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shame on us

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Dear all,<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />

I never want to use bad words for anybody but this time I am using. The writer of this mail is a fool and a total stupid.

I am an Indian gay man and I am married with a woman. About five years ago, I disclosed to my wife that I am gay. My children also know about it. In spite of this, if I was in that gay party, I would have agreed to pay any amount (even several lakhs of rupees) to the police, rather than being arrested, resulting in an announcement of my homosexuality to the whole world.

If today the people come to know that I am a homosexual, the prospects of the marriage of my children, who will soon approach marriageable age, will be simply finished. I cannot ruin the lives of my children, come what may. I also want to live a true life openly as a gay with dignity (and that is the reason why I myself disclosed to my wife and children) but not at this cost.

Most gay men in India are married, they have children, and their children go to school. If the people come to know about a school child that his father is gay and he was caught attending a gay party, it should not be very difficult for we people to understand the consequences. Those young gay boys who are unmarried might also have younger brothers and sisters who will have to be married away by their parents in due course. If the news about their gay status spreads in the society in this way, their siblings can never hope to get married. I do not think that I need to write more on this issue. All of us know that in India the families of such gay men will be outcasted, will be completely boycotted, may be thrown out of the colony, may be attacked and worse can happen. The gay man will be thrown out of his job; he will lose all his clients if he is in business and worse will happen. To be precise, some gay men will have to commit suicide if their homosexuality is disclosed to the world in this way. In spite of the suicide, the reputation of their families will be completely lost. The writer of this mail ought to know this.

The organizers of this party have invited trouble on their own by their irresponsible and unruly behaviour. Whenever you are going to have a large gathering of people, the first thing which you should do is to inform the local police in advance and take their permission for the event. The organizers did not do this. On the contrary, they were playing loud music in the midnight creating trouble for others. If heterosexual men and women organize such parties to solicit sex, their party will also be raided by police. We regularly read in the newspapers about certain rave parties being raided by the law enforcing agencies due to unruly behaviour of the participants who are heterosexuals. Even after the removal of 377, the police will raid such parties. Removal of 377 is not a license to seek and solicit sex in a large gathering of people any where any time. Even heterosexuals will be prosecuted if they do this. If you organize such a party and indulge in unruly behaviour after 377 goes, the police will certainly blackmail you. They will threaten you to book you under some other section for which you will have to reveal your name and address, and then the police will threaten you that they will inform your wife and parents that you are gay unless you pay them.

As long as you have a secret and a hidden life, you are vulnerable to blackmail. 377 or no 377, it makes no difference. This is true of any other secret which you might have. If you have taken bribe and somebody knows this, he can black mail you. If you have stolen something and somebody comes to know about it, you can be blackmailed. The only option left for you is to have an open life, without any secrets.

This is the reason I have been requesting that we should fight the government for creating an acceptability of homosexuality in the society, not just removal of 377. The govt. should start it with Same-sex Marriage Law. Thereafter, the govt. should publish the opinion of medical science about homosexuality in newspapers, magazines, show it on TV, radio etc. and also publicize it through all other means of mass communication. We should force the government to launch special drives so that gays come out of their closet. The govt. should make teams of medical doctors, psychiatrists, social workers, government officers of the ministry of social welfare, NGO’s etc. who will publicize in the society that being a homosexual is same as being a heterosexual and there is no difference between the two. The government should highly publicise the addresses and contact details of such teams and create help lines to which gay men can contact. After this, these teams should meet the parents, relatives, neighbours, colleagues, friends etc. of the gay men, disclose to them that the man is a gay and there is nothing wrong in it. Similarly, we should force the government to launch special drives for married gay men and encourage them to take divorce telling their relatives and friends the truth about homosexuality.

This is the correct way to come out, and not the way this stupid gentle man is suggesting – solicit sex in a gay party, get arrested, and get disclosed. Horrible!

I am sorry to use the bad words in my mail, but I am very agitated the way this mail has been written.

Prashant

— On Tue, 23/6/09, moderator@gaybombay.in <moderator@gaybombay.in> wrote:
Shame on us! Or The story of the “reverse gear”..

Posted by: “kamble zameer” zamkam@yahoo.de zamkam

Tue Jun 23, 2009 5:37 am (PDT)

SHAME ON US

Two days back there was a gay party, held in a village in Lonavala by a person, who generally arranges the gay parties in Pune.

I was going to the Lonavala party for the first time and had taken along three close friends with me. Two of them are out and also act in my play OFFBEAT. One of them, a muslim guy is in the process of outing himself due to marriage pressure at home. Then there was my date, a chat friend from a remote village in Rajasthan, who shifted to Pune, just last month, again due to marraige pressure at home. I was glad that he was atleast clear about not getting married and I had kind of also motivated him by describing to him the queer movement in India in general. He was thrilled to know about the gay parties in Mumbai and Pune. So I had promised him to take to the said Lonavala Party.

My Muslim friend had got one more friend along, he was coming to this party for the first time too. He is a south indian and is not out to his family too.

Out of the way we also picked one more friend from Nigdi, who acted in my short film, but had requested me to not screen his real name in the film titles.

On the way we had our fun of having drinks, wada-pav and singing “gay” songs like “Hum tum dono jab mil jayen’gay’ “, etc. When we finally reached the spot at 12.30, we realized, we were falling short of some money. Since we had got so many friends with us, the organizer didnt mind it, he still let us in.

