Shakuntala V Khire, 70 (Former Teacher, Pune)

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Bindumadhav Khire, 44
(Founder, Samapathik Trust, A Support Group For The LGBT In Pune)

By Shonali Ghosal

Shakuntala V Khire and Bindumadhav Khire
Shakuntala V Khire and Bindumadhav Khire, Photo: Milind Wadekar

THIRTY-YEAR-OLD Bindumadhav Khire got divorced within a year of being married. “After that, we thought he should get married again, but he came back from the US and told us he was gay,” says his mother Shakuntala. “At first, I thought it is not right, because there was nobody in our family like that. How would we face other people?” His father said it was a sin and Shakuntala hoped he would “change his orientation” or “let go of it”. She even took him to a psychiatrist who said it was perfectly normal. So, instead she read books about homosexuality and watched movies like Amol Palekar’s Quest and Onir’s My Brother… Nikhil to try and understand how her son, who was neither effeminate nor girly, was gay. Though her husband is still uncomfortable about Bindumadhav’s sexual orientation, signing the petition was Shakuntala’s way of, “standing by him, for him to live life as he wants”.

Shonali Ghosal is a Correspondent with Tehelka. 
[email protected]

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