Woke culture has encouraged many of us to educate ourselves on several issues, including the socio-cultural conversations around the LGBTQ+ community. However, sexuality and gender are complex to understand, and often get reduced to myths, stereotypes and over-simplification.
While many of our friends, peers, or acquaintances share hearsay stories about homosexuality, there’s a gay couple from the heartland of India that has taken to a podcast to debunk some of the most common myths about gay relationships. Yogi & Kabeer recently launched their Spotify Original podcast Shuddh Desi Gay, wherein they take listeners on a journey through their story of love, relationships, and life.
What kind of misconceptions and myths, you ask? Let’s dive right in.
Dating’s easy: While this may seem to come easy to a heterosexual couple - the two could bump into each other at work, a party, a grocery store or even through the plethora of dating apps out there - same-sex couples are almost always limited to events held specifically for the LGBTQ+ community. True, they could explore dating apps. But so many questions come into play. Are these apps safe for members of the community? Can others be trusted? What precautions should a gay person take while swiping right? The list is seemingly endless. And so, while that meet-cute may seem dreamy, it’s super tough to come by for members of the LGBTQ+ community.
The rules of monogamy don’t apply: Once you’ve found that perfect someone, all that almost anyone wants is to just be with them, right? This is usually accepted when it comes to a heterosexual couple. However, when you’re gay, opinions - often based on stereotypes - arise on where you should stand. For instance, those in a committed, same-sex relationship are frequently asked why they’re “wasting being gay by being tied down”. After all, why can’t a same-sex couple love each other the old fashioned way just like many of us do?
He’s effeminate and flamboyant? He’s definitely gay: Nope. Just no. Pop culture’s probably the reason for such assumptions. While content that accurately represents the LGBTQ+ community and their relationships does exist, there’s still a long way to go. Whether it’s words, videos, TV shows or movies - it’s tough for the community to find a character or icon they can relate to, or that accurately represents them, resulting in several stereotypes. There is no definitive way to label someone ‘gay’ because they don’t adhere to the traditional norms of being ‘straight’.
‘Coming Out’ is similar for all gay people: People are different. So are their stories, and the same rule applies to every individual from the LGBTQ+ community. While it’s difficult for most people in India and other parts of the world, to finally ‘come out’ of the closet to their family, friends, colleagues, etc., there’s a section of people who have had an even harder job, as they themselves were in denial at some point. Yes, you read right. They have been their own harshest judge, meaning that they first have to come out, accept, and love themselves - a journey that requires every bit of might one has.