Stories about gay

‘Don’t hate us, know us’, but PTA disagrees: Pakistan’s first gay website banned

If you’re happy and they know it, then you’re probably not clapping anymore. However, as your claps fade, you may hear the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority’s (PTA) celebrations begin. They stole the legendary pot of gold at the end of a rainbow and that’s reason enough to pat each other on the back – of course in a strictly heterosexual manner. Allegedly the gold they found is labelled ‘silence’ and they are guarding this treasure with their lives by refusing to waste golden words on ‘non-issues’ like the Pakistani gay community. However, we’re not Iran and moderate enlightenment blessed us with a split personality disorder; one side-effect of ...

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Politicising homosexuality: A make or break for US presidents

The president of the United States, dispelled all doubt his democratic supporters or republican opposition had earlier this month when he spoke in support of gay marriage in a televised interview with Robin Roberts of ABC News.  The announcement comes at a sensitive time as this is election year and gay rights, union, and marriage have always been a sensitive political subject for those on the Hill and all citizens of the United States. Although the first amendment of the American Constitution’s Bill of Rights includes the freedom of association, laws for and ...

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Emo kids get shot in Iraq

So I was going through the news a couple of days ago, and came across a rather odd piece of news – ‘Iraq emo killings raise alarm’. The first thought in my head was “whoa, did they run out of bombs?”. And the second was: – I have short hair – I wear black – I have a pierced lip. If I was in Iraq would they put my name on a hit list just because of the way I was dress? According to a news piece published in Huffington Post on March 11, 2012, these so-called ‘emo kids’ are being killed because as a ...

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No homosexuality in Pakistan, and other lies

While visiting Karachi University a few months back for a fieldwork assignment, I had a rather peculiar run-in with a group of clinical psychologists. All of them were involved in clinical and rehabilitative projects and had recently banded together to start a small forum to teach people aspiring to enter mental health and also to disseminate specialised information among professionals. They felt that such knowledge was largely disaggregated in Pakistan.  This meeting was atypical for me since it was one of my first encounters with a group of well educated and professionally active psychologists who wanted to inject some vigour into the ...

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Because 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 ...

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Thank you Mufti Sahab, for helping me out of the closet

From every angle, I am your typical Pakistani middle class urbanite twenty-something. There is nothing about my mannerisms, wardrobe or grooming that differentiates me from anyone in my social circle. However, even some of my best friends don’t know my deepest darkest secret, a secret that I have been suppressing for far too many years now: I am gay. This is a story of what made me come out to my best friends: a Mufti sahab. On Sept 6 2011, on the show Frontline, which is hosted by Kamran Shahid some panelists were discussing personal freedom in an Islamic society. The debate touched ...

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Real life lessons: How to drive away rishtas

Showing signs of puberty is all that a member of the fairer sex needs to land herself her very first rishta. Though some girls might love to bask in the glory of getting the most suitors without even having to progress to a B-cup, several others despise it. In fact, I have a hoard of acquaintances and friends alike who had to come up with ingenious, and sometimes drastic plans to act as an interlude to their mom’s ‘hunt for the perfect male’. So, I’ve decided to compile a few of their best ideas for anyone who might be in ...

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Why is Ultimate Spider Man black?

There is a new Spider Man in town, folks! His name is Miles Morales and he is part Latino, and part black. And apparently, Marvel Comics haven’t ruled out giving Spidey a gay future! Miles Morales, of course, replaces the iconic character Peter Parker as the new web slinger. Parker – in a move that shocked many fans – was killed off in June by his arch nemesis, Green Goblin, in the Ultimate Spider-Man comics. Morales reveals himself to be the new boy behind the Spidey mask in the series, and is set to headline the Ultimate Spider Man series in ...

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It’s not easy being gay

I am a male. I am a Muslim. I am a Pakistani and I am gay. I come from a deeply religious family, where everyone prays five times a day and reads the Qur’an every day. I came to the realization when I was eighteen-years-old, while I was in a relationship with my first girlfriend. Even though I was with her, I did not feel any sort of attraction towards her. The only feeling that I felt for her was of a friendly affection, nothing more and nothing less. I say realization, but deep down I suppose I always knew that I ...

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Islamabad Diary: Of dodgy scoops and ‘cultural terrorism’

An elected official of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), who I am sure would prefer to remain anonymous since he would not want people to know how he wastes his time courting journalists, sent a text message last week offering his condolences for Roger Federer’s loss at Wimbledon. This had followed an earlier conversation we had had where I explained that the tension over the government’s survival and political machinations in the country seemed so insignificant compared to the travails of the greatest tennis player in history. After receiving the SMS, my instant reaction was to cut the man some ...

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