My last post listed down some of the gay pubs, cafes and spas and cruising spots in India’s capital Delhi. In this post, let me tell you about the various gay friendly places or things you must visit if you are visiting Mumbai.
Mumbai is called the economic capital of India. It is also where the Indian film industry Bollywood is located (yes, those movies with songs and dance are made here). Mumbai is also called as the city that never sleeps, because even late at night, the streets are bustling with people. The city also has a very active gay scene, thanks to years of activism. So what are the interesting places and gay hangouts that you could visit if you are visiting the city, let’s find out.
Parties : As in Delhi, the city hosts gay parties every weekend. There is no single club where the party is organsied every week. The venue keeps changing and is usually communicated through SMS or whatsapp. Salvation Star, Gay Bombay are some of the party organisers in the city.
The HIVE : The Hive, located in Khar West, often plays hosts to various queer events that are organised by Queer Ink every 2nd Sunday of the month. These events often have movie screenings, workshops, performances etc.
The Humsafar Trust : Humsafar Trust is among the oldest organisations to be working with the queer community. It also used to take out Bombay Dost Magazine, which was the first gay magazine of India back in the 90s. Humsafar Trust works on HIV/AIDS prevention among the LGBT community now, but also runs various queer focussed program. You can drop by their office at Santa Cruz.
Mumbai Local : In my Delhi post, I talked some of the cruising spots. In Mumbai, nothing is more cruisier than the local trains. Taken by millions of people every day for commute, the Mumbai local are packed to the brim always, and are often notorious for the cruising that happens inside. Imagine, hundreds of bodies pushed against each other, it’s natural that there will be action. The 2×2 compartment is well known for some hot action.
Gay Bombay : Gay Bombay, or GB, is the oldest organisation working for gay men in Mumbai. They organise various events for gay men in the city, including parties, health talks, outings etc. They are an unregistered organisation and do not have an office. You can check out their website for updates.
Kashish International Queer Film Festival : The Kashish Film Festival has emerged as a major event in the gay calendar of the city (apart from pride). Held in May, the film festival is billed as the largest South Asian film festival and often stretches over 5 days. If you are in the city during this time, join for some wonderful movies from around the world.
Pride March : Pride march in Mumbai, also called as the Queer Azaadi Mumbai, is held around end of January, and is often preceded by a month full of activities. If you are visiting the city in January, you will be in for a treat! Do check out their website for updates.
Sukhdeep Singh is the Founding Editor of Gaylaxy magazine which is India’s largest English language LGBT magazine. He grew up in Kolkata, in a Sikh family and in a liberal atmosphere. While studying in college he launched Gaylaxy magazine in 2010, which is now also available as an App. His message to the world is: “Treat everyone equally, with love and dignity.”