Stories about homosexuality

Does homosexuality exist in the Urdu ghazal tradition?

The term homosexual was coined in 19th century Europe but its categorisation for the people in the Indian subcontinent had existed long before. The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activism emerged in South Asia in the aftermath of the controversy surrounding the 1996 Indian-Canadian film Fire, written and directed by Deepa Mehta which starred Shabana Azmi and Nandita Das. This film argued in favour of the legitimacy of lesbian representation in cinema and subsequently, in public discourse. Following this contention, Ruth Vanita and Saleem Kidwai presented an outstanding array of writings on same-sex relationships drawn from two thousand years of Indian literature to highlight the ...

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Will legalising homosexuality encourage incest?

(Authors note: Before forming judgment, I urge readers to read this article to the end.) After the United States Supreme Court legalised homosexual marriage across America, those in favour of equal LGBT rights showed their support across the world. Here in Pakistan, Facebook users had their profile pictures covered with a rainbow filter to show solidarity with the ruling. This upset many Pakistanis who are against homosexuality, including actor/intellectual Hamza Ali Abbasi, who feared mankind was now rolling down a slippery slope and that the backdoor to sexual deviations had been opened. For this article, I accepted questions from Pakistani Facebook users ...

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When did rape become the cure to homosexuality, India?

If you thought burning women, throwing acid on their faces, bombing their schools, shooting them for going to school, cutting their noses, shaving their heads, marrying them off to holy texts or animals/cattle, selling them into sex slavery or cutting their genitals off wasn’t bad enough when it came to violence against women, here is a brand new way of oppressing women and cementing patriarchy into its place. In India’s Telengana state, men who were ‘suffering from homosexuality’ are given a corrective measure. That measure is rape. Instances where cousins are betrothed from infancy/childhood/youth and if the male counterpart turns out ...

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Ariba on the outside, Ahmed on the inside

Greeted by the waiter at a café, nervous yet anxious, I inquire about the girl I was scheduled to meet for an interview. “Ma’am, he is waiting for you upstairs.” The first thought that runs through my mind: HE? There must have been some mistake, I thought. To my surprise, I meet a person I was more inclined on calling ‘handsome’ than ‘pretty’. Surrounded by the strong smell of men’s cologne, she was dressed in a crisp white dress shirt for men, a brown belt and beige trousers. I could see the sweat on her hands that wore a Swatch and carried a Blackberry. Ariba Rizvi, ...

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For love of the printed word

In the summer of 2010, a colleague brought a new newspaper to work. The workplace had a number of publications coming in but this one made an immediate impact. The type face was bold, the pictures vibrant with colour and the stories were fresh. It was sassy without being saucy and with enough hard hitting content to make me read it cover to cover in one go. The newspaper was The Express Tribune (ET) and fast becoming the young reader’s choice. The reasons were obvious. Compared to the staid fare ladled out by competing newspapers, The Express Tribune was talking about issues prevalent but ...

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I did not ‘choose’ to be gay

They say I am a sinner and I will forever burn in inferno. I say, I am in hell right now and any inferno will be far comforting than the hate and fear that I experience right now, living in this world. You see, I am a gay man. But is this word enough to describe me? There are many facets of my life. I am 22-years-old and a geography geek who has an affinity for learning about different cultures of the world. My friends call me Wikipedia (I’m not proud of this name though). But my homosexuality gives me a hard time living ‘normally’. My parents ...

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Caught in Islamabad with sex toys and an abortion clinic – Uh Oh

Around 1,000 Pakistani women die every year because of abortion-related complications, and the procedure is often used as a primary family-planning method, rather than a last resort. This is because of a combination between low contraceptive prevalence, low sexual health awareness, unqualified or illegal medical practitioners and social taboos about topics related to sexuality. So when a story comes along that allows broader debate on quack abortionists, it is worrying that the approach taken to covering it is one of religious and moral outrage at the ‘unusual’ sexual elements of the story, rather than the life-preserving element. A recent story about an alleged fake abortion clinic in Islamabad was given ...

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The 87th Academy Awards: And the nominees are…

As the Academy Awards inch closer, everyone is full of excitement, already trying to predict who the winners will be. The Oscar statuette still stands out as the greatest acknowledgment for the art of film making since 1929. Apart from complaints about the complete absence of racial diversity in the nominations, there are quite a few thrilling movies this year which, in terms of art and film-making, make the Oscars as diversified as one can imagine. Here are the nominations for 2015: Whiplash Photo: IMDb Whiplash had the lowest budget out of all the Oscar nominations. It is an astounding display of the ...

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Grey

Grey road Shit! The fidgety son of a… Slowly breathes out, repeats, repeats… don’t stop. *Grunts* On a scale of one to 10, the pain I felt was a solid madar… But as my blood rushed out, diluting my consciousness with it, my body involuntarily limped and my selfish soul decided to dissociate itself from the physical pain. My body went numb soon after being shot. My brain decided that this wasn’t real, this cannot be real and my soul, in a final desperate attempt to distinguish itself from the physicality of all this, lurched out and propped up on the bonnet of the car. I ...

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24 absurd beliefs Pakistanis have

Norms are beliefs about how members of a group should behave in a particular context. They are informal and often ‘invisible’ understandings and rules that govern a group’s behaviour towards particular religious, social, cultural, political and socio-economic triggers. Norms generally define what is acceptable in a society or group and are the building blocks for appropriate and inappropriate values, beliefs, attitudes, behaviours, ideologies and narratives. These rules are generally implicit. In addition to what is considered normative in societal, political or cultural context, there are smaller groups within a society which endorse a particular norm. On one hand, norms define how to move, what to wear, how ...

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