Imagine, meeting someone that you synch with. For the moment or forever. You going back home, in a place that is safe for you, and for him. And you making love.
And, your neighbours, who have 'long suspected' that you are gay, breaking down the door, so that they can catch you making love. So that you can be shamed, and punished, for making love to another, your lover.
And your community going gaga about it. And you being paraded, and shamed, and brought to court, and convicted...., of lashes. Caned in public. All for the sin of loving another human being.
That is what this couple in Aceh, Indonesia are guilty of, and will be punished for.
The couple was arrested in late March after neighborhood vigilantes in the provincial capital, Banda Aceh, suspected them of being gay and broke into their rented room to catch them having sex. Cellphone video that circulated online and formed part of the evidence shows one of the men naked and visibly distressed as he apparently calls for help on his cellphone. The second man is repeatedly pushed by another man who is preventing the couple from leaving the room.------
the men, aged 20 and 23, would each receive 85 lashes for having sexual relations. One of the men wept as his sentence was read out and pleaded for leniency.
It is ridiculous and tear jerking. In that hole, you wonder whether it could have been okay to know that you are gay, and different, that you love others, men, not women. Not that you want to rape them. But, you want to hold them in your hands, and tell them that they are beautiful, and want to touch, skin to skin, and breath in their breath, and touch their tongue with your tongue, and go into that total consummation of love, that is sex and the orgasm.
Is a moment when you can doubt yourself, doubt all that you are.
But that is what your people, your neighbors, family, people that you love, are condemning you to.
Isnt it unreasonable that we can hate ourselves, and think that we are liars and worse than that, that instead of coming out and braving the ostracism and castout status, we would hide and live a life of lies?
That is this gay life. Completely personal and ruthless in its ability to sway us and convince us of our simple stupidity.
“The verdict will increase fear among LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] people not only in Aceh but also in many other, especially conservative provinces . . . in Indonesia,” said the organisation’s Andreas Harsono.
Is a brave person that stands up and says, no. We are not that. That we can beat that. And, more than that, we can shorten and beat all that the world throws at us.
Because, we too, are human beings.
This gay life can be tough and rough, not least of all because those who matter to us most are the ones who can reject us more than the others.