Chennai - Post Report Question and Answers

Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?

Probably not, but unsure. - Jan 2024

No. Indians are not very understanding of LGBT issues no matter how open some try to pretend they are. Even at work staff were still childish and judgmental about LGBT. - May 2023

No. India is very conservative. Even staff were super conservative and had no interest in learning about people not like them. - Apr 2023

It's as good for the LGBT crowd as it is for the singles. This place is best for families and couples regardless of preference. - Aug 2018

There have been LGBT members of the consulate community who have fared fine. There's a small local LGBT population. South India tends to be more liberal than elsewhere in India, but it's still not the same atmosphere as a coastal U.S. city. - May 2018

Nope. - May 2016

No. Enough said. - May 2015

There is an LGBTQ presence here in Chennai. However, it really isn't out in the open other than the Pride parade and the film festival held every year. - Aug 2013

Surprisingly, quite accepting of folks on all parts of the LGBT spectrum. A leader in India. I am not clear, though, what the actual dating possibilities are in those segments. - Aug 2011

Chennai is very conservative. That being said, there was no outward hostility toward anyone gay or lesbian that I heard of. There is no community for them either on the local economy. - Jun 2010

No overt GLBT scene. - Sep 2009

With some adjustments to expectations, Chennai can be a good place for gay or lesbian expatriates. South Indian culture has no place for non-married persons; marriage is a fact of life for 20somethings of any economic/social/caste class in Chennai. Approx. 90% of marriages are arranged. So, some label Chennai as "conservative". However, this is not a militant conservatism a la Saudi, so there is room in society for independent women-owned businesses, for example. Because of the focus on marriage, there are very few singles with a Western concept of dating in general. Specifically for gay men and lesbians, there is no public space or forum for sexual minority issues. Young men holding hands is non-sexual and is never considered so. Those Westerners with partners have few problems in this setting, and several Western diplomats have brought their partners with few issues. For singles, it's another matter. Almost all gay/lesbian communities--sexual, political, social, or otherwise--are online. The best non-dating online group is Movenpick, dominated mostly by the college-age crowd, good for local information and occasional meet-ups: .There is also a fairly new community/information center with programs and film nights: . There is nothing resembling the gay/lesbian communities/neighborhoods of major Western cities, but friends, dating, or finding small groups of gay/lesbians are available and growing. - Mar 2009

If you bring a partner, I do not forsee any problems. Finding a partner would be a chore indeed. - Aug 2008

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