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Why are male callers jamming a lesbian helpline in India?

Why are male callers jamming a lesbian helpline in India?

More than 80% of calls to India’s first lesbian helpline in Chennai are from men – but why?

Aksam, a 24-year-old boxing coach who volunteers at the helpline, said some men called to try and get contact numbers for lesbians while others were curious about lesbianism and relationships between women.

‘Some men call up and say they have a sister or wife or a relative who is attracted to women. Finally, they ask for contact numbers of lesbians,’ she told the Times of India.

‘When we ask them to pass the phone to the woman, they refuse. A few men ask questions like how women are attracted to other women and how it is to be in a relationship.’

The Indian Community Welfare Organisation launched the helpline in February 2009 after a lesbian couple committed suicide in the city. The helpline calls from across Tamil Nadu state as well as south Indians settled in London, Australia and Singapore.

Psychiatrist Dr Vasantha Jeyaraman said it was normal to be curious about something that is not in public view.

‘Some men would get pleasure out of making such calls or few would want to try their luck while some heterosexuals would want to ridicule the women,’ she said.

‘It could be anything but only irresponsible men would make such calls.’