A couple of years ago, I wrote a blog post about a trip I did to London with Nik during Fashion Week . A couple of months ago I was asked by someone at a men’s magazine, which is kind of an Indian version of GQ, to submit samples of my writing for their consideration and as that is one of my favorite stories and also favorite memories with Nik, that is one of the stories I included. I got a response back saying they liked the story, but requested me to rework it as they felt it had a bit of a gay angle to it.
Of course it had a bit of a gay angle, it was a story about Fashion Week. And everyone knows that any men’s magazine that has a focus on anything other than auto parts, and certainly any magazine that focuses on fashion, grooming and lifestyle is going to have a gay or gay friendly reader base. Most of the men that buy Men’s Health aren’t looking for six ways to a washboard stomach, unless that stomach is attached to someone else. But, as I am trying to get my name out there and get published as much as possible, I had to do as requested.
But the dilemma was figuring out what to change without making the story a lie. I couldn’t turn Nik into a woman and change a night out in London with a great friend to a night out with my girlfriend. I have a friend who is always looking over my shoulder making sure I don’t fudge any details. Besides, I have seen Nik in a wig in a Facebook album and it is not a pretty sight. I removed all obvious references and any vocabulary that automatically gets associated with being gay, even if those words are and have been in the dictionary long before they were attached to stereotypes.
So the article has been rewritten and sent off and hopefully will find itself printed on the pages of a magazine.