Because I’m a lesbian

Published: November 6, 2011

I'm an ordinary girl from a middle class family - except I'm a lesbian.

For 24 years, the horror of lesbianism haunted me. No, I don’t belong to an anti-religion, mod squad, liberal family. My family is as normal as any middle-class and religious family could be.

After my teens, I grew up questioning my sexual orientation and my doubts turned into guilty trepidation when I realized this was not “just the phase” I was going through. This was the my life which I had been constantly denying.

Being a lesbian in Pakistan where one is eloquently declared a sinner or deemed to have a psychological disorder, is like committing a crime. You are considered as disgusting as filth, as unnatural as molestation, as uncouth as an animal.

I decided to remain in the closet; it was safe and respectable. Also, because it remains the only option when you don’t have enough strength to meet your own fears or peoples’ questions.

Time passed by but my repressed emotions did not die. No matter how blase you act at school  it is still profoundly hard to be accepted. Of course, everyone you know is against marital rape, forced marriages, killing in the name of blasphemy, but when it comes to accepting homosexuality:

“Are you in your senses? Tauba Tauba

Fear of rejection from the system has always been the big let down. Always.

Thankfully, my keen interest in women has never been questioned; I have not been subject to the hardships faced by homosexual men. This is a sad and global phenomenon; homosexual men suffer far more than the women do.

My eventual confession took years of silence and tears of blood. I gathered my all strength and shared the truth with my loved ones and I am glad that I did. Now, I am not in the closet from my friends and nor am I alone. I am a fearful lesbian, but one who is supported by her loved ones.

After my experience I want to clarify a few myths about the homosexual community:

1. Homosexuality is a mental disease: Everything that stands out even a little bit is often labelled as abnormal. You will find a heck of a lot of creeps criticizing feminism too.

2. Homosexuality is a choice: I wish this was true. The kind of self-loathing and frustration we homosexuals go through, trust me, if it were a choice, we would never choose to exist in such secrecy.

3. Homosexuals are constantly looking for sex: Sex is a normal physical need, and we don’t have desires any greater than the next person.

4. They are just lonely as they are rejected by the opposite sex: You have got to be kidding me. This is mostly said for lesbians but this is stupid. Lesbians I have met in my life are pretty desirable, including myself. I too have options.

5. They don’t know what they are missing: This might be true in very few cases but experimentation or lack of experience will not alter someone’s orientation.

6. Gay people are anti-religion and morally corrupt: Firstly, all heterosexuals are not religious and morally sound either but this is not the debate. Really? I am a lesbian and I am not an atheist.

I would like to raise the issue of the movement of beheading people in the name of religion which is classified as a freedom movement whereas peaceful protests for LGBT rights is called pornographic. This is the height of hypocrisy and ignorance.

I am not against religion, but I am staunchly against blind practice.

P.S: This blog is a thank you note for The Express Tribune team, who remains courageous and raises voice for oppressed lot and I remain anonymous, but hopefully not for long.

Anonymous 2

Anonymous 2

The author wishes to remain anonymous.

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

  • MangoGirl

    you missed this point “I am lesbian till I get married”Recommend

  • Sarah B. Haider

    Oh God, how mazloom of you to live in a suffocating dungeon called Pakistan, where people are so cruel and barbaric that they condemn a person’s freedom of choice. I feel so bad, that all the LGBTs have to make it to this platform to demand their freedom in bed, and how people despise them from being truly natural for indulging in such a noble act. I wonder why do these religious beasts have nothing better to do than suppressing the legitimate carnal desires of some poor human beings.
    Pata nahi kia hoga is mulk ka? Recommend

  • Asra

    A lot of my friends in Pakistan are bisexuals and I love them to bits. I get the most awesome relationship advise from my gay friends and the lesbians are one of the most headstrong women I know. (and no the lesbians never hit on me.)

    That said, the society won’t change over night. We still have women who get married to the Quran, honor killings, the custom of saving the best food for sons and husbands, etc. Sadly, the bisexual community may have to spend a couple of decades in their closets and closed circles of trusted friends and families. Recommend

  • BS

    Very nicely written and extremely inspiring. Wish you all the best. I hope a day will come when people will just stop judging others’ and just let them be, Each individual has the right to be the master of his own life. More power and strength to you. Recommend

  • EmKay

    Talk bout preaching to the choir. You’re having a rant on a liberal english-speaking blog where you will find some supportive comments, until you step out of the house and realise the 99.9 percent of Pakistan is complete opposite of that. You’re better off exercising immigrant options, that finding religious or cultural acceptance here.Recommend

  • khurram mansoor

    @Sarah B. Haider:

  • Asma

    Seriously, have all the political, social & economical problems in our country been solved that this paper has to publish this blog. one more thing, Pakistan is an ISLAMIC REPUBLIC with ISLAM as the STATE RELIGION wich condems bisexuality and yes its a sin. so all the atheists, bisexuals and wrongly termed “liberal” community should bear with it wether they like it or not…. Recommend

  • Sarah B. Haider

    I agree with EMKay.

    P.S. A humble request to all the commentators here who are against the LGBT phenomenon, I would suggest not to refer to Quranic references here. As a matter of fact, all the three Abrahamic religions prohibit homosexuality. Seriously, these people are here to gain support of the 2 % people of Pakistan, some of them are non-religious and wouldn’t pay a heed to sacred text; some would plainly deny it or subject them to mockery or copy and paste stuff from LGBT activist alliance websites and win an argument. As for Muslims, Amr Bil Maroof and Nahi Anil Munkar (enjoining good & forbidding evil) can be observed in a person’s heart too.Recommend

  • Umair

    What made you Lesbo? Why didn’t you choose the straight way?Recommend

  • Anonymous

    You’re so right, Express tribune is doing an amazing job!Recommend

  • Talha

    I fully support your cause.

