You are here

Gay Bombay

Gay Bombay
Globalization, Love and (Be)longing in Contemporary India

First Edition
  • Parmesh Shahani - Head, Godrej India Culture Lab, and Editor-at-Large, Verve Magazine, India

April 2008 | 352 pages | SAGE Publications Pvt. Ltd

Through a multi-sited ethnography in an online-offline community, Parmesh Shahani examines how Internet technologies, the media industry, audiences and broader socio-historical contexts shape gay identity in contemporary urban India. He realizes that the identity of a gay man in the community is negotiated on the stability of the idea of Indianness. For readers across the world focused on India, Gay Bombay will serve as a memorable journey through various transitions in urban India.



Introduction: The Heart has its Reasons
From This Perspective...
Up Close and Personal
Media Matters
Straight Expectations
Conclusion: Disco Jalebi

"Shahani's Gay Bombay traces the modern and the old with charming first person. This book takes you to the television studios, the editing rooms, the dance floors, the chat rooms and the private parlours to discover gay Bombay in all its subtle victories, intimate vibrancy and surprising diversity."

Wendell Rodricks

"Parmesh Shahani is an original. …This book will inspire and provoke many interested in understanding the intersections between sexuality, globalization, and new media."

Henry Jenkins
Author of Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide

"Gay Bombay is a must-read! Shifting seamlessly through the personal, the Gay Bombay community, the national and the transnational, the book gives the reader unique understanding into what is means to be gay and Indian." 

Jyoti Puri
Director, Graduate Program in Gender/Cultural Studies, Simmons College

"Gay Bombay is a path-breaking study of homosexuality in modern Bombay/Mumbai that will be essential reading for students of gender and sexuality."

Rachel Dwyer
Professor of Indian Cultures and Cinema, University of London

Gay Bombay is an academic work…. Still, this is an unconventional formal study with some engaging and revealing sections. Not only does Shahani tackle three contemporary topics (gay studies, the internet and globalisation), he weaves personal snapshots into the exploration. They are vivid and emotional. The text becomes part-memoir. His own sexual discoveries and close relationships are laid bare, bringing to life an evolving reality that would otherwise remain mostly in the realm of theory.


In his book, Gay Bombay, Parmesh Shahni explores the life and struggle of homosexuals in a country like India. The book is a compilation of a set of debates and essays on ethnography, and also has stories and excerpts from his life.

Chennai Chronicle

The book contains first-person narratives from the author, who is also gay. He realises that the identity of a gay man in the community is negotiated on the stability of the idea of Indianness.

The Times of India

Within the book, the author attempts to provide various macro and micro perspectives on what it means to be a gay man located in Gay Bombay.

Yuva (Mumbai)

Books like Gay Bombay challenge the homophobe to come out of the closet and deal with denial. It is certainly a welcome and weighty addition to the rational voices within the Indian gender discourse.

The New Indian Express

The book is dedicated to whom it means the world, liberalisation and much more.

City Express (NIE)

Preview this book

For instructors

To inquire about the availability of this title for review (print and/or digital), please contact your local sales representative or call (800) 818-7243.

Select a Purchasing Option

ISBN: 9780761936480

This title is also available on SAGE Knowledge, the ultimate social sciences online library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.