A Passage to India

Published Date Author: , June 3rd, 2014

Gaysia cover

Sydney-based journalist Benjamin Law spent nearly a year skipping between seven Asian countries, sitting backstage with Bangkok ladyboys prepping themselves for beauty pageants, chatting with Tokyo’s famed drag queens, marching in the Mumbai heat with fierce queer rights activists, listening to the testimonies of Melaka preachers who claimed they could heal homosexuality and hanging out with Bali’s ‘moneyboys’ and the old foreign men who hire them.

After his travels, Law wrote Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East, a wild ride exploring the sociological ins and outs of Indonesia, Thailand, China, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar and India, told with wit, great experience and love for this complicated part of the world. Here we excerpt three sections of Law’s chapter on traveling through India, a country we also examined when we sat down with Crown Prince Manvendra, the world’s only out gay royal, last month.

India, in which we visit the latest country in the world to have decriminalized homosexuality, travel 30 hours in a train and march in a pride parade involving a lesbian group with a staggering acronym. Intensity of food poisoning while researching this story (on a scale of one to 10): eight.

Our destination was near Haridwar, one of India’s holy cities and a well-known site of pilgrimage. On the map, though, our target was a tiny cluster on the side of the road, a cameo appearance from humanity: it would be all too easy to miss. I zipped up and scurried into the cab’s backseat. The driver shook his head and reclined the passenger seat to show me I could lie completely flat.

By Benjamin Law – Full Story at Frontiers LA | India Gay Travel Resources

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