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Do Gay Men Have Body Hair?

Do Gay Men Have Body Hair?

June 06, 2011

Everything you wanted to know about homosexuality, but were too afraid to ask.

It started with the all important question – “Can gay men be hairy?”

According to a colleague of mine, not so. See, every gay man he had ever seen was an effeminate, smooth-skinned, pretty boy. The kind you could take home to mother post her celebratory you-coming-out-of-the-closet stroke. My question, naturally, was “So how do you know they were gay?”

“Well, they were pretty effeminate”

“So you assume they were gay because they were effeminate, and you assumed they were effeminate because they were gay?


Isn’t logic wonderful?

It’s amazing, the sheer amount of misconception there is about homosexuality in this country. Sure, the whole article 377 bruhaha helped, but not much in terms of raising awareness. After all, the day the law was repealed, I spent the evening trying to explain to a colleague that no, this did not mean that gay men now had free reign to jump him in the streets and violate him. I don’t think he believed me.

I don’t know anyone who is gay. Or at least, I am not aware of anyone in my circle of friends and family being gay. I imagine the situation is the same with many people, because even though we live in “enlightened times”, there’s a pit of poisoned spikes right in front of the every closet - step out and getting shish-kebabed is a distinct possibility, sometimes not even just metaphorically.

So middle-class urban kids learn about homosexuality from hushed whispers and mumbled answers, or at least the ones who muster up the courage to ask the questions do. The others get their information from giggled jokes and porn-savvy classmates, and grow up with an idea of sexuality, specifically homosexuality, that is as warped as its source. They go through life not really knowing about an entire subculture of people, and their “knowledge”, grows, like branches of a gnarled, twisted tree from the barren soil of their ideas. Myths become reality, facts become fiction, and “they” are not treated as people anymore, but rather a collection of half-baked idiosyncrasies and quirks. Good for a giggly joke (even outside the school premises), but unnecessary for consideration otherwise.

The decriminalization of homosexuality was a giant, and an important step. But the law cannot change people’s attitudes. At least, not immediately. The first step to educating people about homosexuality has to start by explaining the very simple fact that they are human beings. Sure their biological urges might not match mine, but otherwise they feel the same way as I do, have the same virtues and vices and laugh and cry when they are happy and sad. Respectively.

Even the most cursory Wikipedia search (and if you can’t trust Wikipedia, who CAN you trust), told me much about how lenient India has historically been towards homosexuality. Four hundred years of rule by two very sexually repressed cultures has taken the edge of understanding somewhat, but I really believe India is an inherently understanding, accepting nation. It just wouldn’t work otherwise. It’s too splintered, too culturally and linguistically diverse and just too damn different everywhere to work. Sure, you could point to our horrible history of the caste system as contrarian evidence, but which nation doesn’t have it’s own scorch marks in their history? No, I chalk most people’s attitude towards homosexuality up to laziness.

To live with misconception can be a comfortable existence; after all, who want’s to ponder on life’s bigger mysteries when food needs to be put on the table and the kid’s school fees need to be paid. So the misconceptions that we grow up with never have the chance to be washed away by knowledge, but rather breed and fester until in the minds of people, “the others” become symbols of immoral, corrupt behaviour. And thus, they are hated, because why SHOULDN’T you hate something immoral and evil? Too much knowledge may sometimes be a dangerous thing, but no knowledge can be deadlier.

PS: As I have already mentioned before, I have never had the opportunity to converse with someone who is gay. Because of that, if I have peddled misinformation, or have otherwise spoken out of my backside.....well what do you expect? It’s a freaking blog!! Correct me in the comments. 


