Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Gay and Lesbian Trend in Bhutan

Sonam Dema, a 24 years old woman thought herself to be different. She didn’t like what other girls of her age liked since the time she could remember. Other girls loved to wear short skirt, keep long hair and giggled whenever they saw handsome Romeos of the street. Sonam loved to wear faded loose jeans, spot spiky hairstyle and liked to be around the male company. In her late teen, she found out that she was not attracted to the men sexually. Weird enough, she found out she was falling for another high school teenager.

Today, she works with judiciary as a bench clerk. She is living together with Selden. Sonam’s parents think they are just friends. What irritates Sonam most is when her illiterate parents ask her when she is going to get a husband.

Call it impact of education or modernization, the relation with same sex is on rise in Bhutan. In some countries, the same sex marriage is legal whereas in some it is considered illegal and abnormal. In Muslim countries, it is considered sin and act of infidelity. One famous yoga guru in India said that homosexuality is disease and it can be cured. However, in every country whether developed or underdeveloped, the same sex is either tolerated with reluctance or out casted with outburst.

The homosexuality is not a new phenomenon. The modern lot has just brought it in the open. It has been there in ancient Egypt and it has been there in ancient India if we are to believe what old text subtly mentioned such as ‘what is unnatural is also natural’ in sex.

Last time, I had a privilege of meeting ninety years old man from Pemagatshel. He told me that in ancient Tibet, two monks used to live as live-in partner. The third man with relation with either of two men would be fined or made to pay for amorous encounters.

Although, there is no movement for legalization of same sex marriage or survey to ascertain the number of homosexual people in our country, we can’t deny that the same sex relations do exist. One can see, one passive man (passive man may be dressed in female attire) and aggressive man living together or tomboy and a petite lady living together. Some people in the face book went to an extent disclosing their sexual preference in relationship status especially woman. This act is a bold attempt to raise their voice about freedom of choice.

I am not aware whether, our law will accept homosexuality or not. But to be accepted and incorporated into law, our society at large should accept this phenomenon. Our aged sons and daughters of cultures must understand, the sexuality is freedom of choice as long as they don’t harm another soul. Till then, Sonam Dema and Selden should be just friends, nothing more, and nothing less.

Of course, what they do behind the closed door is none of our business.

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