Gay in Sri Lanka
If nothing else you can at least know that you are not alone.With the Internet and networking it is possible to find a partner, at least for a tryst.
And the tried and true methods are still there, too--a revealing look into the eyes of a passing stranger, a fortuitous brush against another on a crowded city bus or simply loitering in the dark shadows of a familiar haunt.
One need not wallow in the despair of thinking one is alone.
And when the urge hits there are more ways than ever to make contact with another of similar persuasion.
Even more promising is the fact that in the wider world things like gay rights, gay marriage, gay liberation, etc. are being pushed for and having some impact in even the most remote of places.
So, to be gay today in Sri Lanka--or almost anywhere in the world--is a much better proposition than it was in the past.
But there is more, or should I not say, less to the story than this...
It is still difficult in Sri Lanka to be different from what is thought to be the norm. This is so, whether in regard to sex, politics or any other facet of human expression.
It is still especially hard in regard to sexual matters, whether one is gay, wants to get a divorce, or wants simply to engage in sexual relations without being married.
Anything considered different from the norm or tradition is treated as taboo.
And while everyone knows that people do have sex outside of the bounds of marriage and do have friends or acquaintances who are gay or lesbian, such a thing would never happen in our family, with my husband or wife or with my own son or daughter.
That BULLSHIT that we regard as TRADITION or CULTURE is still alive and kicking in Sri Lanka, as it is in most traditional societies around the world despite the revolutionary changes taking place elsewhere.
For all intents and purposes, the only viable option for the gay person in Sri Lanka is to continue to live that sweet old-fashioned lie--get married, have the kids and then secretly lead a second life, all the more easily now thanks to the Internet.
Just shut up and cower, and do as parents and society say. Forsake who you are and live the golden lie!
How sick is that?? But this is the ruse that traditional societies impose on their populations, rather than accept the truth that sexuality is a multi-faceted and many-splendored thing.
In the end, the gay man or woman suffers from all the frustration and pretense that has long been his or her fate.
The opposite sex partner suffers as well in a loveless marriage with higher risk of sexually-transmitted disease. And the children of such a union suffer from the consequences of the eventual disintegration of the marriage, or worse yet seeing the lie exposed in public.
Social Networking to the Rescue...
Not! The Internet, in all its prowess, is not able to fix this dilemma. It instead creates an illusion of some sort of social revolution.
Facebook has seemingly changed the game, making it possible to have a countless number of new friends. But, these are not friends at all, rather once again the random stranger brushed up against on a crowded bus.
As much a thrill as either of these experiences might be, the stranger you meet on the bus or the one you friend online is little more than a short-lived treat.
Facebook allows us to make dozens of such connections in a single sitting--like adding sweets to a candy dish. One needn't even spend a dime or get up out of his chair. It doesn't get any easier than this, nor any more superficial.
Yet this is not an answer to our predicament.
It instead fixes us ever more firmly in the cycle of pursuing unfulfilling, fleeting liaisons.
It makes it all the more easy to live that double life, rather than liberating us to be who we really are.
Why bother with fighting with anyone to come out of the closet when we can now operate more easily than ever from within the closet?
To Do or Not to Do
There is no short cut to the real revolution that must take place. Gay men and women, boys and girls, have to forsake the path of tradition, which is fraught with deceit, denial and personal misery. There is no substitute for the bitter pill of just saying no--no to marriage, no to parents and siblings and no to a society that tries to lead us down the path of ruin for the sake of tradition.
A step forward means just saying no. And if it is too hard to do that, then don't attempt to give any reason for your decision.
| Just say No!|
My Story: The Gay Movement in Sri Lanka
P.S. Hey everybody--just wondering--what's your favorite pic on this post?
The photos appearing in this SLM post are from a variety of sources (sometimes referenced) and have been edited to complement the theme of this post. I place no claim of ownership on any but original SLM images, indicated when such is the case. Original SLM images are free for use in any format, but I request a courtesy link back to this website.
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