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Being Gay in India

I just came back to the US from Phnom Pehn Cambodia. I spent 6 months in Cambodia teaching English. It's a beautiful city with it's ancient temples and flora and fauna; however Cambodia has an extremely dark past. There is almost no medical service there. When there is a severe incident you are flown to Bangkok for medical. I flew back to the US using Qatar Airways, which landed in Bengaluru for passengers going to Doha or the US. Cambodia is extremely gay friendly with its clubs and LadyBoy sex workers. Thailand is best known for LadyBoys, but it seems there are many in Lao and tons in Cambodia. The pharmacy woman said LadyBoy medicine is Birth Control pills or menopausal estrogen tablets.

Are there LadyBoys in India? How is gay perceived in India? Cambodia was pretty crazy because there was literally no place you could go without someone being in the vicinity. Is India similar to this? I am perfectly fine with Asian culture because my mother is Korean.

Hijra
In India there is a third gender, the hijra, male to female transsexuals. Hijras have a recorded history of more than 4,000 years and in ancient times were considered to be able to bestow luck and fertility. Even today, those looking for some luck at their weddings will bring in hijras to dance and give a blessing. There are estimated to be 200,000 hijras in India. Unfortunately, despite their once revered position in Indian culture they still face discrimination and harassment in their society. The attitude toward them in recent years has shifted, with the government giving them more rights, but they have a long way to go before the culture reveres them again.

from this article: http://tvblogs.nationalgeographic.com/2 … ot-binary/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hijra_(South_Asia)

I am American, but of Indian heritage (the folks were both born there) so am very familiar with the culture.  Although the hijras mentioned above do exist as a separate community, you will likely not have much to do with them if you are living/working/mingling with the expat community.   Most gay Indians are still in the closet with respect to family, work, etc., although they likely have secret connections/lives where they can be themselves. 

A few years ago I spent a month or so traveling in India with my best friend, a (white American) gay guy, and he certainly had no problem meeting other gay guys/hooking up.  I would recommend not being overt about being gay when speaking to people unless it is both relevant and you know it will go over well (or at least not badly).  India is still a pretty traditional culture, I get stared at for being a woman who has obviously (clothes, accent etc.)  had a Western upbringing.  It is sometimes kind of tiring - I am from LA, surely one of the most diverse cities on earth - but you sort of get used to it after a while.

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