What are the best and worst things about being desi and queer?

We asked 3 queer folks this question. They will not be named as per request.

 Participant 1 (A 24-year-old lesbian womxn):

 I love how our culture can be a beautiful supporter of queerness because of our music and art history. It makes me daydream about how life could be as a desi queer woman if it was permissible. I also adore the community we have. Being less in number (well not less, just you know, a minority) creates a lovely community that feels like family. What I don’t like is obviously, the hate and the realization that I will never be able to live life on my terms, unlike hetero people.

 Participant 2 (A 36-year-old lesbian womxn)

 I have been aware of my sexuality since I was 15 and you can only imagine how difficult and lonesome it was back then. Because of the isolation, I learned to hide it very well and live in constant guilt, knowing of my impending doom. Until I found a community of queer-identifying people and found home. I had never felt more at home. That’s one of my favorite things about being queer in Pakistan. Amongst the hatred, you will find your community one way or the other, and I love how we mesh our culture with queerness here. It could be a beautiful combination if we were allowed to be more open. What I don’t like is obviously the hiding and the hate. I have to hide my sexuality from my mother as much as I can otherwise she might get a heart attack and that’s one thing I would like to avoid. Haha.

Participant 3: (A 38-year-old Trans man)

One of the best things about being queer in Pakistan is definitely people of your kind being easy to reach and warm and welcoming. I have traveled a lot and yes this exists almost everywhere, but in Pakistan, people of your kind are easier to reach. And those who support you are so brave in doing so and do so without fear which shocks me. Another thing I like about this is the impact we can create which we are slowly. It’s a different kind of exciting, being a part of this revolutionary movement and I love it. I am excited to see how the country will change once it becomes more accepting. What I don’t like is the stubbornness of those who don’t want to learn. I do understand why they are as such, but I wish they would at least be a bit more open to learning or at least practice silence over preaching every now and then.

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