Sunday, November 11, 2007

Karachi Life - A Gay Man's Diary, Part I

"Pakistan Paindabad has set others a model of what a blog/site should be."
Late Khalid Hasan, US correspondent for the Lahore-based Daily Times and The Friday Times

Being gay in Pakistan's biggest metropolis.

[Text by Jalaluddin; imaging by Mayank Austen Soofi; the picture is not of the author]

These are edited excerpts from Jalaluddin’s Tuzk e Jalali.

"My blog is a place where I am who I really am."

04 Ramazan 1428

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good desktop computer must be in want of a laptop. I seem to be going through this very period in my life.

02 Ramazan 1428

My parents did drag me to Islamabad two weeks ago to see their friends’ daughter. I always knew that I have to get married one day or the other. Too many expectations from people who are affected by my life. Besides, my mother would nag the fuck out of my life if I don't marry. Since I am gay (and what the fuck else not), I knew that for me any girl would be the same as any other girl. Since this makes my choice useless, I let my parents decide.

15 Ramazan 1428

My engagement recently was a result of such a decision. For the past six years I have known that I could never lead the life of my choice. My father would have considered it a complete loss of face to have an only son who is gay. My mother would have felt that I have been led astray and that I would ruin my life. Two people I care about would have had the rest of their lives devastated. And I could not have accepted it because it would haunt me that I am the reason for their pain. So, the only way for me to go was to die. Not physically. Just that Jalal is becoming a separate person from me.

17 Ramazan 1428

It is as if my whole life has come crashing down around me. Questions that I asked myself and dreaded for the past ten years are in front of me again. Can I please lead my own life without fatally hurting everyone around me? Can I please be gay and my family accept me for it and let me live like that? And my sisters’ marriages are not sabotaged and their married lives not destroyed? And my parents’ position of respect and honour in our society is not destroyed due to my leading a gay life?

19 Ramazan 1428

Jalal, will you please stop fucking staring at men’s crotches you are talking to.

24 Ramazan 1428

There have been so many issues that I have had to deal with lately. My engagement and the prospects of my life have not been decided by me but dictated by others. Or perhaps dictated by my knowledge of the expectations of others. Expectations that I know are held so dear that I would not want to hurt them.

24 Ramazan 1428

Ok, ok, ok. I know I am 27 and moving swiftly towards oblivion and should start cutting down on starch in my diet. But, I am still a young man, and I have needs.

06 Shawwal 1428

Two powerful bomb blasts have hit the procession of Benazir Bhutto. More than 120 have died as I sit here and write this. With trembling hands and wet eyes.

09 Shawwal 1428

It seems that my current phase of depression has been going on for quite some time.

17 Shawwal 1428

At first I thought that I was having my periods and that had thrown me completely out of my emotional balance. But then I remembered that men don’t have periods. Perhaps I have been extremely depressed because of my being gay in Pakistan. No acceptance within my family or society. No chance of leading a gay life. No chance of being happy by not leading a gay life.

21 Shawwal 1428

State of Emergency has been declared in Pakistan on the orders of the Chief of Army Staff General Pervez Musharraf.

29 Shawwal 1428
Coming Out

So, I finally came out to my father. Late last night.

[Click here to read the second part of the diary]


karachi wali said...

nice post
i have a few gay friends and they all get really depressed wenever their family emotionally blackmails them....they know that in a few years they'll have to get married, settle down and have a 'normal' life full of compromises.
i dunno how to put this but i can actually relate to this in a way. not because im a lesbian but becuase i donot believe in the institution of marriage and want to stay single for the rest of my life but it seems that with this decision i am actually making the two most important people in my life quite unhappy. I know that I "can never lead a life of my choice" and even if i do i cannot do so "without hurting any one". And I also know that my life will not be "decided by me but dictated by others. Or perhaps dictated by my knowledge of the expectations of others. Expectations that I know are held so dear that I would not want to hurt them."

Anonymous said...

hey buddy, i liked the notes, i live in amman jordan, i would if we'd ever chat online,here's my account on msn:


Anonymous said...