    Lesbians are great.Recommend

  • Icy_Devil

    Aur bhii gham hain zamanay main bhai, why can’t ET people seem to understand this one single point??Recommend

  • Mirza Abeer

    No-one gives a ****Recommend

  • muhammad yousuf khan

    ET, hats off to you for having the guts to publish the voice of the minorities,be it religious or sexual minorities.People don’t become or change into hetero or homosexuality.straight ppl are born straight, gay people are born gays.ridiculing,marginalising them won’t change who they are.unfortuately, pakistanis,especially the islamic fanatics are severely homophobic.
    hiding your hate,bigotry and fear behind a religion doesn’t make it alright.Recommend

  • Mj

    Ignore the haters and homophobes. Live your own life as you see fit.

    A reminder for the homophobes from a previous thread: Your hatred for gays might stem from latent or repressed homosexual inclination.

    “The results of this study indicate that individuals who score in the homophobic range and admit negative affect toward homosexuality demonstrate significant sexual arousal to male homosexual erotic stimuli. These individuals were selected on the basis of their report of having only heterosexual arousal and experiences. ”
    Henrey E. Adams, Lester W. Wright Jr., and Bethany A Lohr, Is Homophobia Associated With Homosexual Arousal? in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Vol. 105., No. 3 (1996), pp. 440-445
    “Generally, these varied explanations conceive of homophobia as one type of latent homosexuality where persons either are unaware of or deny their homosexual urges”

  • MOS

    I believe every human being has an urge to justify and a tendency baptize his/her philosophy no matter how blatantly wrong or disgusting. No human being ever accepts his/her wrong and it takes a real ‘Insaan’ i-e Ashraf-ul Makhluq, to accept the negative and pioneer the positive.

    Apart from the fact that your living in denial, its sickening even for a heterosexual to talk about ‘sexual orientation’ when nobody wants to know.

  • Faysal Mustafa

    I always thought people are gay and lesbian by choice, but this article compelled me to give a second thought. Recommend

  • Prodigy!

    I always thought it is by choice and not nature, if that is the case nature has always got something for everyone.Recommend

  • Mustafa Hanif

    yup being a Lesbian is a personal choice.

    How about ET covers articles about people who practice incest, thats a personal choice no issues.

    Or how about necrophelia? or nature lovers who don’t like to wear clothes.

  • Kamran

    @Mj: Haters and homophobes??? I thought the author came out of her closet to encounter opposing viewpoints. So what is the difference between a liberal and a conservative? Recommend

  • AK

    I like Girls who like Girls!Recommend

  • Jawad Khan

    You dont need to debate the status of homosexuality in Islam when the Quran clearly mentions in detail, the story of Qom e Lut……

    You also dont need to look beyond the days of the Prophet to understand what he ordered for such people.

    So while I wont be judgemental in calling gays/lesbians as sick minds and stuff, i would respectfully make my point that no matter how tempting the same sex relationship feels to you, being a muslim you need to supress your desires for Allah(SWT)

    As for ET, im waiting for the day you guys start covering incest stories where a girl falls for her father or a boy shows interest in his sister……its not always “its my life”…..we are muslims and we have our limits…..and im not even sure if you would publish my commentRecommend

  • Anonymous Too

    So sorry to see people struggle with acceptance of any kind and so Im sorry you have to live a double life. Depressing stuff.

    Honestly, I often judge sexually active gay persons based ofcourse on Islamic belief and the whole no human beings assertions superseding God’s commands sort of thing.

    I know it sounds narrow minded but I can’t bring myself to apologise for my beliefs, I do however apologise about openly voicing what I think/feel.

    If it makes any difference, it isn’t the concept of homosexuality or urges that some of us judge, but how a person handles those urges. It is not gay but sexually active gay or sexually active straight people who I do judge.

    At the end of the day, gay or straight persons both have urges, but if you feel conflicted about Islam (assuming you’re a Muslim), there are also straight people who suppress/control urges.

    Just because I’m straight doesn’t mean I’ll have physical relationships with the Opp sex etc. in fact im not married and I don’t have relationships because of my religious beliefs, it’s not easy, but no feelings of guilt or sin etc. Just curious to know if there are gay people who do the same.Recommend

  • khurram

    I think Express Tribune is making common vulgarity in Pakistan. this sort of activities should not be allowed. In my view there is no disease in the world which has no solution, any lesbian girl can get medical help and she can also change her harmonies thereof. Please don’t publish this type of articles it will spoil our society and country. Recommend

  • Atta

    I am glad that you came up with this courage to accept and declare your sexual orientation. Pakistan is full of extremist and its difficult for a person to declare something like it. Kudos to your courage , and be sure about one thing , even if the number is very low , there do exist some sane Pakistanis who would support your freedom of choice always. :)Recommend

  • An EHM

    Keeping aside the religion, homosexuality is not acceptable in any society. More important is the fact that it is against the nature. Supporting and spreading it would endanger human generation. And I dont understant what rights you people want. If you are homosexual and dont want stop it and do whatever you want but in secrecy. Why you want to unveil it in society? Recommend

  • Farida

    why did you choose to be straight? Why are you not gay? Recommend

  • Rizvi

    No one cares to be honest, and there are more important issues regarding which bloggers can write about. If ET are so obsessed with publishing articles about homosexuality, then blogs about incest, paying for sex, drinking alcohol, gambling should also be published.

