Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Singular Heroic Efforts to Gay Legacies - Ulash Rana

I heard somewhere that it is foolish to make a singular heroic effort in a war because you will surely be killed and your cause will be lost. Very logical indeed!

But just being what you are can be a singular feat of heroic effort for a gay person! But again, the above logic holds very true when the death of Matthew Sheperd comes back vividly into a lone gay persons mind.

Every normal day is a war for a gay person in which he/she stands alone against the normal society. Hence, “singular heroic effort” does apply to every single gay person who is out of the closet.

That “singular heroic effort” can be magnified several times fold for the visible group of gay men known as “metas” (male cross-dressers in Nepal). One of the despicable acts of human hate crimes that I came across was when I read Mr. Sunil Babu Pant’s (Chairman of the Blue Diamond Society) article, “Gay Resolution”in the June 2004 Issue of the Wave Magazine in which he gave an earth shattering example about 2 metas being raped by more than 10 policemen and left to die, and worst no justice done to the offenders, who ironically were policemen, the enforcers of the law!

The basic foundation to a civilized society is a basic civil law applied to all. After all, nobody is above the law! Then again, there is no specific law under sexual harassments and criminal offense against homosexuals or people who express different sexuality or gender identity. What about “general human rights”for every human being as a rightful human being? Then again, a utopian thinking is a wishful thinking indeed!

At this day and age when gay marriages have become legal in many parts of the world like Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway and many more, with the next step being the fight for equal social benefits for the spouse which only heterosexua married couples enjoy, fighting for a basic justice system seems totally ridiculously and absurdly frustrating, and implementation of which is again a total far cry from an amendment.

How can a change come to our unfair system? A “singular heroic effort” may sound foolish when all odds are against you, but it is definitely a great act of bravery, which is always commendable, and if not immediately, there will surely and ultimately be many more closely behind you or besides you arm-in-arm to support your cause. And a cause never gets lost, because a good cause and a right cause always leaves behind a legacy that can never be forgotten. When a legacy is born, the cause may take time to be realized, but realized it will inevitably. And Blue Diamond Society is one such legacy that is the result of one “singular heroic effort” some 3 years back by the heroic Mr. Sunil Babu Pant that has in the years since culminated into a collective effort for the rights and privileges of Nepalese gay people.

Just recently the Spanish government approved a bill to legalize gay marriages, which immediately filled mewith immense happiness for gay people there. Now matter where such positive reforms take place, it is only natural for a gay person of any nationality to be filled with hope and call for a resolution in his/her own country. The almost stagnant progress in our country in any section for reform, let alone the non-existent gay laws, means a call for a referendum. Then again, it sounds so alien and farfetched to the extent of ridiculousness.

Are we to be happy that there is no homosexual law in Nepal and that the Nepalese LGBT (Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgender) should be thankful that they have been favored by default? It is simply a case of “turning a blind eye” as is always to the labeled “minorities’, and in no way can such law substitute for the clear fundamental rights LGBT’s should be entitled to. But when some people who contribute to the media like Mr. Bashu Dev Phulara states such backward remarks as: “Any statements that purport to establish a homosexual lifestyle as an equally legitimate alternative lifestyle must be roundly condemned,” in his article “Should Homosexuality Be Legalized In Nepal?” (Sept.28, 2004: thenepaldigest.org) with even several more appalling and outrageous forceful opinions under baseless grounds, I, a gay citizen of Nepal, feel totally infuriated because he hasn’t understood what “being gay” really means, and when you don’t understand the very core of homosexuality, your statement is “baseless”.

So the focus turns back to the society we live in, with the focus being to change its premature stereotyped perception of the gay people. What message should be portrayed to the society in order to dismiss homosexuality as a sin or a perversion? People should understand that homosexuality cannot be corrected. It is not a choice. It is a part of your core being that you were born with.

But, is the society starting to become more accepting? At least the general Spaniards definitely seem so, because the opinion poll conducted in late July this year showed that some two-thirds of Spaniards are in favor of gay marriages despite the spokesman for Spain’s Episcopal Conference insisted, “It would impose on society a virus, something false, which will have negative consequences for social life.”

And changes seem to be already coming in a positive way at least amongst the younger generation everywhere, thanks to the media in which Hollywood plays a pivotal role in shedding positive light on the portrayal of homosexuals and individuals of different gender identity. Who can escape the awe-inspiring effect Hollywood has on us? My very own straight friends who viewed homosexuals with stereotyped misconceptions changed their views after watching the movie “Boys Don’t Cry”! Such liberal attitude Hollywood portrays has always helped people move in the forward direction.

There will always be the frowning Conservative Socialists, who value tradition above everything until one of their very own children turn out to be gay. But does accepting gay people really makes a person anti-traditionalist? I f so, has banishing slavery in the U.S. and all over the world really changed the core traditional values for the worst?

So hasn’t the time come to change the inflexible views of the society, the conformist nature of the so-called traditionalists, and the whole herd of the conformist society who are merely the victims of social conditioning?

When I asked a Nepalese gay friend of mine whether he visits gay bars (which by the way aren’t present per se anywhere in Nepal), he said, “ I don’t think I should be there.” Then, when should he be there without it having to be a singular heroic effort or a personal gay legacy?


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