Oct 17, 2008

Lifestyle - First Indo-Pak gay love story blooms on internet

Amir Mir

Hammad, who has designed Pakistan’s first gay website, pakistangays.com, and his lover want to settle abroad as man and spouse

ISLAMABAD: There have been many heart-warming cross-LoC love stories, but this gay one takes the cake.

Hammad from Pakistan is in love with an Indian man, whose name he doesn’t want to disclose. He met the Indian on the internet.

He confides, “I am in love with an Indian man I met over the internet, but we have not met yet in person. We can’t think of marriage in either of the (conservative) countries.”
Hammad, who is studying accounting, plans to get a job abroad where he can settle down with his partner as man and spouse.

“My parents keep insisting that I get married or at least engaged. May be they have sensed my chill towards girls, but that is the way we are supposed to be. We are born this way… we can’t help it.”

Hammad has gone down the gay lane a bit too far, designing Pakistan’s first gay website, pakistangays.com. He runs the site, which had 569 Pakistani members last checked, from internet cafes for obvious reasons.

Of those who have registered, 302 are “gays”, 241 “bisexuals” and the remaining “transgender”.

“I cannot run it (the site) from home because my parents will find out and that would destroy me forever,” Hammad exaggerates, admitting with a sense of guilt that homosexuality is illegal and haraam in this country.

“I want to leave Pakistan and my lover wants to leave India so that we can unite and rid ourselves of this unending feeling of guilt.”

In the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, homosexuality is not only illegal, but a crime punishable by whipping, imprisonment, or even death. But across classes and social groups, men have sex with men.

In villages throughout the country, young boys are often forcibly “taken” by older men. Often, these boys move to the cities and become prostitutes.

In some areas, homosexuality is sometimes acceptable. In the Northwest Frontier Province, the ethnic Pashtun men who dominate the region are known to take young boys as lovers. No one has been executed for sodomy in Pakistan’s recent history

No comments: