Nuwas Manto

A Pakistan based LGBT youth activist and the founder of Pakistan Queer Movement, the aim of which is to seek respect,equality and freedoms for LGBT community in Pakistan.

We’re here, we’re queer, deal with it!

In 2003, Brazil brought the case for homosexual rights on the United Nations table, only to be derailed at the last minute by Muslim and African countries. Instead, amendments were introduced and approved for the removal of any reference to discrimination based on sexual orientation. My country, Pakistan, was the captain of Team Homophobe. It distributed a memo to the member states declaring that the approval of the recommendation would be: “A direct insult to 1.2 billion Muslims around the world.” This year, thanks to three abstentions, China being absent, Libya’s suspension and the efforts of South Africa to table the resolution again, it was ...

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The Birdcage, distorted in Pakistan

Having first learned of the theatrical debut of ‘BirdCage’ in Lahore, I could not help but feel jubilation and mirth. A gay-themed play? I almost fainted with anticipation. This was something I was definitely going to watch. First things first. The producer Dawar Lashari, co-producers Waleed Zafar and Shaheryar Khan and director Ijlal Khan must not only be thanked for bringing us this light-hearted comedy amidst these insane times to our country, where one cannot switch to news channels without expecting another macabre breaking news, but also they should be lauded for their courage to even think of staging a gay-themed play. However, ...

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