posted for gay readers on 25/08/2011 tagged with hate crime and violence prevention, human rights, sexual orientation +4
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India is still a homophobic country. I am currently studying in a college in India, extremely homophobic people. The laws in India do not protect LGBT people from discrimination. I have lived in a homophobic region for 18 years, in which even related to a gay is a shameful thing for people. I tried to study my college years in Less homophobic places like, Spain, UK, NY, etc but couldn't go ONLY because my funds was low, although My application was accepted. I am still seeing hate comments and discrimination in all places in India. I am tired of fighting and M scared for my life in this country because the laws don't support us and I cant come out of the closet. I m sure my story wont may not be much attention and will be kept like a pile of other stories. But I m just screaming inside of me and just want to scream every time, when anyone tells a hate comment about gays. I just cant Live in India anymore. I have no money to study in a place where gays are not killed, nor can I stay here where there is too much homophobia. I just wanna leave India forever. or I will not survive for much longer.
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Vijusha Neelam (user currently living in UNITED KINGDOM) posted for transgender readers on 15/12/2010 tagged with human rights +4
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Hi,
My name is Vijusha Neelam, I am a transgender from India but undergone operation. At present i am in UK, doing my MBA. I had one same sex partner named Ms.Radhika for last 10 years, she separated me from my previous partner and when i married one man to settle her and the other girl friend, she was with me along with him and made me to leave him legally so as to live with her. My ex-friend Mr.Santhosh who is living with his wife, and three children deceived me and started having illegal sexual relationship with my partner. They both wanted to hide their relationship with me and when ever i go to India, wanted to be with me normal as she is my partner and he is my friend. I came to know this through Santhosh's brother, when i questioned they threw me out of the house. They both deceived me and ruined me physically, mentally, socially and economically. I want to fight for my rights legally, i need your gracious help. Hope you can do some thing. I have evidence of letters, photoes, greeting cards, and a house on both of our name which i bought.

Regards,
waiting with great hope for your help.

Vijusha Neelam.
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shoni (user currently living in INDIA) posted for transgender readers on 06/07/2010 tagged with gender identity, human rights, sexual orientation +5
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I used to meditate on various religious texts and by that i faced a terrible curse, god has forbiddened my right to mate i am destined to be a transgender. I am osterized from the social line no job nothing .I have got two aged parent's to look open, i am a big fun amongst my relatives and friends . I can't take this any more, on the verge of committing suicide pls help me if you have gopt counsellors . Help me to get a job amongst your members or make me a part of your team
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Sinaark (user currently living in INDIA) posted for straight readers on 09/06/2010 tagged with human rights +10
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Hi Everyone. This is Sinaark from India, Asia. I'm a film maker. I'm currently working on a script. Though the 377 section(LGBT rights) has become legalised in our country in the last year, still 90% people are treating it as a different issue.My script is to establish LGBT is nothing but a pure form of love and it's natural. With it the awareness portion will also be there.

I've assisted few national award winning directors in our country. I need help from all over the world. As it is an inspirational story I need financial support. Please response me.@ thegreatark@yahoo.co.in
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