Friday, July 17, 2009

The New Face Of Indian Homophobia


[Image] Crazy Sam's Bloginess: Stop Homophobia

We condemned Aussies when they unleashed racial attacks on Indians. We gasped in horror when we saw how inhumanely the assailers had brought injuries on the victims. Now what do we have to say when Indians themselves are proving that they are no different from those Aussie racists. Last week in Delhi, an openly homosexual man was slashed by a guy representing a religious group, in front of everyone at a gay party. (You can read the write up of the victim’s partner here.) Even though homophobia was rampant in Indian society, the recent advancements in the gay rights movement has angered many and in turn raised this hatred to an entirely new level. (Finally matching up to US standards, if I may say.)

While the Delhi High Court judgement decriminalizing gay sex between consenting adults garnered widespread positive response from within India and outside, it felt like a huge blow for a certain group who wishes to stay deaf and blind in the name of religion. This group tries hard to forget the age-old saying, "Live and let live." They make themselves believe that every nuisance they stimulate is justifiable if it is for a religious cause. And I’m afraid this could just be the beginning, and assault on homosexuals could become Crazy Sam's Bloginess: Homophobia? Now That's A Choice!a trend for them to get media publicity and to spit their venomous thoughts. (Just like how a religious gang bashed women reasoning that the gals were violating traditional Indian norms. This group also created unnecessary hysteria over Valentine's Day.) Therefore all openly homosexuals in India should be alert.

Harish Iyer, one of the leading gay voices from Mumbai advices, "Keep someone informed when we travel to any place on a date or even otherwise. Keep SOS numbers (friends/parents/siblings etc.) on speed dial and train your mind for quick reflexes under the event of an attack. And at least for sometime don’t engage in PDA (public display of affection), even if the straight people do."

Weren't religions born to unite people and to bring love and compassion in us? Funny that it is now doing the exact opposite!

And as if religions were not enough, now yoga (coz every Tom, Dick and Harry is going after religion, it's time to try something new!) is used to substantiate the opinions terming that homosexuality is a disease and purely borrowed from western culture. While most of us know how ridiculous those statements are, this is just yet another application of, "Strike while the iron is hot." Anyone else wants to tell the world that we are perverts and make media appearances? Please do. Instant fame guaranteed coz our newspapers and TV channels are so dying to get your 'bites'.

We have every reason to rejoice on finally becoming non-criminals in the eyes of law. But the Delhi High Court has acknowledged our right only due to the continual and persistent efforts of Naz Foundation. They submitted the petition in 2001 and they were fighting a legal battle for eight long years to finally bring the judgement in our favour. Now that the Supreme Court has agreed to consider a petition seeking to repeal the High Court’s ruling, Naz Foundation is gearing up for the next battle. Let's hope and pray that the Supreme Court will uphold the High Court's decision.

[Image] Crazy Sam's Bloginess: The Rainbow Eye

Even if the law changes, the mindset of the people will not change overnight. For this to happen, we need the support of the straight community as well.

Blogosphere is a great medium to enlighten the public. Jo, even though straight, is always man enough to write about issues faced by gays in his blog whenever there happens an incident affecting homosexuals. He had also shared to his readers about the days when he and his friends used to make fun of homosexuals, what all misconceptions he had about gays, and finally realizing how wrong he was. (You can read his post here.)

The friends I came out to, are a huge support not just for me, but for the gay community as well. Phoebe and her group of friends have discussions about homosexuality in their college.

Monica tries to correct the false believes of her roommates. They were shocked when they learnt that she reads this blog and that she has a gay friend. They began to warn her about how dangerous gays are and how one should really be careful when befriending them. And these words are coming from the so-called educated IT professionals of the 21st century, residing in one of the Indian metropolitan cities.

And there is this another friend, who recently became aware of my sexual orientation. She was uber-excited hearing the Delhi High Court’s judgement. Later when I chatted with her, her words really touched me. "You are probably the only reason why I’m not against it (decriminalization of homosexuality)." She said, "I don’t think you are lying when you say you like a guy. So it’s not some mentally distorted thing, it is real. And to discriminate is like being a sexual racist."

[Image] Crazy Sam's Bloginess: Homophobia - Insecurity about being heterosexual

Check out these related posts too!
An Equal Love
The Right To Do "I Do"
The Gay Parade And The Media

  • Queer Ranter July 17, 2009 at 8:50 AM

    Welcome to the dark side of religion. Merciful yet so merciless. Such irony don't you think?

  • Anonymous July 17, 2009 at 7:40 PM

    Oh my god Sammy, amazing post! And I'm absolutely stunned at the comparison you've drawn between the attacks in Australia, and those in India!

    I shall certainly keep that in mind!

    Indeed, a brilliant write-up and compilation...

  • Crazy Sam July 20, 2009 at 10:34 AM

    QR, I believe religion is always merciful, but people wish to perceive it as merciless so that they can exert power on others.

    Thank you so much Unsung, your words made my day!

  • Harmanjit Singh July 20, 2009 at 9:26 PM

    Some perspectives:

  • Vee July 21, 2009 at 3:10 PM

    We are a hypocritical society.

    All the points you have talked of is true. I was peeved when Media highlighted the 'Indian Students' being beaten in Oz. For that, we called them racist. In B'lore I have seen discrimination against people from North-East and sometimes to North Indians.. Maharashtrians shoo out Biharis n UP wallas. What is all this then if not racism?

    And coming to 377. I just have one thing to say. It is totally none's business I sleep/marry a boy, girl, tree or animal. Period.

