Secret Life?

Dear Diary,

I am currently staying with friends in Delhi who run one of India’s first and most respected NGO helping lesbians with a range of services from protection and legal advice to counselling and even clothing as some women run from home without even shoes on their feet.

As I write they are working on a case which has been on-going since I was last here in January.  Two women ran away from home from another part of India and landed on their doorstep with next to nothing but a request for help.  It makes me wonder about things in the UK.  I don’t know what same sex couples of South Asian origin do to establish their relationship, do they seek help and advice from established networks for Lesbians, Gays, Bi-sexual, Transgender people or do they need culture specific advice.

When we were  in high school sis and I watched a programme about gay British Asian men and how they led double lives, their wives and families unaware of their secret.  Do British Asian LGBTs still have to be a secret? Where do people go for help or counselling? Are there secret support networks that we are unaware of?

I can’t begin to comprehend the scale of the work my friends do but this much I know: the women they have helped are transformed and so happy, it makes me really proud of my friends.


4 Comments to “Secret Life?”

  1. I think homosexuality is still a taboo subject and is not openly discussed or acknowledged.

    Good on your friends for taking this on and providing a support system for gay men and women.

    British Soap Opera, Eastenders touched on this subject through a gay male Muslim storyline. The man got married and then left his wife for his boyfriend. Quite sensationalist but I am sure this does happen. Or at least, men get married as they do not know what else to do.

    Maybe you friends can shed light on how they help and the challenges they face.

    Thanks Bubbly, for writing about this subject. Great post.

  2. This must happen all the time – one of my friends Mike (a gay guy I used to live with) came to my birthday party and thought a couple of Asian guys were gay but apparently they were straight. He’s now asked me whether four of my male Asian friends are gay, to which I’ve replied that they are not.

    Mike’s gaydar is not usually wrong – he’s been out for many years as we are both now mid-30s.

    One of my friends who Mike thought is gay now lives in San Francisco and has never had a girlfriend the whole time i’ve known him. I feel sad that he might be gay and can’t simply enjoy himself (which I’m sure he is doing, in secret, in San Fran)

  3. We have a close family friend and I have always suspected he is gay. I feel for him as he has never had a girlfriend and everyone is always trying to set him up with a wife.. He is really effeminate and his mannerisms are somewhat stereotypically gay. He lives with his Mum and I think has succumbed his life to looking after his Mum.

    Where does this guy go? Does this guy even know his sexuality? Who is there to help him?

    It must be a very lonely place. I too feel sad that this person cannot live his life his way.

  4. i think it is still a big ‘No No’ in the asian community. The solution parents find is, get the boy married he’ll be fine, (in other words lets just bury our head in the sand!) and even better one is get the boy married from ‘back home’ which is touching on another subject to which parents think if the girl/boy is from an Asian country they will put up with anything and everything!

    Coondal x

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