    @Author: On another note, this a test for you from God, if you are patient then you will be rewarded. But if you go on being involved in sexual activities with the same sex, then I guess there will be consequences. Just my opinion.Recommend

  • nm

    the thing about pakistan is, regardless of where our laws and bills take us, Islam is always involved in a conversation. I realize that we live in an Islamic nation and that it is prohibited by Islam but I urge commentators to recognize that for many of us, religious faith is just one of the factors that influence our view and our final take on things. I know many deeply religious people who are sympathetic to LGBT rights simply because they feel no one should be harassed or killed for being who they are. You wont find them out on the streets holding multicoloured rainbows, but people choose to not openly call them wrong or forbidden or whatever. Everyone is open to making choices and assumptions, but to go out right condemning other people for something you do not even fully understand (simply because you are not them) is morally incorrect, no matter what your religious text says. Islam, like any other religion, is a personal matter and we are all answerable to God, so eventhough we might think that something is wrong, He obviously isnt giving us a pat on the back for making someone who is going through a tough time feel worse about it and hate themselves. In the US, there are a number of teen homosexual kids who have recently killed themselves due to their shame, lets not reach that place here.

    and another point, yes, there are many many wrongs things with Pakistan, and so it is argued that this is a minor issue compared to the rest, and yes, that is true. but there are many blog posts that deal with that, many news channels that spend all day on those topics, a little online space dedicated to issues such as these is hurting no one, it is your personal choice to come here, read it and leave a comment. do not blame express tribune, or the person writing such articles as you are exercising your personal choice here. Recommend

  • nm

    @khurram: if only we took a similar stance against the influx of hard line thinkers who have ruined the named of Islam, or the gang warfare that spreads like wildfire here. those will ruin our society way before a gay person will. people are strong enough to choose for themselves, being gay is not as simple as seeing someone with a good haircut and getting the same one for yourself. Recommend

  • Umar

    Seriously? How can one be homosexual and religous at the same time, If you are religous then you will read about Hazrat Loot and what happened to his people. Its just like a serial killer explaining how he cannot stop killing and how much has he tried, He tells you he wisdhed he could control it but cannot, now he wants to come out of the closet and wants people to accept him/her. Same is the case with drug addiction, you need to correct and help such people, you cannot be OK with what they do.Recommend

  • obscurantist

    i dont find any supportive ‘medical’ data on the assumption that most people think..the assumption being ‘gay people are born gay..seriously CMOOOON guys..there is no such gene yet discovered to be defining a gay orientation.whole gene map has been catalogued and it does not say a word abt being plz take this assumption a pure generation of ur minds.
    what i make something out of this being gay stuff is a whole lot mixture of ‘external environmental factors playing with psychology of people’ and not something sprouting from inner selvesRecommend

  • Loneliberal PK

    Find me a single reputable psychiatric organization in the world that classifies homosexuality as a “disease”, and hen we’ll work on finding a “cure” for it.

    Just because you call something a disease, doesn’t make it one.Recommend

  • ChaoticOne

    Above is the text of UNHRC resolution which is BINDING on its member states and Pakistan is a member state of UNHRC. Although the resolution is “binding” to member nations of the UNHRC, it does not address any penalties for violating the act. The next one will not be that lenient and there will be penalties.

    So if Pakistan wants to remain a voice on world forums change is necessary. Otherwise withdraw from UN and dig up yourself a hole on a mountain and start praying, at least that will give you mental satisfaction.Recommend

  • Bobster

    GOD BLESS LESBIANS ….I Love em . All those people who are letting these fine creates down have no idea whats its all about . I love lesbians and they have my vote . If being vegetarian is ok in Pakistan why not being a lesbian, it’s almost the same n more healthier :-) Recommend

  • ChaoticOne

    obscurantist, did you find any hetrosexual gene in your research? The one you can call non-gay?Recommend

  • Umair

    Becuase i’m braveRecommend

  • Ahmad Kamal

    its good to express your self but my dear if man & woman has been created in pairs than this homo/bi sexuality would have been the order of God then, should they put into consideration while this extraordinary process of creation started. God would have thought that way…hmmm! but not if humans are created in pairs than this is the final state & any abrogation on top of it would be miss leading. ok lets do maths here, how much is the population of world . some billions i guess. & what would be the population of gays/homosexual in thousand or maybe more but not increasing on the exponential basis. so this means there is some problem with this orientation. like no religion accept them, nature wont take them as usual. some psychiatrist could help me here to define the origin of homosexuality maybe my sexual desires to same sex are more than opposite sex but i guess its mainly in your mind & if all logic’s falls to convince you. than just an advice since your Muslim & in this as other religion of God this phenomena is bad. dont purse it for the sake of your creator coz He didnt made you this way & if you think He made you this way then be content & save your self from becoming one & i can bet on my belief He we wont left you in Lurk. just ask for His help…at least once with sincerity. Rest LAKUM DEENUKUM WALI YADEEN Recommend

  • Mj

    I think this nation is unable to unable to look at any controversial issue objectively and always has to resort to scripture to make an argument. Slavery and concubinage is permissible in the text, shall I start demanding my right to keep slaves and concubines? Please, if you are against something (or homosexuality in this case) try to come up with a well-reasoned and logical argument instead of justifying your bigotryRecommend

  • Hannan A. Khan

    ET! no one cares to turn an ear to your good for nothing moderate freakin enlightened articles! It makes me sick to my stomach to read crap on your blog / posts. I remember reading an article talking about rights of porn stars and telling stories of some actors in Karachi. How could you believe such stuff! And Ms Anonymous, I seriously doubt your existence anything beyond the same barbaric ideas ET wants to propagate. And dear all, there are tons of other things you could do for the betterment of country.Recommend

  • Ehsen

    Question is; why would you like to have stamp of approval on your forehead? Marvi Sarmad! as a spokesperson for ‘homosexual’ rights!! Ironic.Recommend

  • rational

    hats off to tribune and express for taking on these issues and having the guts to discuss them openly.
    This is really important.Recommend

  • Farooq Abdullah

    Having lived in the west, I know that this is not wholehartedly accepted there as well. So keep pushing for such legislations in Pakistan too. Recommend

  • Haris

    I totally agree with Asma that, “Pakistan is an ISLAMIC REPUBLIC with ISLAM as the STATE RELIGION wich condems bisexuality and yes its a sin. so all the atheists, bisexuals and wrongly termed “liberal” community”.

    Liberalism does’nt mean that you do what ever you want. M totally against that thing from which our religion have stopped us. There are lots of medical complications caused by homosexuality, God created every thing in pairs then who are we to disown his creations. I don’t wanna be offensive to any one but this is purely my point of view. I am not a good practitioner of my Religion but still its my right to share my views with you guys. Recommend

  • Britistani

    Ma’am, I would say come to Britain!

