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A collection of oral histories
of LGBT persons

19. Shivananda Khan

Shivananda Khan

Shiv belongs nowhere and yet everywhere. Born in a remote
North Eastern state of India, then migrating to UK, fighting
racism and setting up a support group of South Asian LGBT
persons in London, followed by health support groups for MSM
across India, Bangladesh and other South Asian countries -
these are progressions on a pathbreaking journey that takes
Shiv to being honoured by the Queen herself with an OBE.
Shiv is now Sir Shivananda Khan. But he wears these honours
lightly and continues to tirelessly work for the causes he
believes in - from some of the remotest corners of the world
to the highest corridors of power - Shivananda Khan straddles
several worlds and personalities with élan and conviction.

Vivek Anand

Concept, Interviews & Direction:
Sridhar Rangayan

project BOLO - vol1

Watch BOLO Video of Shivananda Khan


Excerpts from BOLO Interview

Shiv: ...And I suddenly started realizing that there are several
issues… one is culture - woman are more pleased, it is very
hard to find girl friends and sexual partners, very difficult to find
sexual partners. May be now it's easier for certain Indians, but
for certain who were working, there wasn't... there wasn't this
division between men, between what they do with their bodies
and with whom they do with; whether it is to do with men or
women. There wasn't an antagonism whether I was doing
homosexual sex or heterosexual sex, I am just doing sex.
There was the whole concept of 'masti' (fun) that is visible to
me… that this is not sex anyway and so I can have lots of
fun, this is not sex anyway, and the only sex I am going to do
is with my wife.

All of this was staring at me… and we started counting in
numbers… and we realized that male-to-male sex is very
common in our country for a whole host of reasons compared
to western countries… which meant that the risk of HIV
transmission was higher in our country, compared to other
western countries like UK, America. Unless we change the
construction of the way we see gender, sexualities and
masculinities and feminities, we are never gonna deal with
the issues of HIV. It is easy among gay man because they
confuse these things with the other… but having a gay identity is
very much linked to class, income, its not a generic framework.

The advantage of - my education, my multi ethnic background
and my anger at how we have been treated as human beings -
all of these became like a well-cooked soufflé…



India : Queer Ink
International : Amazon

Supported by
UNDP India
Produced by
The Humsafar Trust

Associate Producer
Solaris Pictures
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