My Pakistan Zindabad spam today was going to be about ‘the death of an intern’, but I read Bikozulu’s post, http://www.bikozulu.co.ke/?p=671 and it made me change topic. I also learned about some really mind numbing things about landlords and the feudal system in Pakistan, but the weather’s awesome so I’d rather talk about something light.
Before coming to Karachi (KHI henceforth), I had never interacted with an openly gay guy, and all suspects were avoided. There were a couple of odd balls in uni, those guys that can dance like a girl and only hangout with girls, and not in that ‘jogoo’ way.
So I end up in KHI, in a flat with 6 other people (a tiny flat) and am thrown into the deep end with 2 openly gay guys for housemates (and a Nordic girl walking around in faded undies losing her temper at anything and everything)
The interesting thing about these 2 gay guys is how different they are; one is manly and the other fits the stereotype to the letter. The first ones tall, not skinny, doesn’t clean up all the time, drinks beer, smokes, doesn’t wear makeup – sounds like a regular ndume, right? The other guy has a make-up set, wears skinny jeans, and a weird headscarf at night. The first time I saw him my gaydar went crazy- he even wears his towel under his armpits, LOL! I get along perfectly with both, I daresay I am friends with the first one. The 2nd one is a nice guy. Though he once had an emotional fit cause i told him he cleans the house like a bitch (badly), his reaction was hilarious…and gay.
My mind is still processing my position on homosexuality, but off the top of my head, I’d say: I never pictured drinking beer with a gay person and enjoying it, sharing a room with a gay guy, telling a gay person ‘dude, that girl has an ass’- and him agreeing! I never ever pictured myself asking a gay person about his relationships (still a bit strange, ‘hey man, how’s your boyfriend..’) I also never pictured a gay person saying ‘Brokeback Mountain’ is wack. LOL. (I have never seen it but I assumed it’s the number 1 movie among gay people.)
Off course in some ways I have had to act sensitized- For example, I always used to term things as ‘gay’, I can no longer do that without feeling awkward- at least not in front of him. My other African housemate and I used to call each other ‘msenge’ (literally translated as faggot) and one inevitable day he asked me, ‘what is this word?’ … Apparently I’m a very good liar…let’s just hope he didn’t google it. Either way I stopped using it, much to my Ugandan friend’s disappointment.
Has he ever checked me out? Well, really I don’t know and I don’t care. We picture gay guys as these people who will just jump you any chance they get. I don’t know about you, but checking out women doesn’t make me jump them, if it makes you do that, then your middle name must be Onyancha.
Do I accept homosexuality? I will never understand it. I will never think it’s natural. If my son came home and told me he is gay I would probably take him for prayers or for intervention at Liddos. Even writing about it now seems unnatural, but the more you think about anything the clearer your thoughts and the way forward become. I think thinking about it is the responsible thing to do, because homosexuality is a universal societal issue, you can’t just bury your head in the sand. Kids in Kenya are pregnant and dropping out of school, aborting etc because we bury our heads in the sand and don’t teach them to use condoms, ati ‘Chill’. I support chilling but its idealistic not practical, though I do like the recent Chill campaign.
On KHI and homosexuality? There are LOOADDS of gays (and biological she-males). Many are in the closet. Closet here means they have wives AND kids. Anyway, one such guy I heard of was found out by his wife and disowned by the whole family- kids, wife, folks, EVERYONE. He even moved cities. Also, a friend of mine here has a mum that’s a gyno. One day this lady is brought to her clinic by her husband because apparently she can’t get pregnant and its been 3 years. Gyno investigations found that she was a virgin… she confessed in confidence that her husband had never touched her. Talk about misery.