Dr. Ranade’s book, Growing Up Gay In Urban India, is based on the experiences and research of lesbians and gays that grew up in Pune and Mumbai in the 1980s-to 1990s. The book offers its audience an insider’s perspective on the psychological and emotional encounters and experiences of LGBTQ people in urban India.
Growing Up Gay In Urban India begins with a critique of the authoritarian structures used to study the development of children and adults, with distinct attention to the development of sexual identity. From a psychosocial point of view, Dr. Ranade tries to grasp the experiences of those interviewed during the project. In addition, the book emphasizes the scarcity of resources on the formation of homosexual identity.
Dr. Ranade’s book follows the experiences of gay and lesbian individuals in their neighborhoods, schools, within their homes, and interactions with their friends. The book also follows their journeys of self-discovery and their community while enclosed in a mainly heterosexual society.
While the author wrote the book from a psychosocial perspective, they also wrote it from the perspective of a queer feminist activist. They provide vital insights into the experiences of kids who grew up while receiving constant cues about their expression and being from their parents, friends, teachers, doctors, and counselors because of how they felt ‘different’ from their peers, friends, and siblings.
The author brings to light the unique challenges this group faces while growing up and the complex process associated with ‘coming out.’ Growing Up Gay In Urban India highlights this group’s experiences while meeting people they identify with, forming and developing intimate romantic relationships, friendships, families of choice, and political solidarity.
The author adopts a critical viewpoint of development studies, child development, and developmental psychology that makes a gene, making assumptions on gender binarism and heteronormativity. Growing Up Gay In Urban India attracts a wide readership ranging from human rights and mental health scholars, psychologists, cultural studies, childhood and youth studies, sociology, anthropology, and social work.
Dr. Ranade summarizes the four major suggestions used throughout the book to find day-to-day general themes of self-concept and disparities faced by young queer individuals. This includes the differences in the experiences of individuals in particular LGBTQ communities, to eventually showcase the distinctiveness of individual experiences depending on their specific psychosocial settings and conditions.
This is then followed by an awareness of the study’s constraints and comments on future research, focusing on the socio-cultural challenges encountered by members of the LGBTQ community throughout their lives. Dr. Ranade’s goal in creating this book was to spark essential and long-overdue conversations between the health and social care professions in India.
This objective is supported by the style and tone of the text. Even though the first two chapters contain comprehensive literature reviews, which may be overwhelming to individuals inexperienced with the subject or unfamiliar with digesting scientific papers, the text accounts for that in future chapters that provide the necessary balance to bring the critical elements to life. Overall, everyone should read this book if they have a genuine desire to understand the experience of others, whoever they may be.