    Also, I always find it amusing when a Muslim commits a murder, rape and many other abhorrent things in the name of Islam (you know it’s a religion of peace ahem), nobody says that they are not Muslims, but if a Muslim claims that he/she is a homosexual, all hell break loose – “OMG! You can’t be a gay Muslim, it’s an oxymoron!”

    Its about time, Muslims stopped obsessing about sex and and actually practiced those so-called Islamic values of love and peace they pretend to hold.Recommend

  • Nayab

    Major facepalm. You’re gay and you’re proud. We really care. I am straight and proud. I should get a freakin medal.

    Let me tell you a little secret. Every human being has some gay tendancies. They can be 0.001percent or 70 percent. The point is to control them. The same way if u love your hot sister and she loves u back, u don’t start an intimate relationship with her.

    Ever tried spirituality? Ultimate way to control your desires. Good dayRecommend

  • Shifty

    Anyone who has tuned into American prime-time television within the past few years can observe an increasing trend of shows featuring characters who are homosexual—and proud of it. It seems as though modern Amereeki sitcoms require “token” homosexuals in order to be politically correct. I am afraid this article is also in similar lines.

    Now lets brush aside the comments “Live your life as you deem fit”, “Ignore the haters and homophobes” ” Hats off to you”.

    It’s not that they are promoting what I don’t believe in, but I take them to be lines from 90210, useless & stupid. No, one cannot live life as he deems fit. No, I cannot have sexual relations with my daughter and profess as “it’s not my choice”. No, I cannot rape because “I have a rape gene”

    Point being, as a human, as an active member of a society its our duty to reach for utopia and bearing that in mind, I believe their are certain rules and regulation we need to adhere to.

    Lets not swing towards morality & social responsibility. Instead lets bring in some everyone’s all time favorite “Scientific FACTS”.

    On April 14, 2003, the International Human Genome Consortium announced the successful completion of the Human Genome Project due to which human X and Y chromosomes (the two “sex” chromosomes) have been completely sequenced. The study has concluded that the X chromosome contains 153 million base pairs, and harbors a total of 1168 genes. Leading to constructing a gene maps using actual sequences from the Human Genome Project and neither the map for the X nor the Y chromosome contains any “gay gene.” Please google it up in case of ambiguity.

    The Famous Twins Study successfully also prove the same point where alarmingly, 63% of the twins had different sexual orientation. Using the 2+2 logic, if twins are born with exact same genes, the difference in sexuality is based on their choices that are brewed by natural and social factors surrounding them.

    Now consider the obvious problem of survival for individuals who allegedly possess a gay gene: same sex partners are biologically unable to reproduce Therefore, if an alleged “gay gene” did exist, the homosexual population eventually would disappear altogether. I believe its not scientifically accurate to refer to a “gay gene” or “its not a choice” as the causative agent in homosexuality. The available evidence clearly establishes that no such gene has been identified moreover evidence exists which documents that homosexuals can change their sexual orientation.

    Time to clarify your myths about homosexual community:

    1. Homosexuality is a mental disease: Your explanation here is very vague. “Everything stands out labeled here”. Mr Fritzl case, Amestatten, Austria. Do you think that was mentally ill? Nay or yay would answer this question as well.

    2. Homosexuality is a choice: I wish this was true. I think have quoted enough facts above to clarify that indeed, its a choice.

    3. Homosexuals are constantly looking for sex: I have to sympathize here with you. I can understand the difficulty of finding another lady. .

    4. They are just lonely as they are rejected by the opposite sex: I actually cannot comment on that, but considering the homosexuality in our society, it can be inferred it is not the rejection but the nonavailability of opposite sex (due to religious bindings).

    5. They don’t know what they are missing: (This might be true in very few cases but experimentation or lack of experience will not alter someone’s orientation) < This is fun because you are justifying your argument by excluding the minority (the few cases) and jumping to conclusion that majority is right. My lady friend, this can go into the realms of hypocrisy or Irony!

    6. Gay people are anti-religion and morally corrupt: “I am a lesbian and I am not an atheist” reminds me of Sharukh khan’s movie’s name along with the same lines. I am sorry my lady friend, no matter what religion you are from, you are now out of it. There are not loop holes and neither any shades of gay. Selective practice is worse than no practice because the later is void of double standards.

    I wish you best of luck finding your peace and I sincerely hope that you find the right path. Recommend

  • Red

    And oh the hypocrisy.. the writer is ok about being homosexual, but speaks as if aetheism and pornography is bad.. well if you have the right to be gay, then others have the right to be atheistic, or to possess and produce pornography.. where is the line?Recommend

  • Yasir

    It’s horrible to see so many people supporting homosexuality!
    It is not about being in Pakistan.. its more about being a Muslim. And being a Muslim homosexuality is strictly prohibited. It is greatest of Sins.
    To make it plain and simple.. either be a Muslim or be a homosexual. If u can’t control your desires of being homosexual just quit Islam first and follow any other religion u want which allows homosexuality and accepts all your desires!!Recommend

  • Qamar

    @ Asma

    You are a clasic example of intolerance muslim, muslims cant never be tolerance, but they wants all the freedom and rights they needs, be it in a secular/western or islamic countries, but the very same muslims dont provide or grants rights/freedom to non-muslims/atheist/liberal! people like u are the worst human beings there is, the root cause of extremism and intolerance society! If u think non-muslims/atheist/liberals shouldn’t enjoy freedom in islamic society, then muslims like u shouldn’t either have freedom in the west! Call them all back to islamic countries! U dont own Pakistan, so u have no right to play boss over here! and yes, a theocracy country is always a big mistake, even Pakistan is a big mistake!

    How would u react if a non-muslim or western countries demands a ban on hijab as it is not normal in their countries/culture, would u have accepted or would u use Jihad/terrror with ur taliban brothers? u wont accept it right? but u forces every non-muslims to stick to the islamic rules! Bravo! You are applying double standards!Recommend

  • Maryam

    With due respect it is a complete non-sense. If you r a Muslim i would recommend you to consult Quran…That would answer all your myths, queries and confusions. I think you are misguided Miss anonymous Recommend

  • Loneliberal PK

    Sarah Haider,

    Your ignorance astounds me.

