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Hello friends, it has been a while and I have been watching with some reservation and amusement the shenanigans of Colombo and have decided it’s time to bell the cat and draw your attention to phenomena in our society that has been under the radar for many years.

Before I proceed let me assure you that I am not homophobic in the least, and in fact most of my friends are openly gay. I don’t endeavour to judge, but only wish to draw your attention.

Homosexuality or being gay has been around from centuries and thousands of years. It is not a new phenomenon nor is it an alien concept. 

Scientific studies have now declared that one in every ten males are born gay or homosexual. Whilst some religions may accept the practice of homosexuality some religions don’t.  Some people are extremely biased towards homosexuals and believe it is an illness whilst others are very accepting and open minded. Hats off to India for breaking the mould and legalising homosexuality and same sex marriages.

 However, the point I wish to address is slightly different. In our society there are those who are openly gay and there are those who are not. As most of you will secretly admit, Sri Lankan and Colombo society is by far very superficial and hypocritical and the stigma attached to anything outside of the so called conservative dictat is very high.  Thus homosexuality is frowned upon in most circles. Interestingly it is the men who are incredibly judgmental about homosexuals with the word “ponnaya “being bandied about rather frequently.  Our men tend to be rather macho and posture their masculinity and superiority at any given opportunity (Incidentally they don’t make good husbands either)

Homosexuality in Sri Lanka has been prevalent for centuries with many of our ancient kings swinging both ways as it were. Our kings used to cross dress too and if one was to analyse some of the ancient drawings one would be able to identify many female adornments being worn by our warrior Kings.

Tragically our hypocritical society is led none other than by our so called religious leaders who preach from the pulpits and places of worship and scream fire and brim stone to all and deem them sinners.  But they are the biggest perpetrators of abuse. Buddhists, Catholics, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, and leaders of cults are all guilty of same. In as much as you see millions of cases coming to light in the western media, Sri Lanka’s so called leaders of the moral compass are no better and escape any form of prosecution.

The abuse of little boys in places of religious worship, schools and sporting events over the years has created a vicious cycle in societies across our villages and cities. One has to only speak to our Judicial Medical Officers (JMO) and they will tell you that 6 out of 10 child rapes are of boys and go unreported.

Tragically our outdated laws, thanks to the ridiculous British law prevalent in our country is of no help. It is stated that the physical abuse of boy is not considered rape and therefore not a criminal offence nor a punishable act. Most often the perpetrator escapes punishment and cases are hardly reported due to the stigma attached to it.

However, consensual sex between two adult males is a crime!!! And gay sex is considered a criminal offence which is actually gazetted. Our Government considers LGBT as minorities and therefore protected but refused to actually decriminalize homosexuality. Ironically half our Cabinet is gay!

For our “beach boys” it has become a way of life where an “aiya” or brother introduces the boys to the lucrative trade by the tender age of 11 or 12 and the dollars they get in return is a fair deal. If you speak to them, they will tell you that they have been peddling their services for so long that it pays the bills and there is no emotional thought process behind the act.  Most of them are in fact heterosexuals who see this as a job, a means to an end.

For those who are indeed gay they settle down to being the “boy” of an old rich white man or better known as the “suddhu mahathiya”.  They spend a life dependent on these old men and most often end up being the recipient of scorn and verbal abuse from their peers.

Most boy’s schools believe it is fair game to be groping or bunching the pretty boy or the shy boy in the class… is it ok? The stories one hears from none other than popular rich boy’s schools makes one raise ones eyebrows and wonder if this forceful behaviour is indeed acceptable.  One reads of horror stories in the papers of young boys being abused by masters and fellow students alike. As a woman I wonder why these schools allow boys to be abused by the seniors, rugby players, cricketers and masters. The absolute non-chalance of this attitude is mind boggling. I was made aware just a week ago of how the national coach who was a known paedophile had abused a number of boys on and overseas trip a few weeks ago. I personally find it unacceptable that a known sexual predator is appointed to a post of power.

