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“We Are Not an Anomaly or Disease”: Gay Bloggers Speak Up in Tajikistan

Written by Iskandar On 24 February 2014 @ 18:43 pm | 2 Comments

In Central Asia & Caucasus, Citizen Media, English, Gay Rights (LGBT), Russian, Tajik, Tajikistan

Tajikistan, a conservative Central Asian nation where over 95 percent of people are Muslims, has been described [1] as “hell for gays”. However, social media is increasingly enabling the members of the country's LGBT community to argue against homophobic attitudes. 

There has recently been a string of media stories and blog posts about LGBT issues in Tajikistan. In late January, Radio Ozodi (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's Tajik service) published a story about gays in the country, in Russian [2] and Tajik [3]. Then, in early February, Russian-language weekly Avicenna published [4] [ru] a material about the first sex-change surgery in the country. These stories have drawn hundreds of comments, mainly homophobic in nature, with many comments suggesting that homosexuality is a “psychiatric” disease or “deadly sin”.

The debate has since shifted to social networks and the blogosphere. Gay rights blogger Drugoi [5] [Different] reposted stories by Radio Ozodi and Avicenna on Blogiston.tj, triggering multiple reactions and counter-posts. Below is a brief overview of the debate that has taken place on the blog.

Responding to Drugoi's post [ru] about the closeted life of homosexuals in Tajikistan, Ant commented [6] [ru]:

Эти люди прокляты Богом

These people have been cursed by God.

Rustam Gulov wrote [7] [ru]:

давайте вещи называть своими именами – “гомосексуализм” – это слово придумано не для “науки”, а для продвижения этой мерзости! как и “сексуальные меньшинства”, “гей”.

на самом деле есть самые нормальные и прямые понятия – пидараст, гомик, педик, содомит, ку…е, в конце концов!

и нечего их защищать! вслед за ними голову поднимут зоофилы, потом некрофилы всякие, а потом глядишь о своих “правах” вовсю будут горланить педофилы!

Let's call a spade a spade. “Homosexuality” is not a “scientific” word; it has been invented for the promotion of this filth! the same goes for words such as “sexual minorities” and “gay”.

In reality, there are more direct and ordinary words – pidarast, gomik, pedik, sodomit, [kunte] [Russian and Tajik pejorative terms equivalent to English "faggot"].

They should not be defended! They pave the way for zoophiles [8], all sorts of necrophiles [9], and even pedophiles [10]!

Mir Aziz agreed [11] [ru]:

Вот именно Рустам Ака нечего этим психам помогать !!! Их вообще нужно истреблять , чтоби остальние прежде чем вступить в эту хрень подумали своей башкой которая им не для красоты дано !

Exactly, Rustam. We should not help these psychopaths!!! They should be eradicated so that other people think twice before becoming part of this filth!

Emir responded [12] [ru]:

Мир Азиз, а башка Вам для чего нужна? Для насилия? или для фашистских призывов??? Думайте головой, вы в открытую призывайте к дискриминации, насилию прежде всего Людей!..

Mir Aziz, and why do you need the head? For violence? Or perhaps for fascist slogans??? Think about it, you are calling  openly for discrimination and violence against other human beings!..

Another reader added [13] [ru]:

я понимаю вашу позицию, ребята, и даже почти во всем с вами согласен. но есть такая проблема. геи у нас есть, они живут в нашем обществе и скрывают свою ориентацию. многих заставляют жениться, и они делают еще и своих жен несчастными. что делать с такими людьми? не совсем ведь человечно заставлять их всю жизнь молчать и скрывать правду от окружающих. 

I understand where you stand, guys, and I agree with most of what you say. But the problem is there. We have gay [men], they are part of our society and they hide their [sexual] orientation. Many of them are forced to get married, which makes their wives unhappy, too. What should we do with people like that? It is not very humane to force them to remain silent and hide the truth from everyone for the rest of their lives. 

Drugoi responded [14] [ru] to criticisms:

Вы все слишком агрессивно настроены. Гомосексуализм уже тысячи лет запрещали и преследовали. За это долгое время было предусмотрено уголовное наказание. Неужели для вас не урок то, что все это ничего не изменило? Некоторые люди рождаются с другой сексуальной ориентацией и этого не изменишь. А “психологи”, называющие гомосексуализм психическим недугом, кретины-недоучки.