Being straight I would be bullshitting if I say I know how gay people feel but Personally what people do is their choice and it is not for others to dictate to them what they can and cant do. I would be upset too if I found out my son was gay but I would never force him into marriage coz that would be just wrong. I am sure for a gay man having sex with a woman would be like a straight man having sex with another man.
As for the lady who never wants to get married and is not gay......uve either had ure heart broken or ure too inspired by the fast urban life of having fun with no strings attached..........
there might be one other option ......ure just shit depressed.
I was a party dude once and can count a long list of amazing gals Ive been out with but after 6 years of arranged marriage I think this is the best thing that could have happened to me.This is just my view and I am not always right. I just dont want gay people destroying their lives just coz the frikkin society wont accept it. Move outta the country. Any place would be better than being ruled by a retard like mushy.... but then heyyyyy the maulvis could rule us too and that would just be just the end for me. If you think its hard telling ure dad ure gay...try explaining it to maulana 'I want to kill all gays' khan

Anonymous said...

I am not sure what the context is or the message of this post - what is so "Pakistani" about it. Is it not applicable to India - or are you suggesting that India next door is liberated and such tragic personal histories are not there? Is it any different from an overwhelming majority of countries in Asia and Africa??

Such posts will only annoy Pakistanis who while visiting this blog will only be disappointed by the sheer mundane-ness of this subject -

Instead if you a re concerned about this subject then go ahead and create another site that is gay Pakistan as viewed by an earnest Indian (yawn!) or better Pakistani gays Paindabad...
have you covered any such stories on gay Indians? And please don't tell me that homosexuality is acceptable in India save the urban apartments, living rooms and motels!
If it were the case, you'd be more open about your sexual orientation and not have hidden your uncontrollable impulses under such smokescreens....

There are far greater issues facing Pakistan than a upper class gay-boy ranting on his fancy laptop.
Spare Pakistan and yourself!

Anonymous said...

This last comment just gets my goat. "There are far greater issues facing Pakistan . . .." Buddy, this is the issue this lad is facing right now. And tons and tons of men who decide to get married even though they know they are gay.

And to the man who's blog this is: Look there are tons of gay men who are trying, trying to lead their lives with integrity all over Pakistan. Its really tough but it is happening. Best of luck!

Anonymous said...

I am not sure what the context is or the message of this post - what is so "Pakistani" about it. Is it not applicable to India - or are you suggesting that India next door is liberated and such tragic personal histories are not there? Is it any different from an overwhelming majority of countries in Asia and Africa??

ZK, I have a message for you, from india. We Indians dont care for Pak, and we would welcome the same from chaps like you who seek to drag India into every issue whenever somebody shines a torch into your cupboards.
Oooh my skeletons are nowhere as bad as my neighbours.
Grow up dude!!

Anonymous said...

Being a medical student I just wanna say that if u run away from nature u can not b healthy and off course u can not b happy. As we all know about AIDS and we know that there is no cure of AIDS so plz stop acting foolish as gay people often ends on AIDS. Just save yourself and plz b a obedient child. And to get freedom from depression divert your mind elsewhere try helping others u will b relaxed. For God sake try to understand life is something special and parents are diamonds u should not waste these 2 precious things for something like sex....
try 2 lead life according 2 nature and for God sake stop acting foolishly.

Anonymous said...

Medical Anonymous Student Writes: And to get freedom from depression divert your mind elsewhere try helping others u will b relaxedِ

Vo aae hain mujhe kahne meri baqa kay liye
Bano darvaish kay samaj ki naiyya na dulay...

I have friends who are married and have wonton sex on the side (with other women/prostitutes). Then they turn to me and tell me: "yaar, you don't want to live in 'sin'... Aisa karo, malang ban jaao- Allah kay raaste mein zindagi vaqf kar do..."

Yeah right! You want me to sacrifice my life so you and your dysfunctional society can go on as status quo...

Anonymous said...

This is for the so called medical student who has posted above from a doctor.

According to DSM IV, homosexuality is not a disease it is a type of normal sexual behaviour.

You can get HIV from heterosexual intercourse. In fact in Africa and Asia the most common mode of transmission of HIV is hetereosexual (and not homosexual) contact. In USA the situation is different.

If you wear a condom during sex (gay or otherwise) you don't get HIV. There you go. Problem solved.

As for the depression, acceptance of who one is is the first step.

Get your facts right before you qualify as a doctor medical student and don't give bad advise like this especially considering that people will look up to you (probably) in the future. And remember as doctors we must never be judgemental. Our job is to help people and not to judge them.

