In the second season of Gaycation, actress Ellen Page and writer-producer Ian Thorpe showcased the lgbtq community of India. Exploring the gay culture of India, they meet several people including openly or closeted gay men, women, couples, trans-people and celebrities.
The episode starts with a conversation with the openly gay head of Godrej India and writer of ‘GayBombay’, Parmesh Sahani.
“India has a deep lgbtq culture, historical narratives and mythologies. But in the british colonial-era, lgbt diversity of India was ignored and people absorbed homophobic mindsets and values,” Sahani said, “Though the reinstating of Section 377 was very wrong, it kinda galvanised the community to act together, to strategise better, and I think that over the long term it will lay the foundations for a better future.”
As the sun sets, Ian Daniel ventured the gay nightlife of Mumbai. Daniel visits gay night clubs, which are a safe place for gay cruising in the city. Ian talks to some gay men and couples over there. “You do find homophobic people in Mumbai too but in comparision to scenario in India, it’s quite safe.”
Ellen and Ian make a visit to activist Harish Iyer’s house. Harish Introduces them to his family and also two ‘gay cats’ he owns.
When Harrish’s mother who supported him always and placed a matrimonial ad for his gay son in Mid-Day, tells them, “Earlier i was introvert about my son’s sexuality. But I wanted to do good for my son and so i decided to face it openly and talk with people about it.”
Ashok Row Kavi, pioneer of India’s gay rights movement had a chat with the Gaycation team. “Even today, there is no identity of being gay. Gay children are left behind. There is violence against gay men ar cruising places. Women face violence at domestic closed spaces.”
Team Gaysi, an lgbtq organization especially for lesbian and bisexual women highlights the plight of women, “In India, women are not allowed to have a sexuality, either straight or not. Their job is to have a womb, get married and produce babies. The idea of sex is alien.
A lesbian woman and a couple shared their stories, who were interviewed anonymously.
And a meeting with Baba Ramdev and his associates, who have claimed to ‘cure’ homosexuality and spreading hate and homophobia in society. “I can give a solution to homosexuality,” he sticks to his prejudiced mindset.
The episode further interviewed 6 pack band and a trans-man with his wife.
Having explored India’s lgbt culture, quite emotional and hopeful Ellen Page said, “In Indian philosophy, one of the four aims of life is moksha…Spiritual liberation…The transcendent state attained by finding your inner wisdom, your true essence stripped of societal expectations. India’s culture is rooted in traditions and rituals that hold a spirit of acceptance and a celebration of diversity.We often look outward to bring progress.But in the case of India, progress may come from looking within, to the wisdom their philosophies already hold.”