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A collection of oral histories
of LGBT persons

20. Sunil Gupta

Sunil Gupta

Sunil was never shy of his sexuality or sexual desires. He
explored them, even as an adolescent, at the most unexpected
places and with the most unexpected people. But his sexuality
got politicized only when he went to Canada to join his father.
From Canada to UK to India, his life and experiences have truly
been transcontinental, crisscrossing with other Indian LGBT
personalities like Shivananada Khan and Saleem Kidwai. He
has followed not only his professional calling as a world
renowned photographer, but also the calling of his heart to
discover many fulfilling relationships. Sunil has seen life to
the fullest and more. He has taken happiness and heartbreaks
in his stride, including the rather startling realization (at that
time) that he was HIV positive. He now integrates his sexuality
and HIV status with his photographic brilliance to create
snapshots of LGBT history.

Vivek Anand

Concept, Interviews & Direction:
Sridhar Rangayan

project BOLO - vol1

Watch BOLO Video of Sunil Gupta


Excerpts from BOLO Interview

Sunil: So then I discovered Delhi's buses which were and and
still probably quite notorious. So more advanced stuff happened
on the bus, and so then I discovered this was an exciting way
to come home. But there were just very fleeting… Again there
was no talking, no name, no nothing you know. So then I get
off the bus, and then I had those white shorts on, and so I had
to carry my books in front if I had ejaculated in my lovely white
shorts to hide the stains, so that was too.

In fact my clothes became an issue with my parents when
they realized that I had cum in my shorts. So I was hauled off
to a doctor once to see if I had a problem, something I had
wrong with me. I was never scared. It never occurred to me
that it might be a threatening situation. And luckily I never had
a really serious problem… except, once I did.

I lived next to Humayun's Tomb and so it was a fantastic
playground and it was just open… and it's full of places to
have sex and it was being used like that by all of us… you
know, so… and then one local boy who I knew, by then I was
like 13 may be or something, and so we were having sex of
a kind… not penetrative... but we were explicitly going there to
do it… And we arrived at this spot and we weren't actually
doing it, we were standing at two different levels… with these
uniform cops around… So they... I got roughed up and then
they demanded money of me, or something…

I just thought everybody did it… because everybody seemed
to be willing to do it… and I assumed that everybody did it.
All kinds of people did it, everybody who would come to our
house when my parents weren't there, I would try it… and
actually they would say ok… Whether it was the taxman or
the breadwalah (bread supplier). But then it didn't have a
name… and I didn't think I was different from anybody…
and I didn't think it would interfere with what I thought
came later… which is girls.



India : Queer Ink
International : Amazon

Supported by
UNDP India
Produced by
The Humsafar Trust

Associate Producer
Solaris Pictures
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LachiLaxmi Narayan TripathiManvendra Singh GohilNishaParmesh ShahaniR.Raj RaoRuth VanitaSaleem KidwaiShivananda KhanSunil Gupta


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