  • Manali
    30.11.11 02:04 PM
    Hi, that's a very nice article on homosexuality in India but yes, the title is quite misleading.
  • tys
    20.07.11 09:40 PM the stories are true..hell i cant even make out if a girl is interested in me..probably the truth is pretty straight girl is... :)

    so what are the signs that you pick up on?
  • gayinamerica
    20.07.11 10:13 AM
    p.s.(i'm a hairy gay guy and love it ;D)
  • gayinamerica
    20.07.11 10:03 AM
    there is definitely gaydar!!! bt the thing is generally only gay men and straight women really have it...most straight men have to rely on stereotypes in order to fish out who is gay from who is not and unfortunately for them (and moreso those being stereotyped)it only works out for them about 60 percent of the time(wildly rough estimate)...fortunately, for men who are gay or women who are straight it works more like 90 percent of the time.
  • Neha
    10.06.11 03:46 AM
    Some of my best friends are gay & I live in quite a renowned gay area in London, resulting in gay clubbing having become my scene! The gay guys I know are some of the nicest guys I've met - shame they won't consider going straight. I can see why it could be difficult to understand the situation if you don't have gay friends but I guess the key thing is that there shouldn't be a difference in how you treat them. Hopefully you'll find too that they're some of the sweetest people out there!
  • A Singh
    A Singh
    09.06.11 02:33 AM
    @ICGB - I am surprised that you are surprised. How many of this 5% do you think are living openly gay? No doubt a large percentage of them are modifying their behaviour to convince everyone they are anything but gay.

    It is difficult enough for Indians in the west. In India it's a whole different story.
  • Anirban
    08.06.11 10:58 PM
    "...Or at least, I am not aware of anyone in my circle of friends and family being gay.... "
  • Indo-Canadian Gay Boy
    Indo-Canadian Gay Boy
    08.06.11 10:20 PM
    You don't know any gay people? Keep in mind India has a population of over 1.2 billion people.

    It is estimated 5% of the population is gay. That is 60,509,671 million gay people who are your friends and neighbours. That is almost double the population of my entire country. :)

    You likely have friends, neighbours, co-workers that are gay.
  • Amruta
    07.06.11 10:32 PM
    I don't know anyone who is gay either. I think a few might be gay, but they just don't know it! I would love if schools start to educate students on this topic, and a few others.

    "Myths become reality, facts become fiction, and “they” are not treated as people anymore"

    "...about how lenient India has historically been towards homosexuality"

    Thank you for writing this article :)
    You summed up everything I had in mind going on with the homosexuality in India.
  • tys
    07.06.11 03:00 AM
    u didnt come across defensive at all...thnx for replying... Iam sorry if i some how came across as being intrusive...but i did want to know....too many times we assume whn all we needed to do was ask.
  • Indo-Canadian Gay Boy
    Indo-Canadian Gay Boy
    07.06.11 01:22 AM
    Dear Tys,

    No, there's no such thing as Gaydar. But sometimes you just have a feeling, and it turns out to be true.

    Yes, we take on gender traits in a relationship. Male and male. No one pretends to be a woman. You can have a dominant / outgoing / etc vs the opposite, but you can have that in straight relationships too, no?

    We view heterosexuals as humans, as friends, as family members. I don't tell jokes about heterosexuals, but that's just me.

    Its not just a sexual preference, its also an emotional preference. Unless of course someone just wants sex. But you can have that in straight people too, no? We're not trying to imitate your family. We're creating our own relationship, families, life because we want those things (don't all humans)?

    What is expected of you? Don't make hateful jokes or use offensive language. Understand that no one chooses to be gay, just like you never decided to be straight. Love everyone, and stand up for people when they're being marginalized. :) I apologize if I had a defensive tone in my answers.
  • tys
    07.06.11 12:54 AM
    man, whn i saw the title i thought : finally! I will get all my questions answered....but u let me down man.

    some of my questions :

    is there a gaydar?..can they actually identify a like minded person?

    Do they role play?...i mean in a relationship, do they take on gender traits ?

    How do they view hetrosexuals? Do they hve their own jokes abt them?

    Is it just a sexual preference or do they seek emotional commitments? How much of tht is society imbibed? U know? Like imitation of a family?

    Most of all, wht is expected frm me to accept u, apart from understanding tht does not come across as patronizing?

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