In the limited queer scenario of Hyderabad, Andy was a ray of hope for me who could give some clear content about the queer lifestyle in the capital city of Telangana. According to my first and last impressions on queer lifestyle scenario of Hyderabad, the whole community scene was mostly restricted to dating apps which were indeed treated as hooking apps. Most of the Hyderabad's LGBT community people were closeted and were kind of habituated to the conservative, restricted yet influential society. The first two days of my trip to Hyderabad has given me only the negative content. I was searching for positive content. I was literally waiting for the good content to portray this metropolitan's scenario. I was fed up and I started getting content from people in these dating apps. I thought of meeting people who were honest and open about their sexual orientation and life too. Out of many lust worthy messages and many more sex proposals, I got approached by this sweet person in Hyderabad who has pinged me in Grindr, after reading about me. He approached with a tint of wit and sarcasm. He was honest while approaching me. When I asked about him, his basic details were way more different from remaining people.
That day, in the afternoon, I was about to visit a newly opened mall in Hyderabad which was nearby me. After a bit flirtation, Andy has asked me about my plans for the day. When I mentioned my plan, he said that he could join me for lunch. I was bored of hanging out alone the before day, hence I have agreed to join him in the mall for lunch. I thought of just meeting him and having lunch. No other thoughts or emotions intrude. I have reached the mall after an annoying dispute because of currency change issues with the auto driver who dropped me to the mall. When Andy dialed me, I have explained the situation and he came near my auto and solved the issue by providing me enough change. It was then, when I first met him. He was liberal to the core. He was shorter than me, looked like a nerd. I must appreciate his casual dressing style. He didn't take up too much room. He just presented himself as him. No room for extra baggage.
We entered the mall. We both have felt hungry like anything. We were starving for good fillings that afternoon. That was the first time, I was visiting Sarath City Capital mall, claimed to be India's Largest Mall. He accompanied me to explore the mall, a bit and then we headed to the food court which was on the fourth floor. After seeing Taco Bell, I couldn't resist myself ordering the deal of the day. He wanted something authentic South Indian food to fill his tummy, hence he order a larger for life, Masala Dosa. We were strangers to each other. He was kind of very normal in our initial conversations where I asked about him. Andy, 24 year old , Gay, Into an Open relationship with his boyfriend who was staying somewhere in Europe, quite honest and very simple. He got his own tactics of dealing people around. He wasn't working when I met him. When I asked about it, he mentioned that he was kind of fed up with his monotonous technical work in top Multi National Companies, hence he resigned and was appreciating his break. He also added that he was about to collaborate with Universities to excel in his career. He was simple, educated, decent, talented yet too witty and sarcastic too.
That afternoon, after filling our tummies, I felt like asking him few questions about the Hyderabad's Queer Lifestyle Scenario. Before that, he mentioned that he was also a Queer activist who took a good part in conducting rallies and pride marches in Hyderabad. We talked a lot about our life stories and especially about my break up stories. He suggested me that not to believe so easily and to take enough time before getting into exclusive relationships. When I asked about him, he said that he came into relationship after dating his boyfriend after an year. That's how Andy is, very practical. He also added that my hair and my look resembles his boyfriend. He was really sweet though. I have criticized a lot about Hyderabad's LGBT Community. He didn't even say a single word. In fact, he has agreed to most of my statements and said that the Hyderabad's gay scenario is quite null and low. He also said, most of them were closeted and reveal utmost level of hypocrisy to others in the aspect of revealing each other. It seemed most of the Hyderabad gay community people, would never reveal their appearances and identities so easily to others in dating apps. They wouldn't like revealing about their sexual orientation and appearances, but they would force or instruct others to reveal. This is what the Hyderabad's real queer scenario till date.
Well, I have asked Andy, few questions for which he has answered in a very less complicated and controversial way. Totally opposite of me. His answers were simple yet informative.
Me: Describe Love in one Phrase
Andy: Safe Zone
Me: Conservative or Orthodox, one word for Hyderabad Society
Me: One phrase to say something to the community
Andy: Know your Worth
Me: What's the strongest group among LGBT community in Hyderabad?
