Because I'm a lesbian
I'm an ordinary girl from a middle class family - except I'm a lesbian. And no, I don't have a mental disorder.
For 24 years, the horror of lesbianism haunted me. No, I don’t belong to an anti-religion, mod squad, liberal family. My family is as normal as any middle-class and religious family could be.
After my teens, I grew up questioning my sexual orientation and my doubts turned into guilty trepidation when I realized this was not "just the phase" I was going through. This was the my life which I had been constantly denying.
Being a lesbian in Pakistan where one is eloquently declared a sinner or deemed to have a psychological disorder, is like committing a crime. You are considered as disgusting as filth, as unnatural as molestation, as uncouth as an animal.
I decided to remain in the closet; it was safe and respectable. Also, because it remains the only option when you don’t have enough strength to meet your own fears or peoples' questions.
Time passed by but my repressed emotions did not die. No matter how blase you act at school it is still profoundly hard to be accepted. Of course, everyone you know is against marital rape, forced marriages, killing in the name of blasphemy, but when it comes to accepting homosexuality:
"Are you in your senses? Tauba Tauba"
Fear of rejection from the system has always been the big let down. Always.
Thankfully, my keen interest in women has never been questioned; I have not been subject to the hardships faced by homosexual men. This is a sad and global phenomenon; homosexual men suffer far more than the women do.
My eventual confession took years of silence and tears of blood. I gathered my all strength and shared the truth with my loved ones and I am glad that I did. Now, I am not in the closet from my friends and nor am I alone. I am a fearful lesbian, but one who is supported by her loved ones.
After my experience I want to clarify a few myths about the homosexual community:
1. Homosexuality is a mental disease: Everything that stands out even a little bit is often labelled as abnormal. You will find a heck of a lot of creeps criticizing feminism too.
2. Homosexuality is a choice: I wish this was true. The kind of self-loathing and frustration we homosexuals go through, trust me, if it were a choice, we would never choose to exist in such secrecy.
3. Homosexuals are constantly looking for sex: Sex is a normal physical need, and we don't have desires any greater than the next person.
4. They are just lonely as they are rejected by the opposite sex: You have got to be kidding me. This is mostly said for lesbians but this is stupid. Lesbians I have met in my life are pretty desirable, including myself. I too have options.
5. They don't know what they are missing: This might be true in very few cases but experimentation or lack of experience will not alter someone's orientation.
6. Gay people are anti-religion and morally corrupt: Firstly, all heterosexuals are not religious and morally sound either but this is not the debate. Really? I am a lesbian and I am not an atheist.
I would like to raise the issue of the movement of beheading people in the name of religion which is classified as a freedom movement whereas peaceful protests for LGBT rights is called pornographic. This is the height of hypocrisy and ignorance.
I am not against religion, but I am staunchly against blind practice.
P.S: This blog is a thank you note for The Express Tribune team, who remains courageous and raises voice for oppressed lot and I remain anonymous, but hopefully not for long.