    Perhaps you consider it your God-given right to regulate a stranger’s bedroom activities in the light of your own religious teachings, but thank goodness many of us have developed the maturity not to do so.

    And homosexuality is quite natural, regardless of what you choose to believe. It is found in literally thousands of animal species, including humans. Homophobia, on the other hand, is only found in one – care to use a lifeline in guessing which one that is?

    You’re not being asked to like homosexuality. You’re just being asked to accept homosexuals, and the personal choices they make. That’s not a lot to demand.Recommend

  • positive pakistani

    don’t consider me a rightist but this increasing discussion on homosexuality in Pakistan makes me sick….

    I am waiting for the day, when somebody will be raising his/her voice in favor of “killing” other people…just to full-fill the internal desire to hurt someone or take his/her life………

    If discussing and supporting homosexual rights and grievances is a good thing….then what is wrong with discussing the “right to kill” for those people who blow-up themselves in crowds everyday…?Recommend

  • Shahid3

    Given the history of stigmatization that gay and lesbian people have faced throughout history in the West—but not so much in the East (!)—they have always occupied a place of honor in the struggle for liberation of other persecuted minorities. Patricia Highsmith wrote her best-selling novel The Price of Salt under a pseudonym almost 60 years ago, just a few years after another friend of Palestinian rights Gore Vidal wrote The City and the Pillar. Jean Genet was in Beirut—as was Faiz—even as Palestinians were being massacred by the thousand under Israeli occupation and was inspired to write Prisoner of Love after visiting the camps at Sabra and Shatila where the stench of rotting flesh was unmistakable. In 1988, after the first unarmed Intifada had broken out and was being brutally suppressed, Patricia Highsmith dedicated Ripley Under the Water:

    To the dead and the dying among the Intifada and the Kurds, to those who fight oppression in whatever land, and stand up not only to be counted but to be shot.

    Even now one of the most original thinkers on homophobia and Islamophobia is someone who could pass for Pakistani in a heartbeat and also visited this part of the world not long ago.Recommend

  • zalim singh

    cool girl.Recommend

  • Ahmed

    I have nothing against lesbians , infact if i were to exhibit a feeling towards them it would be of love,sympathy and acceptance. but gays…now that just wrong….Recommend

  • maryam khan

    Confidence highly appreciated.The bar of ‘acceptance’ in Pakistan is growing and so are the minds.People specially youngsters have started learning WHAT to do with What.
    Dear friend who ever you are,keep up the confidence.I pray you settle in life peacefully. Recommend

  • S

    Are you practicing the so called religion of peace and love? Doesn’t seem like you are!! You yourself are being hypocritical and Jugdemental!! Two different situations. Stop Comparing!! At the end of the day the answer to all our questions is THAT WE CANNOT QUESTION THE WISDOM OF GOD!! Bas. No questions raised, no arguments required. (:Recommend

  • Ali

    all those people who said that it is a choice ……well it is not ….and when i realized it …..i tried to change it …..but seriously it is not in our control…..and well all those who said that it is against nature get your facts straight….
    humans are not the only species that behave this way
    and almost all the research shows that it is innate…….and it is not about having sex …..its about sexual satisfaction…….!!!!!Recommend

  • Amna

    2% is all she needs to make a start. Quit living in denial. Homosexuality is not a state of mind, it is a biological thing, people are born that way and there is nothing unnatural about it. And yeah, that 2% might not be religious. But there is nothing wrong with rational thinking, and questioning norms and customs we have been following blindly. I grew up in an extremely religious environment. I became an agnostic, bomb me if you want to for that.
    Good luck
    Expressing your opinions is one thing. Mocking someone for being who they are is just shameful. Good luck to the writer. And kudos to the Tribune team. @Sarah B. Haider: Recommend

  • S

    It’s not as if you’re not being judgemental!! You clearly are! Talking about tolerance,eh? Or maybe Human rights? Or maybe saying that Pakistan is a mistake! No way, mister! Let’s take west as an example: Biggest human rights violator is USA. 0% tolerance rate is in the West!! Kaunsi tolerance baii, they invade us, they kill us and what not!! About Pakistan being a mistake, you’re clearly mistaken my friend! It was our gift! Let’s cherish it. Try living somewhere else and you’ll realise it’s importance. At the end of the day, Pakistan is YOUR country. Own it and be proud of it. Theek hai! (:Recommend

  • Amna

    Are you SERIOUS? Did you call homosexuality a disease?! Dude. I’m appalled. You seriously need to google lesbianism and read up on it. And publishing controversial things is a GOOD thing. It is a freedom of speech, freedom of expression. How would you feel if someone one day took away your ability to talk? Or read things you want to read about? @khurram: Recommend

  • Amna

    I think I love you. For that awesome comment. @Loneliberal PK: Recommend

  • miao

    hello, i believe that liking your own sex or the opposite sex is natural, it may not be a choice..but we choose what we wanna do about it.. i dont know when or how you found out to be lesbian i can talk about myself I am a girl, i have female friends and i love them, it happened also sometimes to be physically attracted to them so i found my self questoining.. but i decided to not do anything about it. we are humans and we can control our desires and that is what religion teaches us, i am not lesbian I am straight I am committed since 3 years, happily in love. before reading this article i thought being lesbian is a choice, but apparently it is not u may feel in a particular way toward the same sex or you may not. but at the end there is something we choose for me its never been tough or “suffocating” deciding not to be lesbian. so i think that in the end its upto us. I try but i cannot understand this agony of being gay.. it may be that its because i am not so I cant feel it…giving all respect to what you feel Recommend

  • Abdul Rehman Gilani

    If the norms of “freedom of expression” are followed, then this comment should be published, uncensored.

    Last time I checked, a madman didnt consider himself mad. So yeah, you suffer from a severe mental disorder.

    Just like necrophiles, and animal “lovers” and gays do.

