The story of Gay Bombay is like that of the calf that, one fine day, thought of leaving the beaten path that others followed, and started treading on land no one had stepped on before. As years passed by, that same trail left by this cow is now an arterial road passing through the heart of a metropolitan city.
If you have visited this site for the first time, it means you have just stepped into a little space on the web called GayBombay. Namaskar! Welcome!
GayBombay is a self-evolving informal group, a result of like-minded gay people from Mumbai (mainly, but not totally) coming together in good faith to create a safe space for men who are romantically and sexually attracted to men. All of us at GayBombay have experienced the joys and sorrows of being ‘different’. We wanted to make things a little easier for those who have come after us. So we created this space where the community can:
* Exchange views using the GB mailing list [email@example.com]
* Participate in (and even help organize) offline GB events
* Meet and interact in the socio-cultural space of GB Meets
Our aim is to make you (and eventually your family and friends) comfortable with your sexuality, and make life a bit easier.
Being gay is never easy. First there is the feeling that makes you happy. Then the realization that not everyone around shares this feeling. In fact, many consider it to be abnormal, vile, even sinful. There is the struggle to accept the feeling as perfectly normal. Then comes the frustration when you cannot share it with your family and friends. You fear humiliation, condemnation and ultimately, rejection. You desperately need to talk, share, and feel that you are not alone.
We understand these feelings. Hence we created this ‘safe space’. Safe space does not mean you are free to do what you wish. It is space where:
* You discover there is more to being gay than casual sex and solicitation.
* The intellectual, emotional and fraternal aspects of gay life are emphasized
* You find the strength and confidence to lead a fulfilled life and reach your highest potential.
Founded in September 1998, this group is a vibrant and engaging space that has conducted over 1400 events in the last 20 years for the LGBT community, including parties, treks, picnics, film festivals, parents meets, cooking meets, kite-flying, speed dating brunches, raksha-bandhan, special meets on topics like safe sex, HIV/AIDS, relationships, depression, finances, Section 377, and much much more. The idea is to create comfort around alternate sexuality for individuals and their families and friends. Welcome to GB!
Our outreach includes:
1) www.gaybombay.org, our website. Here you will find a rich repository of our reports on special events of the past 14 years, as well as announcements of our future events.
2) firstname.lastname@example.org, our mailing list, a dynamic, moderated forum with over 7500 members to discuss gay-related issues.
3) The GayBombay Facebook group is an moderated forum to allow around 8000 members of the community to express themselves within the framework of the group’s mandate to create a safe social space.
4) We also have a GayBombay Facebook Page, in case you do not wish to join the group but just get notified of upcoming events.
In the pre-GayBombay days, we realized there were many young men who were gay but felt out of place in the gay cultures they stumbled upon. And now twenty years later, we are proud of this safe space that still continues to thrive.
The group organizes GB events to facilitate offline interaction between members. What is a GB event? Events that respect GB values of safe space, of not promoting sex and solicitation, of respecting the wishes of those who participate in them. There is an informal core group that contributes to and spearheads the decision-making processes. It is also an activity where all funds go to pay for GB-events.
There is nothing ‘official’ about the group. There never was, and there still isn’t a membership form, registration fee, annual general meetings, minutes of meetings and voting or veto. Everyone is free to participate. In fact, participation is encouraged, as the group has to evolve in order to survive.
Welcome to the GayBombay family!