Being a lesbian in Bangladesh is not as fun as one might assume. First, you are discriminated because you are a girl, then you face a loss of privilege because you like girls. Anyway, we will get into this some other time. It’s a long discussion.
Being someone who’s somewhat out of the closet, the level of weird ideas people have about homosexuality here really freaks me out at times. We think we know everything, but sadly we don’t, and this Pride Month, I took it as my duty to let the world know the truth (that has already been out there for a long time, but whatever).
How many of you have thought at least one of the following-
1. Gay people do not exist in Bangladesh
It’s easier to deny the existence of something that you cannot accept. Like ghosts or demons or unicorns. But we do exist and fabulously so! You know nothing, straight people.
2. Homosexuality is a Western concept.
Know your history before saying this thing out loud. The first Mogul emperor Babur had forever been deemed to be a closeted homosexual based on his poetic verses regarding a guy. And in the 16th century, a great love story was written about Shah Hossain, a Sufi poet, and Madho Lal, a Brahmin. Were they influenced by the “Western concept” as well?
3. It’s all about the sex
Please! We have feelings too. We fall in love like anyone else. We get our hearts broken just like anyone else. We find ourselves in the middle of confusing love triangles like everyone else.
4. Homosexuality is a mental illness
It’s scary how so many people still hold this thought. Me being a girl who likes girls, I have no problem in dealing with my everyday life. Thus I deny I have an illness. First-hand evidence. Plus backed up by psychiatric theory.
5. And marriage is the cure
Here’s an awesome idea! Since she is not attracted to guys, let’s get her married to one.People, where’s your logic?
6. Having sex with the opposite sex makes you straight
So in order to be straight, I have to force myself to have sex with someone I’m not at all attracted to. And voila! I’m not gay anymore!
7. Homosexuality is a choice
If I were given a choice about my sexuality, how can one honestly think I would choose to be a lesbian instead of being straight? Am I so dumb I would choose something that will make my life miserable, make me feel like an outcast, & can potentially make my family throw me out?
8. All gay guys are effeminate
I have seen gay dudes who are more macho and “manly” than many straight guys. And there’s nothing effeminate about being well-groomed.
9. All lesbians are tomboys
I have seen many feminine lesbian and bisexual girls who have more knowledge on makeup and fashion than many of my straight counterparts.
10. Gay guys hit on all men & lesbian girls hit on all women
Since you are straight, do you hit on every person of the opposite sex? I’m sure the answer is no. It’s the same here. We are human beings too. And seriously, who has the time for that?
11. All people who support LGB rights are gay themselves
It’s like saying people for environmental rights are actually trees in disguise. You really don’t need to be gay to support their rights!
12. You do not know any gay person
It’s a given demographic fact that 10% of any population is homosexual. That means, for every 10 people you know, it’s likely at least 1 is not straight and may be closeted if not out. Be empathetic and avoid the gay jokes. You wouldn’t want anyone you love to suffer in silence now, do you?