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State of Queerness in Pakistani Society:

The recent incidence of gay marriage that made headlines after sole shattering case was
taken to court has sparked a debate on status of queerness in our society. A UK-returned
man having a contract of civil partnership with his friend was dragged to court by his
brother on allegedly refusing to marry a girl. The controversial case triggered the debate
about presence of homosexual tendencies here.
Psychologists and sexologists claim that it has been there and spreading in society
because of several reasons, while religious intelligentsia prefer to remain in state of
denial.
On the other hand, there are certain groups advocating for gays’ rights in Pakistan who
got encouragement after Indian Supreme Court decriminalized homosexuality in 2009.
With a number of renowned personalities including names from media amongst them,
such groups like to keep their identity hidden amid the fear of harsh reaction from
society. However majority lies with their opponents. Religious scholars and a larger part
of civil society consider it a crime against nature, society and family system.
Students of many far-famed educational institutions both religious and modern admitted
to be involved in gay activities but said that they can not admit it openly because of
society’s pressure.
Sexologists say the tendency has its strong presence in ‘just-men’ environments like non
co-education schools and colleges, medressah system, army and areas of southern Punjab
and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. In seraiki belt, it is considered a symbol of pride to have a
younger boy associated with men of celebrated status.
But it is also prevailing in some other networks as fashion industry and modern clubs
where it is promoted as a status symbol. An insider source of fashion industry confirmed
the myth about men of industry being gay. Pakistan Today talked to a boy, Nadeem, who
wanted to be a model but was refused because of allegedly not becoming a part of gayest
activities. The business of body-massaging-Be it modern massage centers or traditional
malish wala- has also links with unformal institutionalization of gay trends. A massager,
Haroon Rashid found on a busy road of Lahore told Pakistan Today that many people get
him with them for gay services even. “Majority of those is middle aged. I charge 1000 to
2000 depending on the nature of service.” He said. He revealed that those who cannot
afford to pay find partners often by offering them lift and then incite their feelings.

Clinical psychologist and Sex therapist in Ganga Ram Hospital Ms. Mirrat Gul Butt told
Pakistan Today that anything deviating from widely accepted norms was considered a
disorder in psychology so the homosexuality was a deviation from our norms but not
from modern culture’s. She claimed that it has risen up very much in our society in last
decade. She told that every such case blamed his family for neglecting him in childhood
which led him to involve in such a relationship. She told a case where boy turned from
heterosexual to homosexual after breakup with his female partner. “There are many cases
of men having a successful married life but also carrying gay identity.” She added. She
said conflicts between parents, no check on children, openness and improper dressing
being shown in media and lack of sex-education were leading society towards such
tendencies.
Describing the process of developing gay inclination, consultant clinical psychologist in
Punjab Institute of Mental Health, Mubashar Ahmad says that majority of boys have a
history of abuse from their peer group in early age and that first impression of sexual
relationship helps promoting this tendency. “In our society after being adult, access to a
female partner is much more difficult than a male, so frustrated by sex desire boys find
this easy way to fulfill it.” He told. In the beginning they do it for fun, but then they
develop a constant tendency for men only. “The fear of segregation from society keep
them remain silent about their sexual orientation and without knowing right or wrong
they keep getting into this.” Mubashar said.
Suggesting solution for the problem, psychologists insist on imparting proper sex-
education to children on reaching the age of puberty.
Most of Ulemas contacted called it strictly forbidden in Islam and refrained to talk in
detail on the issue.
Zia-ul-Haq Naqashbandi, spokesperson of Jamia Naeemia, agreed to talk on this topic.
Replying to a question regarding such activities in Madressahs he denied the blame and
said that more of such immoralities are happening in colleges and universities. He said
that influence of European culture through media and distancing youth from Islamic
values is causing such immoralities to spread in society. He sought death penalty for
people involved in such crimes.
An advocator of gay rights’ seeking anonymity told Pakistan Today that gay activity and
gay identity are two different things. He defined gayer activity a process which every
man experiences at least once in his life while gay identity is status of being attracted
towards men only. He denied it to be unnatural saying, “It is not causing any danger to
society and it has been there in human history from beginning even the animal species
have this tendency.”