Politics & Partying [Our World This Week]

A while ago there was the gay Pakistani couple in New Zealand with family issues, but there doesn’t seem to have been too much drama going on in our world as of late.  Trust that I’m pleased, but I find it hard to believe so let me know if I’m missing any important news!

To prove my point about there not being too much drama going on, it seems that Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil was even celebrating amidst other people’s traumatic drama!  I’m not sure how I feel about this…  While the U.S. East Coast was preparing for, and some were experiencing, a hurricane and severely dangerous weather, he was partying at Sir Ivan Wilzig’s Water hill mansion!  Most events had been cancelled, but Wilzig couldn’t turn down let go of the opportunity of hosting a Gaysi Prince.  It sounds like the party was a success! Check here for a look into the campy affair…

Regarding queer partying and social habits, @gaysifamily tweeted a Queerty post asking whether queer peoplespend more on alcohol than queer causes.  Our renowned Gaysi spokesperson, Urvashi Vaid said:

Urvashi Vaid, the former head of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, described the failure of LGBT political groups to connect with gay bars as “a huge missed opportunity.” She told me: “We never figured out how to organize successfully through the bars. You see tables—information, literature, those kinds of strategies. You don’t see the bar owner or the party promoter sharing the bar [mailing] list with the local political organization.”

I spoke with a friend on facebook about how we felt that this article was missing an important discussion on substance and drug abuse issues in the queer community.  The real question should be “Why are queer people spending more time and money at bars?”  While there are important populations of people that need to be engaged in the queer bar scene, my friend pointed out that we need to be careful not to feed into already high substance abuse rates.  Another important question would be “How can we provide a healthy balance between the social scene and the activist scene?”

It turns out that amidst substance and drug abuse, the queer college community is [unsurprisingly] feeling the recession so much that it is causing some more potentially dangerous behaviors.  Huffington Post has published an article suggesting there is a rise in gay male college students using sugar daddies to pay for their college tuition.  I feel that perhaps this trend has just caught people’s attention because almost everything involving gay men is found to be shocking.  Sex trafficking, sex work, and prostitution are not new in the heterosexual or queer communities, which is what I personally think this is.  I feel that all genders and sexualities feel the harsh economy and tuition rates.  At the same time, just as queer people are uniquely affect by the sex work industry, I can predict that many queer students have more reason for a sugar daddy/mama due to less support from their families.  What’s new here is that the recession has hit a population of the queer community that is usually more fortunate; college students.  Also, as a side factoid: The 39-year-old founder of SugarDaddyForMe.com and GaySugarDaddyFinder.com is a desi, also known as Gautam Sharma.  I’m not a very proud desi right now.  We need to be finding and producing more safe and healthy ways for poor college students to fund their tuition.






What does make me a proud desi, and a proud Gaysi, is our people’s fantastic ability to produce films!  Thank you to, Srini and Queer Coolie for sharing information about this new film.  Circumstance is a film by Iranian-American filmmaker Maryam Keshavarz.  This film is about two adolescent girls, living in Iran, who are exploring their sexualities and each other.  Keshavarz wanted to be upfront about sexuality in the film, which meant she had to film in Lebanon, instead of Iran.  It also means that, while she has received praise for the film, she has also received a lot of criticisms and resentment.  Even while filming in Lebanon, she had to be very careful, due to “homosexuality” being illegal.  I haven’t had the chance to see the film yet, but here is a review and here is the trailer.

Recently in Vancouver, Canada, there was the Queer Film Festival where there were even more riveting films, similar to Circumstance.  This columnist lets us know what she thought of it (ie. how much she loved it) and she gives a peak into some of the films.  The films that caught my attention were Call Me Salma, about hijra in Bangladesh, The Dancing Boys of Afghanistan, about bacha bazi, and, of course, Sonal Gulati’s I Am.  It is hard to find theatres that are screening these films, since they are independent, but let me know if you manage to catch one!

Now, for some politics, I’ve been reading that Senator Santorum in Pennsylvania is not pleasing the queer community there.  Recently he has turned these, I assume, predominantly non-desi queer people off by comparing queer sex to incest and polygamy.  I understand that when something is meant as an insult it can sting whether or not it is actually insulting.  However, from what I have read it seems that the queer community is not being completely respectful or understanding that incest and polygamy are the norms in many Muslim communities.  Instead, it felt to me that the queer community was alienating Muslim practices in a similar way that others have done to queer people.  Furthermore, while the queer community is distancing itself from Muslims and Muslim practices, there are queer Muslims that are struggling to be accepted in both the queer and the Muslim communities at the same time.  Rant over.










For more on Islam, I had been thinking recently about how my queer Muslim people out there are feeling during Ramadan and Eid.  While surfing the internet I miraculously found this article that reached out to some of these people.  While queer Muslims are often disowned by their Muslim communities from the get-go, many remain involved.  For those that stay involved, it is questioned whether or not Allah will accept their fast during Ramadan.  On the other hand, if they are viewed as sinners, their fast may be even more significant.  The article features some insightful and diverse mini-interviews.

Well, that’s all folks.  Make sure to leave a comment with your thoughts any other news you have read this week, if you have read any.

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Anurag is a queer, feminist, social worker-to-be. Currently residing in the cornfields of Illinois.  Fierce, emotional and reclaiming the brown-ness. 

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