I like Disney movies and Katy Perry, but I am not gay!

Published: October 7, 2013
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I am effeminate but I am straight. Deal with it! PHOTO: FILE

Since I was a child, I have been bullied and called names. People have always been cruel to me and it took me a few years to understand that I should not let it get to me. Growing up, nobody wanted to hang out with me; children my age hated me and I was never picked for anything – let alone being picked last. Even the mothers of these kids despised me and adults made fun of me.

All this, and only because I was a boy with effeminate traits. ‘I say ‘was’ because I like to think that I have evolved pretty much since then, although those characteristics still exist a somewhere inside me.

What hurts the most is that people could have supported me and let me figure things out by myself, but instead they opted for the way that seemed natural and innate to them – the way of offence. The fact is that anything out of the ordinary is always condemned and so was I. People were just never good to me; not even my teachers or my peers. Hence, it was hard to make friends and even my best friend was sceptic about hanging out with me at first, simply out of fear of what people would say. I was a menace, an outcast; and only because I was ‘girlish’. That, I learned the hard way, is something a guy can never be.

The world has defined a certain way of life with specific characteristics of behaviour that classify who is who and what is what. However, the truth is that we are all unique, and we are all God’s created beings. Nevertheless, people, refuse to see it that way; they would rather put a label on everything and then hate the people who don’t accept their labels. In fact, people who go against their definitions are shunned and looked down upon. Some labels are derogatory in themselves and the so the ‘different’ person becomes an ideal spectacle to be made fun of or excluded.

Our society defines certain ways in which a guy is supposed to behave. If he doesn’t conform, he’s not considered one of the male species.

As far as my own experience went, I was frankly okay about not being a part of them. I had spent a lot of time trying to figure out my place in this world and I had come to terms with the fact that people wouldn’t accept me – at least ‘normal’ people wouldn’t. Hence, I turned to the outcasts.

You see, these normal people have their own ideals, and if anyone doesn’t come up to their expectations, they are thrown out. So a guy like me could never cope. However, the fact is that once you’re out, you need to find your own niche and you usually think,

“Oh, it’s so cool, now I can hang out with people who won’t judge me for who I am or what I do; they’ll be cool.”

So you try to blend in with the outsiders. In that single moment, you look forward to the point when you will be the one on the inside looking out. When you do eventually make it to the outcast circle, you feel free. You feel like you can be yourself – finally.

However, I found out the hard way that even outcasts have their restrictions, and that is where it got even worse for me. A guy like me was called all kinds of names, and one of those names was the ‘gay guy’.

It’s true, I have been perceived to be gay quite a few times even though I am not. Personally, I have always been alright with whoever a person wishes to be – gay or straight; after all, it’s their choice. However, what was conflicting was that even these outsiders – the other gay guys – had formed their own criteria and rules of who is gay and who is not. I hoped that they would be more accepting of my view, but all I got, even from them, was judgement. Simply put, the gays want you to be gay and they think that if a guy walks and talks like a girl, listens to girly music and is into fashion, then he’s gay. The gays told me to get out of the closet but I already was out! I’m straight and I cannot put it more simply than that.

All these experiences led me to realise that no matter what you do, you just cannot fit in. There will always be someone or something that will push you out of the group. It took me a long time to figure out who I am and where I stand both, sexually as well as personally, and I cannot let anyone tell me where I fit in. The straights didn’t accept me and the gays wanted me to change. So, I decided that I had better accept myself for who I was, first.

In a world with access to information which earlier generations could not have even dreamt about, most of the time we don’t know what to do with that information or even whether it is right or verified. This diversity of humanity can never be boxed, and just when you think you’ve categorized each and every human being, there’ll come another batch of babies who’ll burn all your research down and formulate new ideals and new personalities.

I fail to understand why an individual can’t just be him or herself. Why should you define who the other person is? Why not give them a chance to show you who they are? In my opinion, lack of trust, incomplete information, and not knowing one’s own self, has brought us to this point. The point where it’s just easier to bash someone and call them names from behind a screen, while you live your life conforming to whatever limits people have set for you.

My personal experiences have taught me that the best thing to do is just be yourself, figure out who you are, work on your image and know yourself completely. So that the next time someone ridicules you, you can laugh it off.

So this is me: Katy Perry is my idol, I like Disney movies and fashion, I am effeminate but I am straight. Deal with it!

Haseeb Sultan

Haseeb Sultan

The author is is a dentist, writer, and an artist. He blogs at blog.haseebsultan.com and tweets at @haseebsultan_ (twitter.com/haseebsultan_)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Hmm …

    I’m sorry to read all this and I feel very bad for your experiences.I remember thinking about Dr.Kootrapalli from Chuck Lorre’s, ‘Big bang theory’-an effiminate,refined metrosexual gentleman,who’s NOT gay.
    Having a nicer (more tolerant) environment will make life easier for you… move abroad,if convenient.
    Best of luck with your future.Recommend

  • MrRollsRoyce

    So what’s wrong with being gay? I am disgusted by our society’s attitudes where pedophilia in the form of “marriage” is acceptable but adults choosing their partners of their own choice is not.

