In a world filled with toxic masculinity, where there a enormous pressure placed on men to be ‘macho’ and is interpreted as a reflection of their manhood – life for those who have fought to understand, struggle and combat with their sexuality is definitely not easy. As a result of this societal norm, there is a dichotomy of their lives – one that agrees with the terms and conditions of the society, while suppressing other, which remains shrouded in guilt, regret and shame, for no fault of its own.
The Photo series, ‘Coy Mistress’ came into being as Amit Bittoo Dey wanted to tell the world that love knows no gender or age bar, it surpasses all of them. Dey, a fashion photographer based out of Kolkata, depicts this duality in the lives the LGBT community in the city. He identifies as a bisexual man himself and drew from his own and his friends’ experiences from the community and the struggle with sexual identity while conceptualizing the photo series.
The stunning photo series tells the story of a man torn between his duties to the woman he accepted as a wife for society’s sake and his sexuality which draws him towards another man.
“The research for the photo series went on for six months,” Dey told the Indian Express when talking about the ‘Coy Mistress’.
Dey shared the photo series on his Facebook page, which has already been shared hundreds of times and has received an overwhelmingly positive response.
Although the lives of the LGBT+ community in India is engulfed with secrecy, shame and guilt, we have at least reached a point where the conversation about alternate sexualities is not completely shut off.
Here’s to hoping that the world becomes a more accepting and one day we might not have lead these dual lives (Maybe just leave that to Hannah Montana?)
– By Shreyanka Thejaswi