Q I was in love with a straight man 10 years ago. He was my friend but when I told him, he rejected me even as a friend. I went for therapy, I had many breakdowns for many years. But I am still not over him. What do I do?
— Shashikant, Delhi
I am not sure that a straight man exists in India, Shashikant, but I feel your pain. I have fallen in love with many straight men too, not just one. It is a part of the masochistic gay subjectivity formation. I would suggest yoga, meditation, reading, writing, cinema, music and other men.
We talk about toxic masculinity by which we mean heterosexual masculinity but I have found gay people equally toxic. I date both men and women and I find them very toxic, controlling and sick, so there is toxic femininity too. Aren’t gay people supposed to be different?
— Ritika, Bangalore
Darling, we do not have horns. We are just as sick as straight people. Sometimes, I think, we are worse because all we do is copy straight people and try to do their s*** better than they do it themselves. The word toxic does not make sense to me because it is tautological as all masculinity and femininity are intrinsically toxic as constructs. We need to reject these constructs and forge new, human ways of being in the world but this seems utopian and silly.
In this column, Ashley Tellis will answer questions about relationships, sexual health and general knowledge and concerns about and for the LGBT population in India. An LGBH activist for over thirty years, Tellis is an academic, a journalist, an editor and a writer on LGBT and other minority issues. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org