    The problem is not that the author was wrongly perceived as being effeminate or gay, but that society expects people to be all the same when in reality nature creates people in different ways, and all need to be accepted (psychopaths requiring special attention of course)Recommend

  • Hera Iftikhar

    Im sorry people gave you a hard time and I have the utmost respect for you. In our closed minded society..its very hard to be true to yourself. People here are sick. They believe in putting people down instead of encouraging them and fix boundaries that should not be crossed. Stay true to yourself cause in the end..atleast you can live with the knowledge that you didnt let the biased views of others change you. Like Will Smith says in the Pursuit Of Happyness “People cant do something themselves they wanna tell you, you cant do it.”

    Cheers~Recommend

  • Pappu

    You are a human just like others but with different traits and orientation by birth. Unfortunately you are born in a muslim country and you will be looked down because scriptures and culture says so. Better you should migrate to a free country where humans are respected for being humans and are given equal opportunities.Recommend

  • Nadir

    You shouldnt have to apologize about who you are. Period.Recommend

  • Hunaid

    it takes balls to come out and say stuff like that in a society like our’s, so may be you are not the effeminateRecommend

  • AbdulWasayHassan

    Its about the preconcieved notions of wat shud be that guide the Mob mentality and the mentaly decelerate. Kudos to you bro fr writing this piece and my humble respects fr penning it under your name keep the good work coming (Y)Recommend

  • eraj

    i am a pretty girl , girls are jealous of me and boys first try to seduce me when they fail they bully me . i also lead a very lonely life . i know if i would be ugly life would be same . there is nothing wrong if you are fat or short or different . it is just our society .Recommend

  • Critical

    Well,I’m still in doubt whether Arsenal fans eventually become victims of grand delusion or whether those who have grand delusions become Arsenal fans????

    Just before the transfer window,they talk about signing almost every superstar,then it comes to some good players and in the end they sign some free transfer (except for this season where they got Ozil)

    In the start of season,they talk of winning every cup including SuperBowl,then it slowly comes down to treble,double and in the end No trophies each year

    Diaby is the next Patrick Viera

    Denilson is the next Gilberto Silva

    and worst of all,Wilshere is better than Xavi/Iniesta

    Arsenal are second now because they are currently riding the Ozil wave just Chelsea was riding the Hazard wave at the start of last season,they have not faced any REAL opponent and once they start picking up Ozil’s tricks,they will be back in their place just like the last week’s draw

    Then,their manager will talk about the “fourth place” trophy…Arsenal fans always are a source of entertainment for others…

    BTW did anyone visit this website

    http://www.sincearsenallastwonatrophy.co.uk/Recommend

  • Iftikhar Ali

    “I like Disney movies and Katy Perry, but I am not gay!”
    Acha, Bari information aap nay disclose ke hai.Recommend

  • arshadfilms

    Homophobia and sexism are a disease in Pakistan. The problem with misogyny is that it targets all people whether gay or straight and creates a culture of abuse and then nurtures it. The most homophobic men are usually the ones that have homosexual desire that they are trying to suppress. I commend the author for writing from the heart and trying to figure himself out and call out the bullies. However, there is a homophobic streak to this article as the author tries too hard to distance himself from homosexuality. When really, it is the behaviour of others that should be questioned and scrutinized. Holding himself to a higher moral standard and above homosexuals does not help him or anyone else. It is the twenty first century and Pakistani establishment is still asking the wrong questions.Recommend

  • A.

    Story of my life.Recommend

  • Haider

    Good man! Thats how it should be! I am the same (kinda)! :)Recommend

  • Marvi

    Really admire your personality.. Goodluck for the future!Recommend

  • Jahil

    I gave your piece a chance until I read this “gay or straight; after all, it’s their choice”. It’s a matter of choice.. really? Pathetic.Recommend

  • Maria

    You are one of the sweetest, kindest, mot intelligent kids I know. But I had no idea you were SO VERY BRAVE as well. People will be just that … people. It’s their own insecurities coming to the surface. Go on being yourself and don’t bother explaining anything to anyone. Chin up!Recommend

  • Ayesha Pervez

    You’re a perfect, unique individual :) P.s I know a LOT of guys who like Katy Perry and Disney movies! :DRecommend

  • PakArmySoldier

    Is this blog for real? Pathetic.Recommend

  • Anonymous

    This is such a relate able post that i can’t even tell you. Even though i am not gay and i didn’t have the same problems as you but the bottom line of my story and yours is exactly the same. I can’t fit in almost anywhere, i never have and i probably never will and i have a vague idea of why it is like that. i also tried to blend in with the outsiders but that didn’t work either. This is one reason why i hate when people say “Be yourself” because in the real world you can never be yourself and succeed. Anyways good luck in life!Recommend

  • 3man

    Homosexuality is not a CHOICE. Being gay or straight is not a lifestyle choice, it is something which comes naturally.Recommend

  • Think again

    Implying that a the opposite of a feminine lady is – courage?
    So,women can’t be bold,by your logic?
    You need to rethink, what courage,actually mean …
    Recommend

  • No one

    Try to cultivate more female friends. Being lonely is not good… or safe. Try to find well behaved girls with similar interests-reading,sports etc & make friends with them.Recommend

  • Mufasa101

    There’s nothing wrong with you! It’s your society that’s wrong.Recommend

  • X

    Spot on!Recommend

  • Publish my comments !!

