Being queer is tough in our country. To go through the process of understanding and accepting one’s sexuality and coming to terms with it, especially when no one around you seems to be open about discussing these topics, is tough. In an environment like this, to find people around you who not only accept their own sexuality but even yours and are open to discussing it is heavenly.
It was just a few days back that I attended a gay party in Delhi with one of my friends. It was his third party and he wanted me to come along with him to put an end to my never-ending questions about how it feels to be in an environment of total acceptance. We attended a party in Green Park, and to me, it was like an undercover mission that I was a part of. In a country where LGBTQ rights are not accepted legally, to be a part of this setup, even for some time was scary. What if something went wrong?
We entered the party while I was still a little nervous, only to sink into an environment of comfort. The party had a mixed crowd – from transgender people to gay men, and lesbian women. Initially, I felt a little left out and sat in a corner nursing my mocktail and observing the people around me. It was liberating for me, a straight woman, to see to see my friend, who otherwise is a shy man and a closeted gay, to come out in the open and interact (even flirt!) with people- accepting drinks from them, exchanging phone numbers and dancing. I can only wonder how liberating it must have been for him the first time he attended one of these parties and why, even though he doesn’t like the crowd much, he likes to attend these parties every once in a while.
I was talking to some of his friends who told me that these parties happened every Tuesday and Saturday. They also told me about Central Park in Connaught Place which also hosts several LGBTQ+ events.
I was soon asked to join them on the dance floor and, for the first time in the entire 19 years of my life, was hit on by someone. All I could do was smile at her and let her know about my preferences!
Image credits: princeton.edu