Nigel Campbell's picture

Pakistan: Gay Sex Is Everywhere, But Are Relationships Impossible?

BBC News is providing an in-depth look into homosexuality in Pakistan. 

"Underground parties, group sex at shrines and "marriages of convenience" to members of the opposite sex are just some of the surprises that gay Pakistan has to offer. Under its veneer of strict social conformity, the country is bustling with same-sex activity."

Reporter Mobeen Azhar spoke with a man in his fifties, "Danyaal," who says, "These days there are smartphone apps that use GPS to tell you how close you are to another gay person with an online profile. There are thousands of gay men online in Pakistan at any one time."

"If you want sex too, it's a gay man's paradise. If you want a relationship, that may be more difficult."

And that appears to be the rub. While sex is accessible, relationships between men are still unlawful in the country. 

The expectation that individuals will marry people of the opposite sex, leads to "a culture of dishonesty and double lives" according to researcher Qasim Iqbal. 

Iqbal says, "Gay men will make every effort to stop any investment in a same-sex relationship because they know that one day they will have to get married to a woman."

These double lives include sex between men in public places, including the city of Karachi's busiest shrine.

According to BBC,  "Families go to the Abdullah Shah-Ghazi shrine to honor the holy man buried there and to ask for God's blessings, but it is also Karachi's biggest cruising ground.

Every Thursday evening, as the sun sets, men from across the city gather there. A tightly packed circle is formed and those in the center of the circle are groped by those on the periphery.

To outsiders it looks like a writhing mass of men huddling around one another. Some even describe it as a 'mysterious religious ceremony.' For participants, it's anonymous group sex."

Still, while same-sex sexual relations are unlawful, it's not as if Pakastan society is unaware that they're occurring. 

Iqbal explains, "In Pakistan men are discouraged from having girlfriends and so often, their first sexual experiences will be with male friends or cousins. This is often seen as a part of growing up and it can be overlooked by families - it's the idea that 'boys will be boys'.

"Sex between men will be overlooked as long as no-one feels that tradition or religion are being challenged. At the end of it all, everyone gets married to a member of the opposite sex and nothing is spoken about."

Head to BBC for Mobeen Azhar's fascinating full account.

 

Image Source (H/T: The Atlantic)

 

Comments

Many educated people live in Pakistan and India, but their is complete hypocrisy in the cultures there regarding homosexuality.  i have met so many gay men from India and Pakistan, but they are never out to their parents, and the expectation is that they get married for the family honor.  Of course, the same thing happens in America all the time, too.  I have met so many closeted married men who are gayer than springtime and will never leave their wives...or tell them the truth.  The advantages of appearing to be straight and being accepted as 'family men' in their professions keep them in the closet.  They would rather be accepted by bigots they despise than have a relationship with a man that they love.  Very sad.

I can't help but feel sorry for these guys that their secret cruising grounds hangout at the shrine is now exposed. Secrets should stay secret, especially since I don't imagine they have many hangouts in the first place, and that repercussions for getting caught can be, what? Prison? Death??

What a party pooper (BBC), exposing them like this. For what? A titillating article for us to enjoy but won't help these Pakistani gay guys in any way, will it. Leave them alone! Life is already so tough for gay guys there!

I think it impossible to comment unless you have been in such a situation 

@Mark P: In fact your country is more overpopulated than Pakistan. The concept of overpopulation is deeply rooted in sustainability. Do you really think Pakistanis consume as much as USA citizens? I would be very VERY surprised if each Pakistani consumed even a fifth as much (food, oil, raw materials etc) as an American. Therefore your country is far more overpopulated than Pakistan and not only that; YOUR overpopulation has a knock-on effect. Your mass consumerism is causing mass pollution around the world and using up all of the world's resources to the detriment of everyone on this entire globe. I disagree that these guys should have to hide their identities to be themselves (that is wrong in any country or culture) but the idea of an American saying Pakistan is overpopulated is laughable.

One last thing: The singular of 'women' is 'woman'. There are over 60 languages spoken in Pakistan. The least you could do is learn your own.

Greetings from Pakistan :)

The article states that: "Gay men will make every effort to stop any investment in a same-sex relationship because they know that one day they will have to get married to a woman."

So, let me get this 'straight' (no pun intended)! Every man needs to marry a women so, that they can produce more offspring in a country that is 'slightly' larger than the state of Texas in the U.S., but has more that half the population of the ENTIRE country of the U.S.?

Perhaps if you let the gay men be themselves and stop faking it in these dishonest marriages your 'overpopulation' would start to balance out and then you could put more resources into your healthcare and reduce your mortality rates.

Sad

Add new comment