Auntyji says… Oh dear, beta ji, this is a very big samasya situation for you and us and for many others who may be reading this, let’s discuss why.
Sabse pehel toh ji, I would suggest you stop comparing people to spiders, hain jee? If we hate spiders, we try not to meet them, or when they come near us we fear and detest them, and we may even want them dead and out of this planet. Unfortunately for you dear Vivek, these emotions don’t really translate into people. So sure, I get it for comparison sake, but nothing else.
How does the dictionary define a phobia? 'A fear or aversion to something – expecially one that is irrational.' In this case the key word is 'irrational'.There is no reason for your phobia, no good enough logic, but it is here and taking over a part of your life. The issue is it usually causes anxiety and panic, but the very good news is it can be treated and managed. The problem with you, dear Vivek, is you don’t want to manage it. Rather you say, “Why should I like gay people?”
Just like you and me
Because beta, they are people. Human beings like you and me. People made by your God and mine, people who love, like, hate adore, have your and my blood, maybe someone’s brother, sister, niece, uncle – maybe in our own family. Just another human being, beta. God-made, nature-blessed, loving people. People who you too would love to be with – as long as you did not know their orientation. Not spiders, human beings. That’s why you have to accept them beta, have to make room for them, have to let them be.
No good reason
So what makes you detest gay people so much? Have you ever tried to find out?One can’t really get away with saying, “They are disgusting.” Disgusting, how? Has some gay person forced themselves on you? Have you been told to do any gay person any favour, have they got ahead of you because they are gay and not capable? Have they hurt or harmed you in any way? For sure, we meet people we just don’t like, for no apparent reason – that happens. You just don’t hit it off and whatever that person may do, you can’t find any good in it. But that can happen with anyone right? Gay or straight – not because they are gay, hain na? Think of one such person you don’t like that much... is s/he gay?
And now think of one person you do like really very much, even admire and have had a loving relationship with, a colleague, a friend, a neighbour. So if they were to tell you they were gay, would all their good qualities – the fun times you had, the ups and downs you shared – would all that get just wiped out? If I were gay beta, would my word have less value for you?
No more phobia
Homophobia is oppressive. It isolates us from people who are as equal as you, me or the next person you meet. Sab ek hain. Beta, do you know what a long history of marginalisation and discrimination gay people come with? Do you realise that till today they are struggling and fighting for a legitimate identity? Can you imagine living a day in which you have to prove you are OK, normal, equal? Would you be able to live a single day like that? Can you imagine a life of social ridicule and rejection – every day?
Homophobia is a phenomenon gay people encounter each day. It may crop up from the most unseen quarters. It takes the shape of rage, hitting, brutalising and killing gay people. Why? Because some people find them “disgusting”. [Read stories about sneers, beatings, poison: living with LGTB phobia – ed.]
Read and learn
So does that mean everyone we find “disgusting” we can kill, rape, beat... annihilate form the face of this earth? No, Na? So then why isolate gay populations? Because you are many and they fewer? Because they are not like you – so will you do this to everyone who is not like you? Does this apply to each person in this world? So if you are not like your neighbour, can he kill, loot, plunder you? Hurt and harm your family, because you seem ‘disgusting’? Is this the world we want to live in? Is this the inheritance we want to hand down to our children?
Beta Vivek, read and inform yourself about homosexuality. Read about the myths. See and value the contribution, understand the struggles and relate all this to your own. Open your heart, your nazar and nazariya, your vision and your perspective. Frankly, it’s high time!To protect the author's privacy, the person in the photo is a model.
This article was first published on May 13, 2014.
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