Andy: Transgender community is very strong in Hyderabad. They take active participation in all the LGBT events and Pride marches. Some of the transgenders were leaders to many events and they mostly involve themselves in designing the events.
Me: Is there any effect in Hyderabad after decriminalization of Sec 377 in India?
Andy : Not so much. People are still closeted. Uneducated regarding the knowledge of LGBT community. Eve- teasing the LGBT community people is too much in Hyderabad.
Me: I have been facing a lot of stares since I stepped in Hyderabad. What do you have to say about it?
Andy: Well, you worth the stare. But on a serious note, South Indian people act so weird and judgmental when two guys hangout in an intimate way or when they hold their hands in public. I know few couples in Hyderabad who are open to the society. They also face a lot of judgmental criticism whenever they step out. People won't defend themselves. They just ignore the stares and move on ahead. I think you should do that too here in Hyderabad. (sarcastically laughed)
Me: What's the recent event in which you have participated?
Andy: I participate in yearly pride marches. I have conducted Queer Carnival in Hyderabad Urban, recently with the help of few friends, gay and transgender acquaintances.
Me: What do you say about the Queer Scenario of Hyderabad?
Andy: Let's not include educated and professional people who have knowledge about LGBT Community. And also people who have clarity about themselves and bold enough to portray their orientations. I want to say about all those people who aren't aware of the word Queer or terminology of LGBT community. They must be educated and enlightened first. Sex education and LGBT education must be provided to them. People who aren't aware of the queer scenario, they are either getting exploited or allowing others to take them for granted by behaving inappropriately and using them sexually. These uneducated people, literally giving chances to all those closeted and inappropriate people to take advantage on them. This must end. People should be provided enough knowledge about LGBT community.
I literally got connected with his answers. They were straight to the point and were wholly true. His answers made me ask him few more intense questions.
Me: Can you elaborate the gay lifestyle in Hyderabad?
Andy : First of all, the gay lifestyle can only be afforded by very few people in Hyderabad, say, educated, working class and Corporate people who could afford a lavish lifestyle. For them the tag of being a homosexual won't be that effective because of the money they have and the lifestyle they could afford. There was no space for dependency on others. Hence, they lead their lifestyles in a good way. The whole issue arises only with Uneducated and poor people. They know what they need to do. But they couldn't be able to lead their own lifestyles because of the societal and family pressures. Many of them are dependents and thrown out of homes because of their sexual orientations. These situations make them transform into many different ways. Some are exploiting others and some are into an aggressive form of looting money on roads.
Many of these people aren't getting included in these marches and rallies. The information must not only be printed in English. They must also provide information in regional languages, so that the people who are from villages, illiterates and under educated people can also get to know about LGBT Community.
Me: What do you say about Gay Scenario in Hyderabad?
Andy: Perversion is the word. The consideration of gay scenario in Hyderabad on Sex basic must be ended soon. People in Hyderabad mostly look around for gay people for sex and these gays hang out with them without any self respect and getting exploited and used by them like sex slaves.
Me: One suggestion for my personal life.
Andy: Take your time. (Laughed out loud)
Me: One suggestion for me to improve the work towards Queer Community?
Andy: Talk to the people who are actually suffering. Because people who are enjoying big positions don't know the real struggles of life. Only people who are uneducated, suppressed, and suffered have the stories of struggles. I know you're working on them. But try reaching more people and enlighten them by approaching them personally.
His every answer was very informative, enlightening and encouraging too. He sounded like a true activist who strives for the uplifting of society in every aspect. Like an educated personality, he talked about education. Like a victim, he said about the exploitation. Like a true soul, he suggested me to reach the sufferers. Like a true Hyderabadi, he was too honest in his answers, totally unbiased. I just thought of having lunch and get back to some other work, but I really spent more than an hour talking to him at the place where we completed eating. He was simple, but his answers were way more thoughtful. I loved talking to him and felt privileged getting to know him. Communication skills and Thoughts of people make me get connected with them. I thought I just got connected to his words, but indeed I got connected to him. Sometimes, we never know how we end up with people. Likewise, I ended up with Andy in most interesting yet unexpected way. It just didn't end with the Lunch. We ended up having a great time.......