Hassan said...

hmmmm ... i always considered myself a 'not straight' person... but when i pondered upon it... i dont know... its like its not that i aint TREMENDOUSLY attracted to men... and well girls dont turn me on... but i want to get married... I want to have kids, care for my wife and kids... it just sounds so amazing...
And so I decide i wouldn't be losing my virginity to some guy who i cant even be with... people always tell me... ur first time should be with some one experienced(some one like them) as if!
I dont want him to be all over me and dispose of me when he is done... I wanna save myself for some whom i will spend all my life with... She would be the one... Homosexuality has just been an illusion for me... i used to think love mattered... but no one ever loved my like i loved them without any expectations... sex always comes when u want to love some one... and when the criteria is so narrow it isn't love to begin with...
And well apart from it being a taboo... i dont get what 'gay lifestyle' u r referring to.. tbh from the 6 years experience i have had in contact with gay people... the gay lifestyle includes being in bed with a different person every month... Its too sexual... and obviously this lifestyle will kill your parents... PErsonally i would hate to be in a relationship where i have no commitment, no security and above all no boundries... i have known people who were passionately in love and one of them Literally ended up in the asylum...

Unknown said...

i just read the comments of few gay people , n i totally agree with them..i mean how could a gay man ( for whom girl means nothing sexually)can get married....i m 25 yo and and educated and sensible guy buyt sumtimes my i just not feel myself sensible (acc to societic standards of sex)i never had a sex cos being gay n living in a consevative society it's very hard to find another gay (though sum guys' eyes say it all)and then having sex with them. i mean ...i m so frustrated and alone..wt our religion say abt it???i live in family which is very much marriage orientated to lve in it without marriage...wt if i would be a normal man..this wasn't my choice thn how could it be sin being GAY///////?????????

Anonymous said...

have u thought of immigrating somewhere?

no matter how close u are to your family it doesnt give them a right to ask of u such a sacrifice and u shouldnt indulge.

fly away to a more happier place. at the end u will be answerable to yourself and your soul doesnt deserve to be unhappy.

Anonymous said...

people why do we alwayz think of ourselves. we need to know the broader picture, see majority of us if become gay then whos gonna have children and apart from this every thing is temporary, i mean the pleasure of sex will be all gone in few years does'nt matter if its a husband or wife relationship or men to men.What will we do then.

Regarding depression you'll not gonna die unless if you dont wanna live.

free faller said...

I'm a seventeen year old girl and i don't know Jack about what goes on in this world.What i do know is,that you CAN come up with a plan.Do you have any girl friends who are gay?if you want to save your parents from the embarassment and what-not.marry her-just for image's sake.then lead your own lives happily.I wish you all the best =).Also,abroad like in toronto,there's a lot of gay support so if you're thinking of getting out of this place,look it up.

Nomi said...

Dude, You deserve to be happy. I agree with some people here. Fly away somewhere, thats what I did. By marrying some girl you'll ruining your life and that girl's life.
Some " Soon to be Dr " posted really dumb comment here by binding gays with HIV. I wonder which Medical College he's studying in. Here's to some anonymous who's worried NOT about population of Pakistan. There are already 170 Million Pakistanis making babies 24/7 this one's not going to make any difference. Some people are really dumb, they drag India into every single thing.

john said...

Hi man,

I read some pages from your diary and compared my life with your's. I saw my own reflection in the mirror. I live in United States but can't escape from my culture and traditions. I am gonna visit Pakistan sometime in December for my wedding. E-mail me if you want at : to share our thoughts and concerns.



Anonymous said...

To the anonymous Indian responding to ZK,

The fact you an, Indian, are commenting on "pakistan Paindabad" authored by an Indian and suggesting that Indians don't care about Pakistan falls a bit flat...

ZK is questioning the author's motivation.

- Usman

noel1110 said...

i'm gay but i never tell this to any one only Lord knows who am I actually.I'm a hypocrite person, I pretend to be like a normal guys whom love girl but I can't I love a man truly form within my heart and I can't stop my heart beats when I see a handsome guy especially Pakistanis men, I just love them. But I'm a shy boy I didn't have a courage to approach one of them I just can see them but far from my heart I would like to say I love you. Family is the biggest obstacle I have to consider before decide to be a gay. I don't want they know because I don't want to hurt their feelings and I love them but I got my special love to someone. I just hope someday my family and communities in Malaysia will be positive and take it as normal thing in human life.

aki123 said...

i just want to say that never tell's your straight friends that your are gay..i have my own experince.. they would never understands u.. but always thinks bad abt you,as my friends thinks about me..its seems like i m doing a big crime of being gay..