Monday, December 15, 2008

India,Media And Homosexuality.

I have always been very fascinated by India and it’s culture.Pakistan and India are the sister of same age:61 years old.
However India due to its secularized state went on to be the ‘rani’ of sub-continent while,thanks to General Zia,Pakistan became sticky with notion of Shariah as the state law,which meant no freedom of expression and press,along with other UDHR violations.
But I must admit that I have been really disappointed by the way Indian media potrays homosexuals.Its as if all the gaymen are effiminate.I do concede the fact that there may be many out there,but not all homosexuals are so.Somebody needs to show Madhur Bhandarkar Ian Roberts,the openly gay Australian from his homeland’s football team.If Madhur was so interested to show the feminine side of gays then he has a responsibility to also show the fact that there exist,out there,many macho men who are either exclusively homosexuals,bisexuals with more attractions towards same sex and bisexuals with equal attraction towards both sexes.Please!Somebody also tell Mr.Bhandarkar and others about the ‘Kinsey’s scale’.
I am not criticizing directors such as Madhur or others.In fact I love his film ‘Fashion’ and ‘Page 3’ and how they potrayed the problems with homosexual in a society which is still in it’s young age of secularism.But all I am trying to say is that not all homosexual men are effiminate and if Madhur had put in two or three gay designers and make up men then he should have also put in atleast one male model to show that there are many in Indo-Pak industry who are gay and male models thus being fanatsy of millions of straight women.
Showing only the effiminate side of homosexual men and potraying them as sex freaks and hijras(eunuchs) is not going to help freedom of expression.It is the blatant use of it,trying to misrepresent the LGBT society.
But most disappointing of all was the film ‘Sunday’ in which homophobia was apparent in the dialogues of the film.If you want to see the homophobiac attitude of Indians,then watch this film.
Here I have a message for my LGBT friends,especially gaymen.They should stop acting ‘sexfreaks’.They should have some self respect for themselves.I know some homosexuals who ran after straight men who just made use of these gaymen and left them heartbroken.
LGBT society has also itself to blame for the tags that are associated with it and many of them seem to be true.But the media has a great part to play here.It must allow the true freedom of expression and let films such as ‘Fire’ to be shown openly,even to the straight public,so that there is also a positive impression of LGBT society along with the negative one which may help LGBT people realize their mistakes and there role as proper citizens of their nations.
Otherwise the media would be potraying just one side of the story and that is not acceptable.Then we must not object to the Americans tagging Muslims as terrorists without any dialogue and debates.We must not scorn Jade Goodie for giving racist remark to her Big Brother fellow and Indian film star Shilpa Shetty since that is also what they learned from their fellows about Muslims and Indians,repsectively.


  1. Hey I'm taken aback at the statement that not all the gaymen are effeminate. What's wrong in portraying men as effeminate? Here you put forth your arguments to show that the LGBT community too deserve respect and dignity. Then why do you segregate one such group from the whole LGBT community. You should understand that there are men who are "more feminine" and women who are "more masculine". It's the cultural constructs of masculinity and femininity that are to be brought into light and questioned. When I say cultural construct, it means certain preoccupied notions as to how a man should look, act and behave. This sort of attitude and approach are to be questioned. There's nothing wrong in portraying "effeminate men", let people get to know about one such handful of people too. Let people get familiar with the myriad of gender deviance. Broaden your reading to include the writings and theories of Judith Butler n Eve Kofosky. That would definitely give you a better picture of things that even happen within us unawares.

  2. I'm sorry Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick is spelled wrongly in the previous comment. It's terrible that you don't have the option of removing the comments once posted! :)

  3. Dear Anonymous,
    Thanks for mentioning the names of works and writers.I would definitely read them.I apologize if my article hurt your feelings,but that just a opinion of mine and I certainly respect your opinion.
    When I speak about showing gay men as only being shown as effiminate,if not because I have anything against effiminate men.But I say that Indian and Western media should prohibit from showing gay men as ONLY effiminate.You sai that there is sexual diversity.Right! And withing that sexual diversity exist various diversities.
    You can show gay men effiminate as long as there is freedom of expression for staright people and gay people to show that gay people are normal.Why?Because Indian movies have always used effiminate gay men to be used as a caricature to be a comic element in a movie,something to laugh on.Also only showing effiminate men and masculine women is stereotyping gay people.NOT ALL MUSLIMS ARE SUNNIS OR SHIAS.there are Ismailis too.I hope you got my point.
    Another thing.What about masculine gay men and effiminate lesbians if we concentrate on only showing effiminate gays and masculine lesbians in media?I guess they would feel left out.
    Plus,we have to weave our way through and degenerate the stereotypical roles of men and women,but slowly,and not rush towards it.It may take thousand years.
    I hope I have replied you a satisfactory reply and if not,then donot hesiate to go on asking and questioning me.I loved you criticism.


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