Every time Vinodh Philip tried telling his mother why he didn’t want to marry a girl, he said she would innocuously ask, “Have you joined a choir in Mumbai?” “This was her way of averting an uncomfortable discussion, and she tried this trick at least a dozen times!” Philip laughed as he recalled the conversation. Now 42, Philip said he had been part of a church choir since the age of four. But after moving in 2012 from his hometown of Chennai to work in Mumbai, he left his choir life behind. To please his mom, he decided to revisit his singing talent in 2014. But when he asked his friend Sibi Mathen, a gay-rights advocate, for an LGBTQ-friendly church choir in the city, Mathen was so astonished that he turned around and said, "Are you joking?"
January 22 / NBC News