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

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0761936480
ISBN-10: 0761936483
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Editorial Reviews


"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)

"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)

"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)

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))

The book is a timely study of a historical phenomenon.

(The Man)

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.


Gay Bombay comes highly recommended for anyone who is interested in how globalisation works, in India today, and Shahani’s pioneering study provides a multi faceted and illuminating introduction to brand new scene.


Well researched and written in a frank and conversational style, the book manages to bridge the gap between being heavily academic and serious and being frivolous and mushy. The book also represents a coming-to-terms with the self, for its author who is a gay.


About the Author

Parmesh Shahani, listed in 2012 as one of 25 Indians to watch out for by Financial Times, is the head of the Godrej India Culture Lab- an experimental idea-space that cross–pollinates the best ideas and people working on India from across the academic, creative and corporate worlds to explore what it means to be modern and Indian. In addition, Parmesh also serves as the Editor-at-large for Verve magazine, India. He is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, a Yale World Fellow, a TED Fellow, an MIT Futures of Entertainment Fellow, and a Utrecht University-Impakt Fellow. You can learn more about Parmesh on http://www.parmesh.net/ and follow him on Twitter at @parmeshs. 


Product Details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications Pvt. Ltd (April 14, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761936483
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761936480
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #167,937 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This path-breaking study offers an exhaustive list of references and some very condensed academic perspectives, but balances these with personal recollections - 'memoryscapes' - and responses from interviewees. The first of its kind, this book explores the factors behind Gay Bombay, an online and offline social forum for 'gay' (and the term is problematised thoroughly in the opening section) people in the city. A very interesting read, both for the academic and the casual observer. I thought the best thing about this was the variety of perspectives presented, as well as some really moving personal accounts.
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