  • Crazy Sam July 22, 2009 at 8:00 PM

    Harmanjit, this comment is not specifically directed at you, but at those who try to defend their homophobia with your said perspectives.

    [1] The gay-hating people should understand that the homosexuals didn't have a choice. They felt the attraction towards same sex just like heterosexuals felt for the opposite sex. Did heterosexuals have a choice on getting attracted towards the opposite sex? The homophobia makes our life arduous and forces us to live a closeted life. Do you think would any one "choose" a life which faces constant ridicule and contempt?

    [2] If sex was just a mechanical act for reproduction, I don't think we would have been given the sense to feel the pleasure that comes out of it. If heterosexuals can have sex for the sake of getting sexual pleasure, why can't homosexuals have the same?

    [3] VIOLATION OF YOUNG MALES BY ELDER MALES FOR SEXUAL PLEASURE IS NOT ASSOCIATED WITH HOMOSEXUALITY. Pedophiles are a different breed altogether. Please understand, a pedophile is not the same as a homosexual. This is what the gay community is trying hard to make others realize. I'm not finding fault, but if you analyze, most of the pedophilic acts are done by the so-called "heterosexuals."

    A woman doesn't choose to have lesbian relationship. I say, stop butting in to others lives and see how much satisfied are we with our personal lives and try to improve it rather than finding reasons to hate others. Who are we to dictate others on how they should conduct their personal lives? If somebody is not interested in you, MOVE ON!

    [4] If a person is homosexual, it doesn't mean every one of the same sex becomes his/her target. Just like heterosexuals get attracted to only certain people, homosexuals feel the same. Just because I'm gay, I don't get attracted to every person who has a schlong. If a person feels he could be targeted because a friend reveals his homosexuality, I would say he has insecurity issues regarding his sexuality.

    [5] Stop picturing how it would be when two homosexuals do sex. Why do you even bother to imagine such things when you are clearly not interested in having one?

    [6] Society is having too much time to meddle with others personal affairs. It's high time that we give importance to what is going on with us, rather than peeking in to others lives. Gays are not celebrities for God's sake!

    [7] Coming out is in fact a big thing for us. We expect the worst things to happen when we come out. But then knowing that, there are people whom we care about, in turn care about us for who we are and that, they do not wish to change a thing about us to continue the friendship/relationship, in fact becomes a testimony of that strong bond. Don't you think such friendships/relationships are rare and it indeed should be taken as a big thing?

    About wearing ones sexuality on sleave, not every homosexuals do that. I have met many gays and I haven't felt even one as "wearing his sexuality on sleave." It all depends on how you want to percieve homosexuality generally.

    Don't straight guys tell each other in the most bizarre and explicitly graphic ways about how they wish to "handle" a gal? Don't you think it is a kind of wearing sexuality by straight men?

    Sexual orientation and sexuality shouldn't have been a focal point in our lives, but it became that way only because people were intolerant and didn't want to see homosexuality in good sense. People wanted to see us as inferior beings just because of our sexual orientation. Equality then became a paramount issue. Homophobes first make it a big issue, not homosexuals.

    [8] Every one who is promiscuous are at increased risk of sexually transmitted disease irrespective of whether they are straight or gay. When the subject of sex itself is considered as a taboo, how are we to expect educating people on safe-sex?

    Continues on the next comment..

  • Crazy Sam July 22, 2009 at 8:01 PM

    Continues from the previous comment..

    [9] I liked the way you put - "stereotypically seen as flagrantly promiscuous and unwilling or unable to hold long term relationships."

    Do you think a heterosexual relationship could stand a chance if it is being constantly subjected to ridicule and contempt from the society and when every minute of it is lived in secrecy?

    And.. not homosexuals, but men are promiscuous. If women were as carefree, unrestrained, aroused and lascivious as men, we could have seen a different picture altogether on the heterosexual promiscuousness.

    [10] Homosexuals feel comfortable not only in the company of other homosexuals, but also with the people who are secure about their sexuality and who doesn't make a fuss of others sexual preference.

  • Crazy Sam July 23, 2009 at 1:17 PM

    I agree with you Vee, we Indians are quite racists ourselves. But when it pushes one to the extend of physically assaulting the other, it cannot be considered as just racism.

  • Vee July 23, 2009 at 2:46 PM

    Something for u here:

  • Anonymous July 23, 2009 at 5:58 PM

    I am so sad to hear that. We just hope that someday there will come a change for the better and that all people regardless of gender will have equal rights same as what we homosexuals enjoy in our country.

  • Mark Zamen July 24, 2009 at 6:27 AM

    The points you bring up in this post are undeniably true and the anger expressed is certainly justified. While recent court decisions and pending legislation are encouraging, it cannot be denied that we have a long way to go. The sad fact is that a large segment of society, both in the U.S. and abroad, still regards gay men and women (among various minorities) as second-class citizens - or worse. That is the salient point of my recently released biographical novel, Broken Saint. It is based on my forty-year friendship with a gay man, and chronicles his internal and external struggles as he battles for acceptance (of himself and by others). More information on the book is available at

    Mark Zamen, author

  • leo November 22, 2009 at 11:47 PM

    It's a bit unrelated, but I just wanted to get it off my back...I haven't come out of the closet and am pretty uptight about not letting anyone guess the truth unless I want them to...That's why I act a bit homophobic around my friends cause it feels like the ultimate safeguard to not let them suspect...but i feel terrible whenever I pass a comment like "That's so gay..." or calling a friend a fag when he wears a pink tee...what should I do??

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