Inside there was loud music in perfect mild light and lots of good (hee hee!) guys dancing. I joined in with my date and started enjoying the music too. Since I and two of my friends were drunk, we had some good share of funny moments too.

At around 1.30 three policemen stormed in the bunglow and asked us to stop the music. They came inside and checked the whole bungalow, looked for alcohol bottles and stared at our “queer” presence.

We all were obviously scared to death. The policemen went in the corridor of the bungalow and started interrogating the organizer and the DJs who apparently were localites.

I forgot my fear as soon as the organizer came to me asking for help. So I went out to the cops, gave them all details about myself, told them I am a German Teacher in the University of Pune, I voluntarily also work for HIV-Awareness etc. I didnt want to say “Gay” because I didnt want them to have ideas if they already hadnt realized it yet. But no, they knew it. The cops immediately asked me, why were we partying with “reverse” people here. It didnt take much time for me to understand that “reverse” was their word for gay. The cop asked me to stop convincing him and ordered me to get all the people out and to give thier names and addresses.

I went inside and for the first time I saw faces, because now there was light. Most of them were scared, silent and staring at me with hope and fear. Two of my actor friends asked me what happened. I told them that the cops want us to come out of the bungalow and give our details. Immediately people started panicking. But I and my friends were convinced that this is the time to come out and say the truth. I had shown the film “Milk” to them recently and we were obviously on a high and thought it to be appropriate to go in custody and start the movement in Pune.

But the majority of people had other plans. They rejected our idea there and then. They wanted to pay bribe to the cops and have the thing settled as soon as possible. I personaly very well understand how difficult it is to come out and especialy the way I and my friends were wishing it. So I again went to the cops, persuaded them, asked them what amount they wish to have.

The cop told me that he would take one thousand rupees from each of us. I said, it was obviously impossible for all of us to pay you a thousand each, simply also because we didnt have that much money with us. He was reluctant, didnt want to hear any arguments and reminded me that he knew there are “reverse” people in the party. I was annoyed by then, I told him that being “reverse” is not a crime. We agree we had drinks, played loud music so late, but just for being “reverse” you cannot charge us thousand rupees each.

He got angry with me, said the typical, “Dont teach me the law, I will show you the law, I will take all of you in custody and you will be in the newspapers tomorrow.” I knew my two friends would be happy to hear it, thats what we wished. But unfortunately there were other people there to persuade the cops, they didnt like the way I was conversing with the cops and were shit scared by that declaration of the cops. So they all requested me to shut my mouth and took me inside.

I went inside and saw the scared faces again. There were many stories hidden behind these faces. One of them asked me whether he could pay them his thousand rupees and go. There was one who was from Mumbai and was irritated by the bad organizing skills of Puneites. There were some transgenders who were the only ones who were ready to go for my plan. They said, “Just let us speak with the cops, we will do such “Hijadpan” (acts) that they will immediately leave us.” And I knew they were saying the truth. I have seen it myself many a time, the policemen generally leave transgenders and Hijras. One of my transgender friend says, the policemen leave them because they cant take the ugly. For them we are the ugliest part of the society, already meaningless, hopeless creatures and hence they expect no returns from us, so they leave us. But here I was trying out the political, intellectual way, in vain of course. My heart went out for those transgender friends
and I bursted out crying because my socalled “gay”, upwardly mobile “queens” were not ready to come out. I had seen them doing the unimaginable in the dark, but now they were not even ready to be themselves.

One of them said, he recently got married and was ready to give away his wedding ring. He said, he didnt want his parents and wife to know that he was gay. There were some who managed to run away. One of them was the friend from Nigdi, whom we had picked up out of the way. He asked the newbie, south indian friends of ours to come along. But he told him, he cannot leave alone, without us, his friends.

Finally the people collected whatever money they had and it was hard for me to believe, they actually paid the policemen a total amount of 22,000 rupees with a wedding ring. With that the police left.

Angrily I took my friends, took the “reverse” gear and came back home. Reached home early morning, was thinking all the while, with my head rested on the chest of my date. My date by the way was also very scared, but he stood with us, whenever I went inside the bungalow with updates about the police, he held my hands and said, he is very scared. I always consoled him saying, “Dont worry, everything will be alright.”

we all went to sleep in my one BHK. I slept hugging my date and was blessed with intimate sex with him in the morning. I had already decided to write about this. But was waiting for different perspectives. All friends shared their stories. Some of them remembered that the DJS and the organizers had maintained their cool, which left us wondering, that it could be a set up by them. If it was, then it is all the more sad.

But what leaves me sad and ashamed is the chance we all missed, to come out, to take a stand, to be authentic and honest to our own identity. I remembered the scenes in the film “Milk”. The first scene of the film shows cops taking away homosexuals from clubs in jail. I also rememberd a dialogue of Milk commenting on “Anita something”, who was against homosexuals. He says’ “Anita is born to bring us homosexuals together. I am glad she is being herself.” I thought, had the cops been a bit honest and did their duty, they could have got us together.

The next day I saw a sms on my mobile phone. The friend from Nigdi, who had escaped the police had sent it. He says: “Sorry, I was very scared and didnt know what to do. Hope you will forgive me, your coward friend.”

I didnt answer it. I have no answer…

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Written by gaybombay

June 24, 2009 at 4:54 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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