Sunday, July 19, 2009

Gay help lines are ringing incessantly

Gay help lines are ringing incessantly

Gays are coming out of their ghettos


 New Delhi: After the path breaking judgment of the  Delhi HC ruling, gay help lines in both Delhi and Mumbai are ringing off the hook. Closet gays are asking for advice on how to come out, to their hetero partners and their parents.

An increasing number of gays in India have started calling helplines for advice on coming out. For instance, before July 2 (when the Delhi High Court pronounced its extraordinary decision), the Humsafar Trust in Mumbai got about 10-15 calls every day. That number has now swelled four times over and most calls are from people who want to disclose their sexual preferences to their close ones, including parents and friends. The NGO receives not less than 100 calls.

Gays are coming out of their ghettos


According to sources close to this Mumbai based NGO most callers are between the ages of 20-35.Earlier, callers asked them us to help them find partners.


 Others hesitated in opening up. This has changed after July 2. Callers are more open. Most ask HUMsafar staffers as to how they should tell their parents and even if they can come to the centre with their parents. The trust has been approached via phone and mails in the last few weeks. Reading one such mail,  a staffer of Humsafar  said that one man wrote that he was gay and wanted to tell his parents, but was nervous as he was an only child and they loved him very much.


A far as Delhi isconcerned, the response is overwhelming. Betu Singh, founder, Sanginii, a lesbian support group says call counts are up by 20 per cent. More women want to know what is safe and what isn'''t; previous help-seekers want to know how far they can go in terms of legal freedom.


Anjali Gopalan, director, Naaz and Men having Sex with Men (MSM) help group which filed the petition against Sec 377 eight years ago, admitted that calls have gone up hugely. "The change is too large to document. But alternately-inclined people still can't get married or adopt kids, and it'd be wrong to say that many new faces are coming on the scene. That's because homosexual sex between consenting adults has only been decriminalised, not legalised," she said.


One can contact Sanginii on 011-65676450.




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