glbtq: an encyclopedia of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender & queer culture
social sciences
special features
about glbtq

   member name
   Forgot Your Password?  
Not a Member Yet?  

  glbtq Books
  Advertising Opportunities

  Press Kit

  Permissions & Licensing

  Terms of Service

  Privacy Policy




Special Features Index  

Spotlight Hinduism
  Hinduism is the dominant religion of modern India. Though it is no longer as tolerant of same-sex sexual relations as it seems to have been in the past, Hinduism has inspired glbtq writers and spiritual seekers from both the West and the South Asian Diaspora.  
  Buddha Buddhism is a religion based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha or "awakened one," who developed new teaching based on the Brahmanic or Hindu religion. Buddhism is unusual among world religions in that it generally expresses neutrality on the issue of homosexuality.  
  Sir Richard F. Burton Sir Richard F. Burton (1821-1890) was regarded with suspicion during his lifetime because of his knowledge and understanding of same-sex sexual activity, though evidence of his own homosexual leanings is inconclusive. He was the first to translate the Kama Sutra and several other Indian and Arab erotic works into English.  
  Mahesh Dattani Mahesh Dattani (b. 1958) is an Indian playwright, screenwriter, dancer, director, and actor who is an important figure in South Asian gay culture by virtue of his recurrent depiction of queer characters.  
  The New Pre-Raphaelits by Sunil Gupta Sunil Gupta (b. 1953), who has gained international recognition as photographer, curator, and cultural activist, has explored multiple sexual, racial, and cultural identities and challenged restrictive conventions.  
  Hijras Hijras are Indian men who dress and act like women. They have been a presence in India for generations, maintaining a third-gender role that has become institutionalized through tradition.  
  The flag of India India is the largest nation in South Asia, and one of the largest in the world. The country's ancient mythology is replete with stories of both male and female sex change, androgynous gods, and same-sex eroticism, but India today harbors negative attitudes toward homoeroticism and gender variance that largely reflect colonial influences.  
  Indian Art Indian Art not only celebrates sexuality, but also reflects the fact that many of India's gods consider gender to be a fluid affair, sometimes manifesting as androgynes and sometimes switching gender altogether.  
  Christopher Isherwood Christopher Isherwood (1904-1986) was a major Anglo-American novelist and pioneer in the gay liberation movement. He converted to Vedantism in 1940, and set his last novel, A Meeting by the River (1967), in a Hindu monastery on the banks of the Ganges.  
  Firdaus Kanga (b. 1959) is an Indian writer who has explored the intersection of two kinds of marginality: that based on being a member of a sexual minority and that based on being a disabled person. He is the first Indian author to produce a novel with a gay protagonist.  
  Bhupen Khakhar (1934-2003) earned an international reputation for paintings that are explicitly homosexual in theme, but also address universal human needs. In his painting "Yayati," (1987), Khakar combines blunt homoeroticism with references to traditional Indian mythology.  
  Terrence McNally (b. 1939) emerged as America's most important gay playwright since Tennessee Williams in the 1990s. India and Hinduism form an important part of his personal mythology.  
  South Asian Diaspora Literatures rarely address homosexuality, though the South Asian diaspora has recently produced a number of gay and lesbian writers.  
  Today's glbtq Spirituality Movements must be seen as part of a long history in which gender-special people were considered sacred to their tribe or family. Some seekers have turned to the teachings and practices of Eastern mystics for aid in discovering a universal spirit or consciousness dwelling within themselves.  


Sign up for glbtq's free newsletter to receive a spotlight on GLBT culture every month.

e-mail address

privacy policy
 unsubscribe is produced by glbtq, Inc.,
1130 West Adams Street, Chicago, IL   60607 glbtq™ and its logo are trademarks of glbtq, Inc.
This site and its contents Copyright © 2002-2007, glbtq, Inc.  All Rights Reserved.
Your use of this site indicates that you accept its Terms of Service.