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When Nakshatra goes out for a coffee with his mother, they’re both on the look-out for cute men. “Do you fancy that guy?” she’ll say.
Things haven’t always been this way. Growing up in a village, he became aware of his feelings aged 16. A year later, after a move to Mumbai, he told his parents he was gay. His mum said she wished he was dead.
A few friends I’ve known to be heterosexual have told me recently about their homosexual encounters.
That makes them bisexual, I guess. I wasn’t surprised – just intrigued to find out what’s making them swing both ways after all these years. “Everybody has a bisexual bone in them,” a friend of mine said. “Some of us explore it, some of us don’t.”
It seemed like she sided with Freud’s view of humans finding comfort in sexual experiences with someone of the same gender.
I asked what led her onto this self-exploratory path. “I don’t know. It just happened. Was hanging out with a girl friend, and before we knew it, we were in bed together,” she said.
Feeling at home
That sounded quite smooth. I tried recollecting all the hanging out I have done with my female friends and wondered if they ever had any sexual overtones...
Meanwhile, she continued, “The best part about it is that you feel at home! There are no surprises! You know what to expect and what to give in return.”
That, I could comprehend. Anatomical victory: the I’ve-got-what-you’ve-got-so-we-can’t-mess-it-up feeling. It might be comforting to deal with body parts that are similar to yours.
But of course I couldn’t hold myself back from asking, “Didn’t you feel even a wee bit weird?”
“Mmm, the next morning was a bit weird. But it’s always awkward when you’ve just woken up, you know. That could have been with a guy as well. That doesn’t take away the chemistry,” my friend said.
Sure, it’s all about the chemistry – people get along with each other because of it. Comfort, or lack of it, decides the future of any kind of equation. No chemistry, no future – irrespective of whether it’s a homo- or heterosexual experience, right.
“Like anywhere else, there’s a gay-bisexual scene here in Bombay. You need to be in it to experience it. Everybody you speak to there is open to any kind of experience. There are night clubs and hang outs where you can really go looking for partners,” I was informed.
It seems like a liberal phenomenon to me. People willing to explore their sexuality, find answers, have some fun and hopefully some answers.
What's in the gender?
Being bisexual isn’t a new trend. If the theory of everyone being bisexual holds true, I’m assuming it must have been true through the ages. It’s likely then that my friend’s grandmother would have had the same questions as my friend does. What’s changed now is this somewhat open confrontation.
“So, are you going to continue being bisexual?” I asked her.
“Silly, you,” she remarked, “It’s not such a conscious decision. Sometimes I wonder what’s in the gender. It’s the person that matters. Now I believe I can fall in love with anyone, man or woman.”
Miss Bohemia, I mocked her, and left it at that.
By Gayatri Parameswaran
Photo: Gayatri Parameswaran, © Love Matters/RNW
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