India’s only gay magazine back on newsstands

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Bombay Dost, India’s first and only gay magazine, has been relaunched and is now back on sale.

The English-language magazine was forced out of print in 2002 when it ran out of money.

It has now secured funding from the United Nations Development Programme for the next three years, although the first issue will be a limited run of just 1,500 copies.

According to editor-at-large Nitin Karani, social change has meant it can now be sold in major bookstores, rather than being wrapped in brown paper and only available from roadside sellers.

Karani told the Times: “India’s gay community is still illegal, but it is more confident and happier than ever before. We’re not constantly beating our breasts over discrimination and marginalisation. The new magazine reflects that.”

The 56-page glossy contains just one shot of Mr Gay India in swimming trunks, alongside book and art reviews and reportage on gay rights issues. It will cost 150 rupees (£2) and be published twice a year.

The magazine’s official launch party was attended by Bollywood star Celina Jaitley, a former beauty queen who is now one of India’s most famous gay rights advocates.

Speaking at the launch, she said: “It saddens me that people have so much hatred towards sexual minorities and people who show them support. It’s also unfortunate that people have not stopped their hatred against the gay community but have only learnt to mask it.”

She later revealed she had been the target of hate mail after expressing support for the gay community, saying she had found her inbox overflowing with abusive emails.

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