MUMBAI: Like all other mothers, Padma Iyer, a Mumbai resident too wants to see her son settled happily in his married life. But what makes her different is that she is not in search of a bride, but a groom for her son and has even given a matrimonial advertisement for the same.
In a pioneering move, Iyer placed a matrimonial advertisement for her gay son on Tuesday which experienced an outburst of support and criticism, both on social media with several even tagging the movie as ‘one of its kind’ in India.
A well known name in the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community of Mumbai, 36-year-old Harish Iyer has all support from his 58-year-old mother who only wishes to see her son happy and settled and is anxious that he finds a right partner.
Speaking about the same, Padma Iyer said, “I am getting old and I want my son to find a companion before I leave the world, even though it is a male companion.”
Padma had expressed a wish in the past to start a matrimonial medium for gay men along with some compatible people but the plan could not be executed.
However, keeping in mind her son’s happiness, Padma has taken the responsibility to find a suitable match for her son.
The gay matrimonial advert for Harish was published on Tuesday which read, “Seeking, 25-40, well-placed, animal-loving, vegetarian groom for my son (36, 5'11), who works with an NGO.”
It further added, “Caste no bar (Though Iyer Preferred)”. The advertisement in several aspects is similar to the thousands of other Indian matrimonial ads that are seen frequently as well as the caste preference which also drew some criticism on social media platforms.
On being quizzed about it, Padma Iyer, clear in her thoughts explained, “How are the concerns of a gay child different from others?”
The advertisement has grabbed a massive attention on different social media platforms and Harrish has even received a couple of responses within a day. According to a media report, the gay rights activist has claimed of receiving six responses so far on his advertisement.
Iyers believe that it is a good signal for their endeavor which in the beginning faced a lot of resistance.
As the support and response on the advertisement floods in, the mother-son duo is hopeful of finding a partner for Harrish soon.
After a suitable match is found, activist Harish is planning to marry his partner as per the regular rituals.
“I believe my wedding will be a vegetarian occasion but will be a mix of the best customs of all religions and castes,” said the hopeful groom, adding, that a lot of emphasis would be given on the preferences of the partner groom as well.
Padma Iyer faced a lot of difficulties in publishing an advertisement in newspapers initially where she wanted a groom for her gay son.
The lady narrating her experience of advertising with different publications said that it all started with DNA who reportedly told her that it was not possible to place a matrimonial ad
in which a gay man is trying to find a groom on legal grounds.
Mrs. Iyer then allegedly approached The Times of India which initially seemed excited about it but later denied publishing it citing ‘legal issues’.
The story continued with Hindustan Times which replied, “Sorry to say but we can’t carry this Advertisement in HT Matrimonial Section’s.”
Speaking about the gay rights, Harish Iyer explained to a media report, “Under Section 377, gay sex is illegal, but marriage between the same sex is not. It is void and has no legal sanction.”
The last publication Iyers opted was mid-day that finally took the decision of publishing the advertisement.
Here are some reactions Harish Iyer’s matrimonial ad received on Twitter:
Mother Padma,placed gay matrimonial ad for her son Harrish Iyer (36),as first of its kind in country... pic.twitter.com/8z0giLCtmo
— QueenBee ♕ (@vaidehisachin) May 20, 2015
— sudha pillai (@sudhapillai) May 20, 2015
"She said she wouldn't mind even if I marry someone differently-abled" - Harish Iyer "Even if I marry someone differently-abled" Sigh!
— Right To Rebel (@bprerna) May 20, 2015
So we're ready to let go of sexual orientation when it comes to marriage but not community/caste? So amused by the Harish Iyer matrimonial.
— Orange Jammies (@orangejammies) May 20, 2015
Harish Iyer's caste preference becomes more disgusting with defense being clarified. "I'm not racist, I have a black friend".
— Richard Kamei (@Ridchard) May 20, 2015
Mother seeks groom for her son in India's first gay personals advert: Message looking for husband for activist Harish Iyer subverts t...
— Ejeheri Martins Ayo (@m_matino2) May 20, 2015