An Outrageous Case of Homophobia!

The LGBT community in Chennai is outraged! And with good reasons. Last week Dinamalar, a leading Tamil magazine, published the most homophobic, ignorant and derogatory piece of writing in the Tamil media’s history.

Titled “Anbudan Andharangam”, Dinamalar’s weekly column claims to offers advice to readers on personal and intimate issues. Last Sunday, a young closeted gay man wrote a letter asking for help. He is very sure about his sexuality. His family is trying to arrange his marriage. He doesn’t want to get married, but at the same time he is scared of coming out to them.

Shakuntala Gopinath, the author of the column, provided a completely ignorant response. She starts by ridiculing the poor guy. She says just by looking at his hand writing she can tell he is an effeminate man!  She says she detests homosexuals, calls him a trouble maker, and anti-social and also unnecessarily defames Actress Tabu. She suggests he marry a manly-looking woman, someone like Actress Tabu !!!

She then lists 8 reasons why he could be gay!

Here is the English translation of the exchange
Dear Mam,

I have finished college and now working in a private company. I am a homosexual male. From a very young age, I am not attracted to women, I am only attracted to men. In my college  days, when I stayed with my friends, I was never interested in watching porn with them. They all watched straight pornography, which didn’t interest me. They don’t show men enough on those movies, they mostly show women. I went on the Internet and came to know about being Gay. I used to go to the Internet Cafe every week and watch gay porn and chat with other gay men. I have also met and had sexual encounters with 20 men so far. My friends and family doesn’t know that I am gay. I am so afraid of letting them know, if they come to know about me, I would kill myself. My parents are currently seeking alliances for my marriage. I don’t want to get married, I will feel awfully guilty. In western countries, same-sex couples get married, have kids and live together. Our culture doesn’t accept all that. I am not sure what to do. Please consider me as your friend and help me out.

Friendly yours,

I read your letter. I guess you are close to 28 years old. You work for a private company. You are a loner. Your handwriting is quite feminine and tells me you are an effeminate man . I think one of the following is the reason why you are a homosexual

1. Homosexuality is a genetic disorder
2. Your mother is dead and you were raised by a strict father (or) your father is dead and you were raised by a selfish mother (or) you are younger to 3-4 sisters . You have been exposed at a very young age to lot of women nudity, mostly ugly ones. You got repelled by that without proper understanding.
3. You have bad friends who engage in homosexuality and talk about it
4. You are irrationally angry towards the world and the society. You just want to contradict, and be rebellious, for the sake of it
5. You are a half-baked atheist, who doesn’t believe in god. No religion in the world approves homosexuality
6. You have a wrong scientific mentality that leads you to think that you know everything
7. You were raised by an evil step mother who ill treated you
8. You are a trouble maker , anti-social

I completely detest homosexuals. We are all created to lead a life in tune with Nature. Man – Woman relationship is like a relay race, it leads humanity to future generations. It is not just for sex, but it is very important for the unit called family.  We all eat with our mouth, for a change can we try eating with something else? Is that even possible? No.

Male and female babies are born in the ration of 1:1.  Monogamous heterosexual relationship is God’s unwritten law for humans.
A woman is like a flower and a man is like the bee. A bee can feed on the flower, a flower cant feed on the bee . Also a bee cant feed on another bee. It is the Man- Woman relationship that inspires life, art, literature and poetry. In your letter you have mentioned that men marry men, have babies and live together. A man can’t make babies with another man, that is not scientifically possible.  May be they can adopt,  but let me tell you, kids raised by same-sex couples will end up as criminals or mentally retarded.

I will offer you advice for a good life. Will you listen to me, Son?

You mention that you are not sexually attracted to women. That is not the real truth, you are confused. You are blinded. Clear the fog and try to see things more clearly. You will see the reality. Don’t spend your time on the Internet, pray to god and become spiritual.
If you parents look for a match for you, don’t say No. Let them. Try to find a manly-looking girl, like actress Tabu.

I know many homosexuals who have changed from their evil ways, got married, returned to morality and now live peacefully and happily.
Don’t let your mind wander into evil ways, come back, come home to god. Homosexuality will gift you AIDS. Do you want to live as  a HIV-AIDS infected person for the rest of your life?

Read works that celebrate women and femininity. If you have only met bad and evil women so far in your life, don’t conclude that you don’t like women. Try to mix with the good ones.

Get married, have kids and live happily.

– Always motherly,
Shakuntala Gopinath

Shakuntala Gopinath displays an extreme degree of homophobia and a lack of understanding and awareness of alternate sexualities. She seems to be completely unaware of the scientific, medical, legal and social acceptance of homosexuality and provides misleading, false and incorrect advice. Someone who has not overcome her personal prejudices is in NO position to offer help to innocent and unsuspecting readers.

Unfortunately, Shakuntala is not the first author to provide such biased and dangerous advice. Previously this column was written by a famous Tamil writer, the late Mrs.Anuradha Ramanan. Mrs.Ramanan’s responses were extremely homophobic. She was condemned by the LGBT community in Chennai and she was even featured in’s LGBT – Hall of Shame.

If Dinamalar is a responsible magazine and is genuinely interested in the well-being of its readers, it should get a trained counselor to write responses for this column.

Join us in condemning Dinamalar’s homophobia!

We demand the magazine and the author  retract their statement and incorrect advice. We ask them to stop giving ill-conceived advice to an unsuspecting public and refrain from imposing their moral judgments on their readers.

You can call, write, email or fax the magazine and express your outrage. Here is the contact information.

219, Anna Salai,
Chennai – 600002
Ph: 044 2841 3553, 2855 5783
Fax : 044 28523695
e-mail –

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South Indian, Sambar lover,Subramanya Bharathi fan, Rebel, Bleeding heart liberal, Writer, Dreamer, Die-hard romantic and Queer. Twitter: @shrisadasivan

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