You are all too aggressive. Homosexuality has been banned and persecuted for thousands of years. There was even criminal persecution of homosexuals. Isn't the fact that all this persecution has not changed anything a good lesson for you? Some people are born with a different sexual orientation, and this cannot be changed. As for “psychologists” that call homosexuality a psychiatric disease, they are poorly-educated idiots.

Some netizens suggested that homosexuals should not be considered part of Tajik society. Firdavs wrote [15] [tj]: 

Мардум илтимос калимахои Точик ва Точикистон набьерен вакте ки дар бораи педико сухбат меравад. Онхо точик нестану аз точикистон не. Магар хар як хайвона точик гуем мо?

People, please, do not use the words “Tajik” and “Tajikistan” when you talk about faggots. They are neither Tajiks nor from Tajikistan. Should we call every animal Tajik?

Benom agreed [16] [tj]:

Man Firdavs kati 100% roziam. In kunteho tojik neand. Ino odam ham neand.

I [fully] support Firdavs. Those faggots are not Tajik. They are not human beings, either.

A group of netizens has condemned the very discussion about gay issues in Tajikistan. Under Radio Ozodi's story, for example, several readers asked the editors to remove the material from the website in order to “save the image” of the country. On Blogiston.tj, Vali ibn Vali said [17] [tj]:

Hamin bahsoya bas kuneton, bacho! Gomiko hamash haroman. Va agar kase tarafoshona megiradu ghamashona mehurad unam harom hisob meshad. 

Stop these discussions, guys! Faggots are all haram [sinful, unclean]. When someone supports them or cares for them, this person is also considered haram.

Responding to more criticisms and suggestions that gays should “keep it to themselves” and seek psychiatric treatment, Drugoi wrote [18] [ru]:

Вы поймите, что мы существуем, мы не аномалия или болезнь, мы такие же люди, как и вы все. И мы имеем право на достойную жизнь.

You should understand that we exist; we are not an anomaly or disease; we are human beings just like you. And we have the right to a dignified life.


Article printed from Global Voices: http://globalvoicesonline.org

URL to article: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2014/02/24/we-are-not-an-anomaly-or-disease-gay-bloggers-speak-up-in-tajikistan/

URLs in this post:

[1] has been described: https://globalvoicesonline.org/2013/01/20/tajikistan-remains-hell-for-gays/

[2] Russian: http://rus.ozodi.org/content/life-of-sex-minorities-tajikistan-/25246404.html

[3] Tajik: http://www.ozodi.org/content/harsh-life-of-tajik-gays/25245449.html

[4] published: http://gazeta.tj/avicenna/8419-izmenit-sebya-ili-ujti-iz-zhizni.html

[5] Drugoi: http://blogiston.tj/index.php/blogery/blogger/listings/different

[6] commented: http://blogiston.tj/index.php/blogi/zhizn-kak-ispytanie-seks-menshinstva-v-tadzhikistane#comment-1960

[7] wrote: http://blogiston.tj/index.php/blogi/zhizn-kak-ispytanie-seks-menshinstva-v-tadzhikistane#comment-1946

[8] zoophiles: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoophilia

[9] necrophiles: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Necrophilia

[10] pedophiles: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedophilia

[11] agreed: http://blogiston.tj/index.php/blogi/zhizn-kak-ispytanie-seks-menshinstva-v-tadzhikistane#comment-1947

[12] responded: http://blogiston.tj/index.php/blogi/zhizn-kak-ispytanie-seks-menshinstva-v-tadzhikistane#comment-1948

[13] added: http://blogiston.tj/index.php/blogi/zhizn-kak-ispytanie-seks-menshinstva-v-tadzhikistane#comment-1958

[14] responded: http://blogiston.tj/index.php/blogi/zhizn-kak-ispytanie-seks-menshinstva-v-tadzhikistane#comment-1972

[15] wrote: http://blogiston.tj/index.php/blogi/zhizn-kak-ispytanie-seks-menshinstva-v-tadzhikistane#comment-1961

[16] agreed: http://blogiston.tj/index.php/blogi/zhizn-kak-ispytanie-seks-menshinstva-v-tadzhikistane#comment-1976

[17] said: http://blogiston.tj/index.php/blogi/zhizn-kak-ispytanie-seks-menshinstva-v-tadzhikistane#comment-1959

[18] wrote: http://blogiston.tj/index.php/blogi/budushchee-kotoroe-stroim-tolerantno-18?start=40#comment-2078

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