India — As Pride Month almost draws to a close, we take a look at some Instagram influencers who keep the queer mojo alive the whole year round. These influencer couples travel, live together, and post about their adventures on Instagram. Hindustan Times got in touch with three such couples – Yogi and Kabeer, Pawlyamorous and Honey Imm Home – names you might’ve already come across on Instagram. Here’s how these couples view love, connections and the paths that led them to one another.
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Divesh Tolani and Atulan Purohit have over 60,000 followers on their travel blog on Instagram, named Honey Imm Home. They met at a dance group where Atulan was Divesh’s senior. In time, they chose to travel to Goa as this encounter lasted longer than their dance endeavours. “But, as we finished this trip, we decided that this freedom is something we wanna feel more often,” which led to their travel blog. “We showcase how normal love is, whether it’s a heterosexual couple (that the society sees more of) or a homosexual couple, like us,” they add.
To make tourism destinations more welcoming towards queer people, they advise, “As a manager, one should make sure that the staff is educated on the part that we are humans too, and are to be treated with the same respect and care that they would treat their other customers with.” The duo researches and produces content that demonstrates to LGBTQIA+ people that they can travel the world comfortably and make the most of it.
Yogi and Kabeer are both radio jockeys who, lo and behold, met through working at different branches of the same radio network six years ago. They currently co-host Shuddh Desi Gay, a podcast on Spotify as a result of this. “We wanted to discuss what being a monogamous gay couple meant for us. Some of the other popular topics we discussed were homophobia, long-distance relationships and heartbreak,” they say.
“We want our listeners to know that they are not alone, and desi queer people, from simple backgrounds, exist – who talk and look like them. It’s not a western concept.”
Shruti Chakravarty and her partner Pooja Nair document their journey on the Instagram page named Pawlyamorous. “Be persistent with your truth, unlearn shame and accept yourself,” Shruti suggests, so as to have a secure future with a partner of your choice.
Being able to manage the repercussions of having a publicly queer relationship and sharing one’s experience will be simpler, Shruti thinks, as one gains financial and emotional freedom. “Since people drew strength and solidarity from how we are, we started doing it a bit more intentionally,” she concludes.
These couples use their platforms and the empowerment that they have worked towards, to motivate younger people who wish to live and express themselves freely, as they should.
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