Stories about LGBT

Pakistanis should no longer live in fear of other Pakistanis!

Imagine having to wake up every day and being afraid of going to school. Afraid that other students will harass and torment you because of your – perceived or actual – sexual orientation, gender expression, ethnicity, disability, or just because. That is the reality that many Pakistani students face every day. Kids in schools today are harassed because of perceptions related to their sexual orientation and are bullied because of their gender expression. The world community, including the media, general public, opinion leaders and policy makers will commemorate International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia this year on May 17th; but who in ...

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You’ve got (Black)mail: How the LGBT community in India are exploited

It is a well-known fact that many people who identify with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community in India are walking a very fine line – be true to who he/she really is while also maintaining a cautious approach of how that comes across in day to day life. It is unfortunate that such people are held under a microscope with every single action of theirs being analysed and dissected by society, and most recently, for nefarious gains. A 31-year-old gay man in Mumbai named Rajan was surreptitiously followed into a men’s bathroom by two strangers and coerced into performing oral sex ...

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I stand in solidarity with Patricia Arquette

I am not a huge fan of the Oscars because nothing interesting happens during it. It’s the same old show, but recycled every year. And the only reason I’d ever watch the Oscars is because of the pretty dresses showcased by celebrities on the red carpet. I love pretty dresses.   However, this past Sunday, the Oscars took a different turn; they actually became interesting. More and more celebrities were seen talking about rights; civil rights, women rights, immigrant rights, etcetera. From John Legend’s powerful speech on the fact that there are far more black men under correctional control today than they were under slavery in 1850 to Alejandro Gonzalez’s speech which,  after ...

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Gay man thrown off a building: ISIS and TTP, our Frankensteins

I must warn you – there is nothing new to read here. There is nothing here that spells ‘recipe for changing the world’. There are no prescriptions or solutions to the horrors we are witnessing today or have witnessed yesterday. From our birth to our death, we are in a constant struggle to defeat our own monsters and demons on a daily basis, with silent victories and failures in self-improvement, relationships with family and friends, spiritual and economic prosperity, and learning and taking care of health. The awareness of how well prepared we are in terms of dealing with the monsters ...

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Three transgender people employed, well done Sindh government!

As I scanned through the multitude of headlines splashed across some of Pakistan’s e-papers on January 30, 2014 one headline caught my eye. The Sindh government has employed three transgender persons as full-time employees. The only thing that disappointed me was the fact that this issue was not carried across every e-paper and it was limited to only a handful of news reporting websites in Pakistan. The term ‘transgender’ encompasses a wide array of definitions. To put it in the simplest of terms, it is when the state of one’s gender identity does not match one’s assigned gender. This includes a person whose ...

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Liberal India will not accept the SC verdict, we are not against LGBTs

Shehla Rashid cuts a lonely figure in the crowd of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community at Delhi’s protest street popularly known as Jantar Mantar. A student of sociology in a leading university in the capital and an activist fighting for the cause of women and minorities, Rashid has come to express solidarity with the gay community who are outraged over the judgement of the Supreme Court that has criminalised same sex alliance. The young student feels angry that the apex court has lost a historical opportunity to give the sexual minority their due rights under the constitution. “The judgement ...

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‘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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Pakistan hates its LGBTs but loves its LGBT porn

Pakistan hates its LGBTs (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) but loves its LGBT porn. That was the hypothesis of Alex Park’s piece in Mother Jones magazine, “Why Is Gay Porn So Popular in Pakistan?” The story came soon after the findings of a Pew Research Centre poll on global acceptance of homosexuality were released — findings which showed only two per cent of Pakistanis feel homosexuality should be accepted by society, placing the motherland second behind Nigeria. The openly-gay British actor and journalist Stephen Fry said last year, “At least 260 species of animal have been noted exhibiting homosexual behaviour but only one ...

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Let’s not blame Obama

At a friend’s birthday bash recently, I came across Ammar Ali Jan, an activist and history teacher from Beaconhouse University, who had a very thoughtful outlook towards racism in America. “The real problems in America have always had socioeconomic roots. They always have. These debates on race and racial profiling are only attempts to shroud the harsh ground realities. They are only distractions from real problems,” he said. What Jan suggested cannot be ignored. But the fact that racial profiling is at its peak in America cannot be ignored either. Otherwise, who would’ve thought how America is still coming to ...

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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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