    And its curable, you just need sheer will, determination, and most important of all faith in Allah to do it. Know that the People of Loot A.S. were destroyed when they did not stop homosexuality and continued arguing with the Prophet of Allah (A.S.) sent to them.

    And by the way, I have noticed ET publishing articles of gays and other deluded people who dont know the laws of nature.

    Surely someone on Facebook called it “sex” press tribune.Recommend

  • D

    @Jawad Khan:
    Right said bro but most of the readers of ET are so called modernists and they believe that the ones who try to be religious are just people with backward minds. They’d always say to us ‘Grow up’ or ‘Get a life’Recommend

  • Shifty


    It saddens me to say that the day has come where we base our arguments on Animal behavior. That is just sheer lack of class.

    I have no interest if you are trying to hard to let go of homosexuality or not. I am more concerned about how do I quit smoking. The only common attribute we both lack…..conviction. Recommend

  • Shifty

    Radicalism either Liberal or Conservative is bad for the society. Freedom of speech and freedom of expressions has a clause of responsibility attached and obviously has limitations. Most of us can’t care less as long as some one else bleeds. Period. Recommend

  • Minto

    Have it your way ET, follow the atheistic western philosophy and support individual choice of being gay, lesbian, incest or perhaps suicide as well? On the one hand we have religious fundamentalist and on the other the ET ultra-liberal bandwagon. Viva le confused state of Pakistan.Recommend

  • Parvez

    For one who has gone through a fair share of trials and tribulations all I ask is to neither be hasty nor harsh in your judgement, for providence has a way of settling scores swiftly.
    Using tolerance as a guide would not be a bad idea in such matters.
    Both the writer and ET must be commended for this article.Recommend

  • obscurantist

    writer DOES include herself in the religious fringe so religion[islam] does have a ‘heterosexual gene’ and its against if she wanted religion to get aside of the stuff she is into then citing it in her article would be a charade thing.if we take it out then here comes another question..the matter being discussed is ‘presence of homosexuality INSIDE her and not abt why is she NOT whats the bigger side of the situation is ”for those who are heterosexuals Religion is the main force making it digestible for them and the same thing for homos is a mental genesis of an excuse that its ‘intrinsic’Recommend

  • Kamran

    If one is gay/lesbian by birth, then I guess no point in debates. But wait, I sometimes find other women hot but it doesn’t mean I have the right to cheat my wife. Oh wait, God made me this way so it’s OK for me to cheat ;) Recommend

  • Zuhaib

    two wrongs dont make one right,,,society is corrupt, murder, rape, honor killing and blah blah so whats the harm in being lesbo/gay since they are not hurting any1 at least,,,that was author’s opinion, if i have interpreted it correctly.

    we make our own rules (read false) and justify them by comparing with other wrong-doings in the society…thats not the way my dear, do something to change this evil society,,,u have been given a ‘ticket of birth’ to make an impact in a positive way.

    some times i wish, that few people should be sent back to earth after they die to let others know that ‘IT’S NOT ALWAYS ABOUT MY LIFE & MY RULES’!Recommend

  • Not so liberal

    See my fellow human beings you have every right to choose the way you want to live your life for I wont be responsible for your choices and deeds….but be aware of where you are living may be? which country? what culture and as much as our so called “liberal society” is under a misconception the religion does define the culture and the acceptable norms of a society or why else would France have them Muslim ladies remove their scarfs? I am so sorry to break this to you but this is an Islamic Republic of Pakistan which means we are still defined by our religion. So next time you want to get out of the closet please do it somewhere else where this is acceptable and please do not try to confuse your personal beliefs with that of Islam (if that’s your religion).Recommend

  • Naveed Salman

    I applaud the bravery of this writer and Express Tribune to publish such an article.
    Homosexuality is a taboo subject in Pakistan, but if we discuss about it more and more, people will gradually gain acceptance for it.
    Few Questions for those who oppose Homosexuality
    Those who think Homosexuality is a choice, I ask them to force themselves to become a homosexual just for one day. And if you fail, then it means it is not a choice. (A very small percentage maybe, is able to do so because they are Bisexual and they will know this).
    And if anyone think homosexuality is a disease, then they are morally bound to provide a viable cure to this disease. If they can’t then they have no moral right to stop gay/lesbian marriages. (In my opinion homosexuality is not a disease, it is biological)
    The fact is that it’s not gay but straight relationship that produces gay/lesbian babies.
    So blame straight people for producing homosexual babies.
    Can anyone explain why gay marriage is even remotely as bad as murder or rape??
    Murder or rape is wrong because one person is violating the right of other person by killing him/her or has sex with her forcefully. In gay marriage no one’s rights are violated. Isn’t this the same argument that many Muslims give in favor of the right of Muslim women to wear burqa/hijab in France??
    If being a homosexual is abnormal because majority are heterosexual then why being left handed is not abnormal, because majority people are right handed??
    I know many people who oppose homosexuality, do so because they find it disgusting. But why should anyone have problem with two homosexuals meeting in private??
    How can anyone justify that a large number of people watching goats and cows being slaughtered in public are less disgusting them two gays kissing in private (something that others might not even know have happened)??Recommend

  • F

    I dont know if that’s how you write, but that sounded really [email protected] B. Haider: Recommend

  • F


    I think you need to go check your history. So that you can figure out if pakistan is indeed a state like israel, that was founded on just religion and all citizens should be muslims
    It’s ignorance like this that divides the country and ruins its imageRecommend

  • F

    @Faysal Mustafa:
    I think what should influence your understanding even more are scientific research papers and writings. Recommend

  • Sana

    @Mirza Abeer:
    That’s exactly what the LGBT community wants…for others to stop giving a ** about their personal choices! Recommend

  • Pakistani

    Do what ever you wish in the privacy of your bedroom no one cares, but do not try to bring religion into this whole debate cause you will loose. All the abrahamic religions prohibits Homosexuality explicitly and no matter of verses or debates can negate that.
    And the geniuses who think having an ideology is falsely or a theocratic state is an oxymoron are themselves clueless. After the fall of communism pretty much the same statement was used that Ideologies are dead now, just have a look around the world and see which one is dying. Do as you please just dont expect any sympathy from me, what you do in your bed is your problem not mine. Recommend

