And it Continues…

-Hadi Hussain

Between 1933-45, an estimated 100,000 men were arrested as homosexuals in Germany, of which some 50,000 were officially sentenced. Most of these men served time in regular prisons, and an estimated 5,000 to 15,000 of those sentenced were incarcerated in concentration camps. It is unclear how many of the 5,000 to 15,000 eventually perished in the camps, but leading scholar Ruediger Lautman believes that the death rate of homosexuals in concentration camps may have been as high as 60%.”

March 2000: Hamid Nastoh, 14, committed suicide after being continuously bullied by his school fellows for being gay.

May 2001: 52 gay men were arrested on the Queen Boat; a night-club in a boat moored on the Nile, Egypt and was charged with “habitual debauchery” and “contempt of religion.” 23 among them faced prison sentences of between one and five years of hard labour. During detention, many were sexually abused by the police.”

August 2009: a 26-year-old man and a 17-year-old girl were killed and at least 15 received injuries, when an unknown person opened fire on the crow attending Israeli Gay Youth (IGY) event at Tel Aviv branch of the Israeli GLBT Association.”

April 2010: Dr Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras, 62, was found dead in his apartment. He has been suspended from his job as Chairperson of Modern Languages at Aligarh University, India; on “moral grounds” after students broke in to his place and filmed him with his partner.”

These are just a few vivid excerpts of the blatant display of bestiality, violence and discrimination of heteronormative society against sexual minorities. The very society which considers itself the only legitimate heir of morality and wisdom. Which is so judgmental, so much bigoted and uncompromising in its structure and options that it never allows anything or anyone with a difference?

I always used to wonder and think over the beautiful creations of the nature been found in abundance. Look at the variety of exotic variety of landscapes, the countless types and kinds of flora and fauna or look at the crown of creation, the humans for that matter. There are so many variations in their faces, hairs, emotions, behaviors, thinking patterns that one cannot 100% predict them and most importantly we accept and respect this diversity whole heartedly without making hue and cry. But it’s so paradoxical that when it comes to the sexual orientation, people become skeptical about the very nature who itself favours and creates diversity. I question all those strong headed individuals minds to just think how come nature in incapable of creating diversity only in this department?

What gays are usually called in the sub-continent, homos, chakka, baji, khusri, fags, perverts, sinners…….? That’s all the heteronormative society offers to them. That’s the price they have to pay for being different. They are questioned, they are discriminated, they are ridiculed, they are assaulted, they are raped, and they are murdered only for being different. The society might be happy with them if they remain closeted, get married, have kids and leads a straight life taking them to promised heaven!!! They just want to live in their bubble with their pigeon syndrome.

These are the pre-set rules and norms for any patriarchal society that it feel threatened and insecure about anything or anyone whose is going to challenge its existence, its gender roles and stereotypes. They think that there can’t be anything other than being a heterosexual, leading a straight life; man-on-woman action is the only rule of the game. So how anyone can think about a man on man or woman on woman action?

Moreover, homosexuality is viewed as a greater violation of the male gender role than the female gender role; that is, men are more likely than woman to be punished for being homosexual. Men must be assertive, dominating, aggressive, and emotionally inexpressive whereas women should be gentle, submissive, kind, communal and emotionally expressive is a universal prototype. And it’s that dominating role of man which is giving him right to control, direct and rule the world or the womenfolk for that matter. So if, there’s going to be a man-on-man action than who will be the dominating one and who will be ruled. This threat to the power structure of the heteronormative society is the root cause the homophobia. And to bring any substantial change, we as the responsible citizens of the society, who believe in and value human rights, must come forward and try to change this thinking pattern. Because it’s not a matter of any unknown homosexual, but of someone who is part of our society. He/she can be our brother/sister, son/daughter, uncle /aunt…just anyone.

I had a very endearing experience which I am just going to share with you all. Just a few days back, after my class on gender and sexuality, a student came to my office and said, “Sir! I have been observing you throughout the whole semester and the way you have been addressing the otherwise Hush, Hush issues regarding sexual orientation and queers, is simply stimulating. I googled you and come up with your articles and stuff regarding queer issues and I guess, I have come to know who you are.” I was a little startled at the way she was heading towards the great revelation. I responded “Writing something about any issue under the sun doesn’t claim anything for any writer apart from the critical appraisal.” But she seemed quite adamant in getting my word of mouth and so she said, “Sir! I used to think that if I’ll ever meet someone with different orientation, I will definitely discriminate him/her but now after observing you, having you around, reading your articles and poems, I have realized that how much wrong I was about my own self. I can’t discriminate you, I can’t hate you, I just simply can’t.” Even I have started respecting and loving you more than before and because of your patience with which you handle and digest homophobic comments from the class and most definitely from the society is simply awesome. Let me say that we the people of normal orientation aren’t normal and human enough because we simply lack that level of patience and tolerance which has been a hallmark of many people like you.You have sensitized me completely. ” I was literally on the verge of tears after all she was saying. “I was thinking about you for a few days now and I was wondering that how much you have been gone through in your life. It’s so hard, so difficult and so much painful indeed and I salute you for it.” I was leering at her with complete silence and was trying to hide my approaching tears. Now, after having you, last night, very first time in my life, I took my cousin’s different attitude a cute thing rather than a weird, obnoxious state of affair.” I smiled and only managed to say this, “Thank you so very much, for accepting me for who I am. Thank you.” And she left the room with wet eyes and a smile on her face which insured me that there will be some day when none any queer will be discriminated on the face of this earth. And I hope and pray that it will happen soon.

Hadi Hussain