It's Complicated: LGBT India Since 2003

For India and LGBT rights, it's three steps forward and two steps back.



January 24, 2010: A model auditions for the Indian Super Queen beauty contest for transgender women in Mumbai. The contest is the first beauty pageant organized for trans women in the country. Such pageants are among the latest in a series of recent attempts to break down barriers for India's transgender citizens. In November 2009 eunuchs claimed victory in a long-standing campaign to be listed as "others," distinct from men and women, on electoral rolls and voter identity cards.


April 19, 2010: Indian wrestlers practice their mud-wrestling skills at Loknath Akhara, a wrestling school in Allahabad. Akhara is India's indigenous form of wrestling and was once a royal national sport. It is based on a physical culture template that dates back thousands of years and is traditionally performed in a sandpit.


November 12, 2010: Dunno Y/ Na Jaane Kyon, a feature-length film with gay characters and themes, premieres. It became one of the best-known LGBT-focused films from India in the last decade. Above, Dostana from 2008; below, Dunno Y/Na Jaane Kyon from 2010; and at bottom, My Brother/Nikhil from 2005, about emerging awareness of HIV and AIDS.

Tags: India, World