    Gay or not gay, I couldn’t care less. However, if you consider Katy Perry as your “idol” you really got something to work on.Recommend

  • Black Widow

    Quote: “Personally, I have always been alright with whoever a person wishes to be – gay or straight; after all, it’s their choice.” – ALLAH VEHEMENTLY DISAGREES !Recommend

  • zia

    Being muslims we just cant agree wth ths guy..its amazing how he tries to make a thing look good which is insanely unnatural n utterly uncceptable..a guy who thinks like this needs a psychiatrist rather than a bunch of like-minded geeksRecommend

  • Daniaal

    Is cheap the word for gay!!???Recommend

  • Daniaal

    Is cheap the word for ggay!!??Recommend

  • Googly

    Yet another sympathy seeker, facebook, WhatsApp, mummy daddy, burger baccha !Recommend

  • Super Critical

    Are u OK !!!
    Take deep breaths, have water and lie down ..Recommend

  • Ann Kay

    As real as your peanut sized brain is!!Recommend

  • N

    So let Allah(SWT) be the judge and punish them.
    Since when were you the high commisioner for heaven ?
    Your job is to live piously AND peacefully with ALL mankind (gay or not) rather than being self-righteous & strapping yourself to a suicide jacket,to teach gays & kafirs a lesson.Recommend

  • From Chiniot

    “I am not gay, just effeminate”

    Is there any difference?Recommend

  • Faraz Talat

    Good article, but just to be clear, nobody “wishes” to be gay. One either is or isn’t.Recommend

  • Fellow Outcast

    In our society a guy is supposed to be manly and aggressive and be fat and tall (lumba chora) and a girl is supposed to be skinny and short and soft spoken and shy and innocent and of fair complexion (gori chitti).
    Sadly a guy with manners or polite nature is considered, for the lack of a better word, a wuss.
    My brother is a polite, soft spoken guy who loves watching disney movies with me and he sometimes even makes me midnight pizzas or cleans the house and washes dishes and people call him weak.
    Is it weak to spend time with your beloved sister?
    Is it weak to be in a computer related profession?
    Is it weak to not be obese?
    I think NOT!
    Your article has motivated me into writing a piece of my own. An idea that has been in my mind but your piece has inspired me into jot it all down.
    Kudos!> :-)Recommend

  • AL

    Err…yeah. Where do you live, under a rock?Recommend

  • Black Widow

    Who’s jugding, punishing and blasting with a suicide jacket here? who’s being the commissioner of heaven here ? you pointing at me? read my comment before replying otherwise dont waste your life. Geez ! who says only talibans are extremists and generalize people.Recommend

  • From Chiniot

    @AL – OK, I live under a rock, if that amuses you. But my question is not about residential addresses. I cannot understand how a man behaves like a woman (dictionary definition of effeminate) while actually wanting a female partner (dictionary definition of ‘not gay’). What does it make such an individual – a female homo? a male lesbian? a male spirit trapped in a female soul trapped in a male body? The sixth gender? (no pun intended).

    I have a genuine question – do you have a genuine answer, Dear AL.Recommend

  • Dante

    Like America, where just 50 years ago there was horrific racial discrimination?

    Or India, where it’s going to be even worse for a Muslim.Recommend

  • TTV

    The author is simply discussing Pakistani society’s intolerance towards behaviours that deviate from the norm. I see no point in dragging one’s religion into this.Recommend

  • MarahaK

    What the author means is that he has interests which are typically classified as “feminine” by our society such as fashion or pop music. If our society was a little more open-minded they wouldnt stereotype people based on their hobbies, like calling a girl “tomboy” if she happens to be interested in sports. Just let everyone be what they want to be. Its none of our business to try and classify people into specific molds.Recommend

  • I think it’s spam!Recommend

  • Wow. Those are among the most judgmental, stereotyping views I have ever read.Recommend

  • A.Haseeb

    “You are a human just like others but with different traits and orientation by birth” exactly !Recommend

  • Noor

    Oh Boohoo …
    I live in India and no hindu has poked me or my ancestors in the rear end with a trishul…
    Find someone else to demonize, while you play victim ( how about America and Israel-pakistan’s favourite go-to villains -no Americans & Israelis here anyway, to defend their countries from accusations by nitwits)Recommend

  • Reader

    Gay and effeminate aren’t a package deal.
    I know a gay friend who’s butch & manly and in contrast,100% heterosexual guys who’re interested in cooking/shopping/poetry/flower arranging (more than regular metrosexuals)
    The other categories you’ve mentioned would fall under transexuals/transgenders etc.
    The author here is a heterosexual who has gentler interests.Recommend

  • arsalaan

    You have named yourself very aptly.Recommend