There are many male adults in Colombo who drive past reputed boys schools once classes are over and pick up teenagers to indulge in sex and they pay them with money or electronic devices or gifts. There are many reasons for these boys to respond but is it an informed choice or are they forced into it out of fear or sheer poverty? I shudder at the impact it will have on their lives as they grow into adulthood.

Not all boys transition to being gay very naturally. Most are traumatised by rape at an early age and struggle to adjust to normalcy.  Some even take their own life from the shame and others seek solace is narcotics and substances. There are those who are filled with anger and are bent on revenge.  They get incredible satisfaction by raping another child or introducing a boy to a friend and enjoy his pain and humiliation. It is a vicious and narcissistic cycle which continues to affect these boys as they enter adulthood and begin their lives.

  So, here is my question to you dear readers….

Do you know if your husband or partner is closet gay? How would you react if you found out? Betrayed, shocked or would you be accepting of same?

Why am I posing this question to you? 

The truth dear reader is that many of the married men in Colombo and the villages are actually gay and have male partners. They have a wonderful wife, children and lead a seemingly exemplary perfect life or is it an exemplary life?

Some realise their sexual preference at early age and cannot cope with the social stigma, thus they build a secretive parallel life. And there are those who come to terms with their sexuality in their 30’s and 40’s and in some cases even in their 50’s. They go through life very confused, worried, angry and sometimes alienated and isolated.  Some even become violent and are violent towards their children and their spouses and tear the very tapestry of life… family.

I know of many respectable men, business leaders and professional who have male partners, conduct liaisons in secret and generally holiday overseas with them.  Their choice ranges from friends, sales executives at popular shops, waiters, gym instructors, models and hair dressers!

Have you taken a look at the gay app Grinder?  It is an eye-opener, you will be very surprised to see the men who are members and looking for gay partners.  They are the epitome of the family man and the pillar of society… with just a secret life.

(Yes tinder is just as bad with many heterosexual husbands on the app too looking for sexual partners)

Some husbands actually take their male partners overseas to avoid detection by family members.  In some cases many parents (in laws) are very much aware of their son’s preference but do nothing or tell the unsuspecting wife of same.

Funnily what amuses me is that we all know that Colombo is a pond and there is nothing called a secret. So yes, the fact that your husband is in the closet becomes common knowledge!

Trust me dear reader, there is more going on behind closed doors in this sleepy town of ours than what you imagine. From swinger clubs, to drug parties to orgies.  Some which are actually held and hosted by the some very senior diplomats stationed in our country and leading figures in the social circle.  Finding a partner on Grinder is so easy and visiting tourists are the safest bet.  They are the ‘‘no strings” attached sort of fellows and rather convenient for our men, and are dime a dozen. They have no inhibitions and the perfect partners for our closet gay husbands.

So how would you deal with it? When the whole city knows your husband or partner is closet gay!

Would you feel cheated, betrayed, angry, and ashamed and confront him and walk away?

Or would you pretend that it does not affect you and therefore your status in Colombo is secure?

Or would you be the accepting and generous wife and decide that three is not company after all and more the merrier?

Firstly you need to be sure of your husbands preferences as most men can be bie sexual. You have to be prepared for any eventuality and this is not an easy task at all, as this will affect you both emotionally and physically.

Having established his preference and if it is to your liking you are indeed fine. However, if you are not, what will you do next?  Bearing in mind that most others in Colombo already know of his preference. This my dear reader is the most agonising part of the whole process and I know some woman who have gone through this ordeal.

Many of you may choose to continue with your lives as confronting the issue may cause, economic, social and family problems and you would rather spare your children the trauma.

Whatever, your choices and your course of action I only want to remind you that as a woman you have choices too. Forewarned is to be forearmed to deal with any eventuality dear reader.

I leave you with the thought of, will he or won’t he? Come out of the closet!

Musings from the 16th
Author: Musings from the 16th
Musings from the 16th is written by a member who understandably wants to remain anonymous. She wants to observe Colombo society from the periphery and she is both amused and despairing of what she sees.