Submitted by Tanvir Alim
Edited by Ashok DEB
Tanvir Alim ( BoB Moderator ) visited India last month for a scheduled discussion with a Bangalore based LGBT group GooD As You. This group acts as an intellectual meeting point for the sexual minorities of the fastest growing yet an conservative metropolis of India.
On 24th Sep 2009, Tanvir attended the Good As you Thursday meet which is their general weekly meeting. Here the Bangladeshi delegate talked about BoB’s policy, their members, events, pride and visibility issues which he found to be very similar with the host organisation.
On returning back home Tanvir expresses, “Actually the whole south India is pretty much like Bangladesh. I felt like 2nd home.”
A few glimpses of southern Bangalore caught through the lenses of Tanvir are presented below:
Conservatism of Bangalore is slowly adapting to accept and co-exist with the non-normative genders
The Good As You, Thursday meet
Tanvir Forwards the ideology and activities of GooD As You, Bangalore Group
Good As You, Bangalore
Good As You is a social and intellectual space for LesBiGay (lesbian, bisexuals, gays and other sexual minorities) people of Bangalore.
Good As You aims to:
- Create awareness and pride in Indian LesBiGay identities.
- Promote Indian LesBiGay expressions through Art, Literature and other means.
- Foster positive and realistic view of Indian LesBiGay relationships.
- Provide counseling/support/friendship to those who ask for it.
- To transcend all barriers of gender, language, caste, class, religion, region, color, creed, marital status and reach out to all our brothers and sisters and others who face social or psychological oppression because of their sexuality.
Good As You started in February 1994. It is a safe space for LesBiGay people to discuss, debate, share views and information which will help them to come to terms with their sexuality. It has had at least a thousand participants over the last 5 years.
Good As You meets every week. Discussions in the group range from issues on LesBiGay rights and the paths to tackle homophobia; from discussion on coming out to family, friends and colleagues to relating personal experiences to the group and other activities to make people comfortable with their sexuality.
Besides this, Good As You also brings out a newsletter in both English and Kannada called “Sangha Mitra”.
Good As You helped sponsor the first ever rights seminar organized in India by some students of the National Law School of India University, Bangalore.
Good As You Thursdays
The Good As You group meets every week on Thursday at 7pm at the Swabhava office in Bangalore. These weekly meets bring together a group of information technology professionals, lawyers, doctors, artists, fashion designers, teachers, business people, students and others. The discussion ranges from issues such as LGBT rights, coming out to family and friends to general talks on culture and entertainment. Anyone is welcome to come to these weekly meets as it offers a space where you can be yourself and talk to others who are like-minded.
Every Sunday, half a dozen gay men run in the city’s Cubbon Park. Later, more join in as the group meets for idlis, vadas and coffee at the old-world Airlines Hotel. They call themselves the Gay Running and Breakfast (GRAB) club. Though for many its just the steaming hot food and conversations, than the running. GRAB happens every Sunday morning at 10.00am. So if you come by then and see a group of men huddled around a few tables talking and laughing animatedly, you will know who they are!
Address: Good As You,
C/O Swabhava, 4th Floor, No. 1,
M.S. Plaza, 13th A Cross, 4th Main Road,
Sampangiramnagar, Bangalore – 560027.