  • Safoora Nazeer

    homosexuality is prohibited not Islamically but MORALLY!! No society encourages homosexuality. If someone tries to prevent you from an immoral, abnormal act, would it be barbarism? infact oh NO. He’s being so MULLAH right??. He ‘s being an Extremist!! An ignorant right – Hand Islamist!!
    When would we stop blaming Islam and Islamists for everything??
    and oh well, if YOUR OWN child becomes a homo, what would be YOUR response? “Oh Betaa its ALRIGHT!” is it?
    (yeah n now i too am being an EXTREMIST….right??? :P)Recommend

  • Ashhad A Khan

    @Sarah B. Haider: It’s people like you who make me worry for the future of this country. Yes, it is hard for people to live repressing their feeling and sexual orientation. While I’m perfectly heterosexual myself, I have friends who are gay and they are no different than my straight friends.
    Contrary to popular belief, a gay man or a lesbian woman is not someone who will always be hitting on and wanting to sleep with every man (in the case of the gay man) or woman (in the case of the gay woman) they meet.
    Secondly, for people who believe that being gay is a choice, you people must be out of your mind. Who on earth would choose to live a life of being subjected to shame, harassment and open discrimination and hatred, as homosexuals have to (not just in Pakistan, but in most places in the world). It is a travesty indeed. And Mrs/Ms.Haider, have you ever, for a moment, considered what if you have a child who turns out to be gay. Will you force your child to deny who they are and live a life of depression, or would you embrace them for who they are. You would probably do the latter because the love of a mother can withstand the bigotry with which they have grown up, but what would you feel like if your child was then being ridiculed like that on the internet by faceless bullies.

    You know what they say right. A society is judged by the way they treat their minority, not by the way the appease the majority. And I love Pakistan to death, which is why I realize that there are serious issues within our country, especially in regards to the way we treat our minority. At every opportunity, people like you step up to to defend our ‘culture and society’ that have infringed on the rights of the minority and have suppressed them, showing that you are in complete denial. It’s not just the bigotry from people like you who make me worry for the future of my country, but also the apathy and indifference of a lot of good people who live in fear of speaking out because of bigots like yourself. When stand up and defend things like this, no doubt in good faith, it shows blind patriotism and that is potentially dangerous; we need to stand up and look at our country and see all the faults within it, because if we do not see the faults, we will never be able to fix them.

    One last thing: imagine if you were this girl’s mother or sister, and think of what your comment would make you feel like.

    I know a lot of you probably don’t agree with me, so bring on the verbal abuse and self-righteous preaching.Recommend

  • Ashhad A Khan

    @Umair: Are you being facetious here?Recommend

  • Ashhad A Khan

    @Mustafa Hanif:
    Sorry what exactly qualifies you to say that being homosexual is a personal choice again?
    Is it your self-defined moral compass that makes you think that, and the anonymity of the internet that makes you spew such nonsense. Go read an article. Or talk to somebody who’s a homosexual and has suffered so much for it before you come up with such nonsense.
    It’s utterly disgusting to compare things such as incest and necrophilia with homosexuality. You are born homosexual, you don’t choose to be one.Recommend

  • faisal arshad

    Dear ET,
    You should not compete with western papers by publishing stuff like these :)Recommend

  • Ashhad A Khan

    @Safoora Nazeer: Nobody’s saying that people who are anti-homosexuality are mullahs. Mullahs are a despicable breed of extremists who are using religion for political purposes by brainwashing half the bloody population.
    Most people who are vehemently anti-homosexuality are normal everyday people. Most common people exhibit forms of discrimination every day in their daily lives – it’s a fact. I confess I was homophobic too until I actually met people who were homosexuals, instead of basing my views of them on what the media told me, and realized that all my misconceptions were wrong. I had a Chinese friend at university who was gay. He came from a conservative family and told me that his father had physically beaten him when he found out, such was his anger. He told me of the struggle he faced at home because his conservative chinese parents were repulsed at his sexual orientation. According to him, at that time (it had been a few years and his family had come to accept it), I would have given everything in my life so that I wouldn’t be gay. How on earth can such a person choose to be homosexual? Homosexuals suffer more than the vast majority of people, and especially in a society as narrow minded as Pakistan (and don’t try denying that because due to blind patriotism you feel it’s wrong to be pointing out our own faults). When a person does not choose to be something, blaming them for it or harassing them for it, is purely unjust and is, pure and simple discrimination.

    As for the question of “if YOUR OWN child becomes a homo, what would be YOUR response? “Oh Betaa its ALRIGHT!” is it?”, I honestly do not know how I would feel about that. I do know though that my love for my child would not be dependent on their sexual orientation, and that as a parent I would support him/her through everything, but I wouldn’t exactly be too thrilled about it.

    We all hate people that are different. In the West, they demonized the blacks, the jews, the homosexuals and now they’re doing it to the Muslims. At home, we’re now doing it to the homosexuals too. I didn’t grow up in Pakistan but I still grew up in a religious middle class Pakistani family with strong morals and values so don’t bother preaching Islam to me – I know my stuff. I know that it’s a sin in all the Abrahamic religions, but for me at least, its still a lesser sin than killing people. The vast majority (and I’m not making any assumptions about any of the people who don’t agree with me here) of people in Pakistan who would harm a homosexual were the same people who cheered for monsters like Mumtaz Qadri.

    Stop being the moral police. If it will not affect you, then you don’t need to be an asshole about it (I am saying this in general, it’s not directed at you personally Safoora). We all sin, but we all prefer to spend our time focusing on the sins of others and condemning them for it.

