Coming out to one's parents about sexual orientation can be nerve-racking and dramatic. If the parents are Indian, multiply that anxiety many times over. Out go their plans of arranged marriages, grand weddings, and grandchildren. There's also the question of what relatives and neighbours will say, not to mention colleagues.
And unless the Supreme Court of India scraps Section 377, it's also illegal to have gay sex.
Stand-up comedian Nik Dodani knows this only too well (video above). "Indian culture is very homophobic, which is weird to me because Indian culture is also very gay."
"Just last year Bollywood released 1100 movies, almost every single one of them a musical!" he quips. He also jokes about how his mother finds a way around his orientation to arrange his marriage. She advertises for an Indian lesbian facing similar family problems.
Dodani shot to a version of online fame when this video came out in July last year. An aspiring actor, comedian and activist, he was born and raised in the United States, but through extended family and other experiences he has gained a smattering of understanding of what it means to be LGBTQ in India.
A report in Pink News quotes Dodani as saying,"There are 1.3 billion Indians which means that there are millions, upon millions, upon millions of LGBT Indians – but it just blows my mind that there are so few openly LGBT Indians in entertainment or politics or business."
"I think that invisibility fuels the homophobia and keeps the homophobia alive," he added.