A recent post on the gay porn site Banana Blog (link NSFW) allegedly showed two Indian straight guys kissing, not once but six times. It’s pretty hot: The two men hold each other close and playfully touch tongues — though one guy seems to be way more into it than the other. It also made us think about why such videos exist and their significance in a country where same-sex intercourse is still illegal.
What should we think of videos showing straight guys kissing?
The Banana Blog featured the video as part of their “Straight Guys Are So Gay” series, and it turns out that videos of straight guys kissing are pretty much their own genre on YouTube. Such videos can be seen either as a homophobic, sensationalized mockery of same-sex affection or a documented exploration (and affirmation) of physical intimacy between men, regardless of their sexual orientations.
Jane Ward, author of the 2015 book Not Gay: Sex Between Straight White Men (a book we covered in the past), says that as straight and gay men become more comfortable being friends with each other, straight men may have become more comfortable flirting with other men, too. In fact, studies show that many self-identified straight men value physically and emotionally intimate “bromances” more than they do their heterosexual romances.
Here’s the video of Indian straight guys kissing:
Straight guys kissing in India is a sign of cultural change
Although it’s not entirely clear when the video was filmed, India finds itself in a tumultuous crossroads of gay rights and public displays of affection between men. India’s Supreme Court is still considering the constitutionality of section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, a law criminalizing same-sex relationships between consenting adults.
Meanwhile LGBTQ people cannot donate blood in India, so called “anti-Romeo” vigilante squads seek out same-sex couples in public for arrest and blackmail and the country’s film certification board banned Ka Bodyscapes, a film about queer male romance.
However, there are signs of progress. India’s first LGBTQ radio show aired earlier last year, a Mumbai LGBTQ parents’ group is slowly gaining members, a 2017 Pride parade in near Bangalore attracted nearly 7,000 attendees, India’s openly gay crown prince announced the opening of an LGBTQ center on royal grounds and a proposed change in the country’s Uniform Civil Code could pave the way for eventual marriage equality.
Here’s a trailer for the 2015 Indian gay romance film, LOEV:
While gay and bi men still face discrimination, disapproval, extortion and violence for their sexual identities, a video of two straight Indian guys kissing at least hints that larger societal change could be underway.
Featured image via Rebel Circus