Bollywood central is becoming the passage to gay India.

When the poster for the Indian film ”Dunno Y… Na Jaane Kyun” ricocheted around the web last summer, it constituted a cultural sea change. Though by Bollywood standards the image was minimalist – no manic chorus line, no candy colors – it featured two topless men passionatly embracing.

The premiere was delayed, and actor Kapil Sharma recieved death threats, but this Indian answer to ”Brokeback Mountain” would have been unthinkable until recently. And while the cultural revolution may be moving slowly in the hinterland, the city of Mumbai has emerged as one of the most intriguing new gay destinations.

Already the country´s economic capital, Mumbai is home to flashy Bollywood, the country´s IT industry, and a cosmopolitan population. ”People here tend to mind their own business,” says Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil, India´s only openly gay prince, and a major supporter of ”Dunno Y…” ”And gay life is evolving quickly in Mumbai. There are gay rights organizations, an evolving party scene, and a sophisticated intellectual scene.” Delhi´s high court decriminalized homosexuality in Juyl 2009, and according to GayBombay.org, one of the city´s cultural anchors, there are now about 750 000 gay men in Mumbai – a conservative estimate given the city´s population of around 15 million.

How to access the nascent but percolating scene? Start with an increasingly spirited mass media. Prince Manvendra has launced two magazines: ”Bombay Dost”, emphasizing gay empowerment, and ”Fun”, which he says focuses on ’gadgets, grooming, and psycological counseling.’ Also featured: ’the sensuos modell of the month.’

But websites remain at the centre of queer life in Mumbai. Gay Bombay, founded in 2001, bills itself as the largest LGBT Yahoo! Group in the world, throwing parties and providing info on legal issues, health, and sex. SalvationStar.com, which targets a younger audience, sponsors it´s own club nights, including a Friday night Supa´Party at Dios Lounge, with a large dancefloor, open air terraces, and revolving DJs.

Perhaps the biggest sign of change is that now Mumbai´s gay life is extending beyond the Internet. Voodoo (VoodooIndia.com) is one of the few clubs to advertise a mixed night, every Saturday, and its exurberant crowd makes up for the cramped, sweaty space. Then there is Azaad Bazaar (AzaadBazaar.com), recently opened in the stylish Bandra shopping district, which bills itself as India´s first LGBT pride shop. The boutique stocks pride mugs and T-shirts bearing slogans like ’PINK SHEEP OF THE FAMILY’ and ’YOUR HANDCUFFS OR MINE?’ One of the most popular tees features the saying ’LOVE IS LOVE’. Oras Mohandas Gandhi put it, ”A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave.”

Words by: Raphael Kadushin, Out Magazine - Feb. 2011
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Is Leonardo da Vinci´s boytoy The Mona Lisa?

Is Leonardo da Vinci´s student, and some historians claim; male lover, Gian Giacomo Caprotti – depicted above as John the Baptist – the person Leo modelled his mysterious Mona Lisa after?

One researcher, at least, is sure. Silvano Vinceti presented his findings this week, after years of research into the unknown origins of the Mona Lisa model.

The Mona Lisa Painting has been source to much controversy, and the fact that it´s painted over many years have fueled speculations for decades.

To be honest i do see a resemblance between Gian as John the Baptist and Mona Lisa, so maybe Silvano is right?

Ground Zero mosque Imam speaks out against gays.

The imam at the forefront of the proposed Ground Zero mosque in New York says that homosexuality is mainly caused by emotional or sexual abuse. During one of his frequent online lectures, Abdallah Adhami, 44, stated that being gay was a “painful trial” which results from past trauma. He went on to say that;

“An enormously overwhelming percentage of people struggle with homosexual feeling because of some form of violent emotional or sexual abuse at some point in their life. A small, tiny percentage of people are born with a natural inclination that they cannot explain. You find this in the animal kingdom at some level as well.”

According to the New York Post, Adhami also said that Muslims who leave Islam and preach their new faith should be jailed.

“If you look over the Koran from cover to cover, you literally have the right to reject God’s message. The only thing you do not have the right to do is spread this conviction, lest you, quote-unquote, ‘pollute’ others. If someone leaves the din, leaves the path privately, they cannot be touched. If someone preaches about apostasy or preaches their views, they’re jailed . . . Many jurists have said they have to be killed.”

Adhami joined the Park51 project this month. It is a planned 13-story Muslim community center to be located two blocks from the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan. For the most part, the building will be open to the general public and it has been stated that the centre will promote interfaith dialogue. It will contain a Muslim prayer space that has controversially been referred to as the ‘Ground Zero mosque, but backers insist that the centre is designed to be;

“a platform for multi-faith dialogue, to promote inter-community peace, tolerance and understanding locally in New York City, nationally in America, and globally”.