    And I just have one question. Why should a homosexual person not be able to live life openly with somebody they love? Why do you have a problem with it? Allah Subhaana Ta’ala will not send you to hell for somebody else’s sin so apart from your own sense of self-righteousness, why do you want to force somebody to live in misery.Recommend

  • Saira

    If someone is a nudist and wants to live life their way, then what is the problem with that? Some comments here are just pathetic. Let people live their own life!Recommend

  • H. Ali

    @ 4. They are just lonely as they are rejected by the opposite sex…

    I think this is true for me. I am a bisex man because I have never been with a woman. In don’t find any….Recommend

  • goggi


    The Statue of Hindu deity Shiva called (Ardhanārīśvara) showing him with one half of the body as male and the other half as female, is thousands of years old and was a source of puzzle and astonishment for centuries.

    This riddle was solved from the modern psychology, that the human is neither heterosexual nor it is homosexual………… All humans are born bisexual but through psychological development (which includes both external and internal factors) become monosexual while the bisexuality remains in a latent state!

    So we conclude that sexual behaviour is a learned behaviour. In Pakistan it is not common that men in the public kiss each other on the lips, whereas in the Arab culture it is very common!

    As a shopkeeper, I know dozens of lesbian and gay couples. They define their world themselves and really don´t need our definitions of what is normal or what is abnormal!!!Recommend

  • R. Khan

    I pray for your happiness & give you credit to come out of the closet to declare your preference about your sexuality. It’s your right to do whatever you feel like doing & nobody should dictate their terms & conditions on how to lead your life. Do whatever makes you happy! There is nothing wrong in being gay! Different strokes for different folks.Recommend

  • Pagall

    May Allah help you and show us the RIGHT path

  • obscurantist

    assuming that u r a muslim and you follow islam can you please gimme any good reference in islam for being WHATEVER you like.or may be you wanna deny one of those biggest facts about QOUM E LOOT.why is that one follows islam and still advocates the fact of being gay???
    why is it not this way that ‘ok fine islam doesnt allow it but i do cause i can and will face the penalties on the day of judgment’ cause for me its ‘my’ choice above what ‘my’ religion dictates me??
    sorry but only in this way i find your arguments pretty acceptable.Recommend

  • obscurantist

    @ashhad A khan.
    glad to know atleast you agreed its a sin no matter a lesser one.
    i dont get one thing from your comment..thats regarding advocating gay and defending those who are believe its a sin a lesser one but temme how on earth you justify your act of exonerating a lesser sin???how do you say that if someone is doing a lesser sin you start out with helping him and morally supporting him.
    at first place in an islamic society you need to mention and try to curb ill happenings and foul acts [if only you can do]..and if you think you cant intrude someone’s comfort zone then please stay aside and dont ADVOCATE or JUSTIFY SOMEONE’S LESSER SINSRecommend

  • misspink

    Um okay. Personally I don’t have an issue with gays or lesbians, nor am I a homophobe. To each his own, because we are ultimately responsible for ourselves.
    Had I not been Muslim, or had I been Muslim but not cared enough about it, I would probably have supported gays and lesbians because it does sound like a terrible situation to be in (and because I am a bit of a feminist).
    However, if you believe in the religion, you unfortunately also have to believe at least the major principles it lays forth.
    For example, personally I don’t believe inter-religious marriage is an issue, I’d be fine with marrying a non-muslim (but someone who believes in one God at least). However because Islam says we aren’t permitted to marry non-Muslims, I’ll just have to bite the bullet and accept it, because I do believe it to be the final religion and God’s word.
    Religion is therefore independent of what we think, or what our opinion is, or what we want. It is what it is, you either accept it because you believe in it enough, or reject it because you don’t. And if we don’t fully believe, then we don’t really believe perhaps. I wish we could pick and choose, but we can’t. We can, but then it’s not really true belief.
    In that sense then, I am of the thought that maybe it’s true, maybe people are born gay and lesbian and there’s nothing they can do about it. Fair enough. Allah will not punish you for something you have no control over, and that something He has given you.
    However, He may punish you for acting on your impulses (I say may because only He decides that despite what we’ve been instructed). He gives us all different tests in life, so this might be your test. I’m not sure what the solution is, other than not giving in to sexual urges.
    Bottom line is, thinking/feeling do not entail sin, deeds do, so if you’re not doing anything “immoral” (according to Islam) you’re not liable for punishment either. Either way, best of luck to you, and I hope things work out fine.Recommend

  • khurram

    Do u think we should let them permit to do so???Recommend

  • B

    @Safoora Nazeer:
    Just because the majority believes in something doesn’t make it right. In fact, the majoritarian belief can lead to disaster as it did at the time of the Holocaust. But being the narrow minded bigot you are, you’re probably going to either deny the Holocaust ever happened, or that the Jews deserved it.Recommend

  • KhanSb

    When in Rome, live as Romans do….

    This aint Rome…so no lady on lady action here. You need to find a handsome, strapping young lad to show you the ropes. Dont be offended by what people say, be offended by the God`s Law (assuming whatever religion you believe in). We always do things for a reason, I need just one good reason which will justify your argument.

    Tolerance is one thing, but plain illogical bull dung is another. Open your minds but dont close your hearts. You wouldnt be afraid if youd be doing the right thing. Lucky your parents werent gay or we would`nt be having this conversation.

    I believe the youth should consider the bad simply bad and good plainly good. But dont justify wrongdoings with cockamania logic and DIY theories.

    In the end all that matters is one lives ones own life the way they want to. Don`t expect the world to turn tables and accept you for who you are. If a lion is thrown meat, rest assured it will eat it.

    This whole blog is the result of too much media freedom. There is no line that can be drawn to separate logic and morality from sheer stupidity.Recommend

  • Aurangzeb

    Hakeem Saeed would have cure for homosexuality…. its not like there is no cure for it…. Recommend

  • Fahad Raza

    Dear Anonymous and LesGays
    One question only….

    If you guys think you’r right in what you do, why not seek judicial support in that pretext rather than foreign support?Recommend

  • Lofted Shot

    @ Sarah B. Haider

    Bibi, Why not bring religion in between ? Only One thing I’ll say, “Your name represents your religion.” :) I hope you got my point.

    No matter what, our society will never ever accept homosexuality. Yes almost every religion is conservative as it got positive reasons for humankind.Recommend