People’s Choice, the little queer café, started by Hepzibah Smith and Mohammed Adam, was host to a fun evening of Hyderabad’s queer community celebrating one year of the SC judgement on 377 and organised in collaboration with LGBT Hyderabad and Mobbera Foundation, two fledgling queer groups in the city. Mistitled Adios Section 377 (the common misconception among the queer community and everyone else is that Section 377 is gone but it has only been read down and only private same-sex sexual activity is allowed which is hardly cause for celebration), it nevertheless was a fun evening with yummy and cheap food with names like ‘Bisexual Burger’ and ‘Lesbian Pancakes.’
The café is a welcome addition to the muted Hyderabad queer scene but on Saturday evening showed that there is a community waiting to come alive as gay men sang, hijras danced, bisexuals improvised dance moves and people wore colourful hats and music played all evening.
The crowd slowly expanded and included all sorts of people, from a corporate Vijaywada boy, Anjan, coming straight from a boring conference in the city to fashion designer and model Taposh Haldar who is new to Hyderabad and danced to a Hindi film song. “I love this place. It is so welcoming and cool,” he said.
Madhurima, a young content writer, said she dances only when she is drunk but despite no alcohol, she took to the stage briefly in joint dance performance. The fragility and the beauty of the queer community was evident as the evening shaded into night. Hyderabad needs more and more evenings like this.