Segments in this Video

Attitudes About Sexuality (03:32)


Mawaan Riswan came out to his parents who were not happy to learn he is gay. Riswan travels to Pakistan to understand the culture and how his life would have changed had his family remained there. In Karachi, he visits a local market to obtain better clothing and to familiarize himself.

Pakistan's Largest City (04:18)

Only 2% of the population said that homosexuality was acceptable. Kami, a transgender woman, and Sid, her partner, organized a gay party. In Pakistan, homosexuals can be stoned to death.

Gay Right's Activists (03:13)

Kami describes a party they hosted where men came and raped the partygoers. The couple plans on being married by a South African Imam. Sid hopes to return to Pakistan afterward and continue to fight for gay rights.

Meeting a Local Imam (04:57)

Imam Sahib explains that homosexuality is not permitted in Islam or under Sharia law. Riswan confronts the imam, shares he is a gay man, and asks his advice. The imam possesses the faith that Allah can cure Riswan's homosexuality, cautions that religious fanatics in Pakistan will attempt to kill him, and suggests he leaves the country.

Shahzadi's Story (04:19)

Kami and Sid offered a transgender woman a place to live after her parents kicked her out. Shahzadi describes how a man kidnapped her, beat her, and raped her three times when she was in the 8th grade. In Pakistan, the final stage of transitioning is known as castration.

Convictions for Homosexuality are Rare (02:58)

Riswan believes that the government turns a blind eye to homosexuals as long as they keep their sexuality a secret. He, Kami, and Sid go wedding shopping in public. A shopkeeper explains that non-Muslims can be homosexual, but Sharia law forbids it.

Attracting Attention (02:16)

A man starts taunting Kami for her sexuality. She confronts him and tries to explain that she has rights, like all humans. The call to prayer breaks up the argument.

Hijras (03:30)

Experts suspect there may be over a million transgender women within Pakistan. Shahzadi takes Riswan to meet her guru, Zeni. In order for Shahzadi to be castrated, she must obtain permission from her guru— Zeni turned down her request because she has witnessed many transgender women who have regretted having the surgery.

Curing the Gay (04:08)

After taking Riswan's pulse, Imam Sahib decides that his liver is overheating, semen is mixing with urine, and prescribes medication to counter its effects. At the pharmacy, Riswan discovers it is an herbal concoction that is supposed to make him attracted to women within a week.

Taking the Drugs (04:05)

Riswan returns to Lahore, where he was born and visits the Naz Male Health Alliance where the LGBT community can be tested for sexually transmitted diseases and escape the streets. The U.S. government revoked Qasim Iqbal's citizenship when he contracted AIDS. Straight men will sleep together because women are not readily available.

Men Sleeping with Men (04:07)

Riswan heads to an area of Lahore that MSMs frequently visit to distribute condoms. Outreach workers talk to any strangers they encounter about using condoms. Riswan visits a sex den, where the laborers share beds and many become afflicted with sexually transmitted diseases.

Is Pakistan Tolerant of Homosexuality? (02:55)

Most Pakistanis do not believe MSM sex is homosexuality. Iqbal shows Riswan a graphic video of a boy being sodomized with sticks because he was caught with his gay lover. Iqbal works for gay rights because he believes no one else will.

Shahzadi Comes to Lahore (03:37)

The doctor at the NAZ clinic explains that Shahzadi may have an underlying medical condition causing the symptoms, like syphilis. Shahzadi needs to make a decision about castration and returns to Karachi to do the blood work.

Underground LGBT Movement (02:01)

Shahzadi decided to undergo castration without her guru's permission. Kami and Sid postponed their wedding for financial reasons. When Riswan called Imam Shabib to tell him his medicine did not cure his homosexuality, the imam explains that he must take the medication for at least two months in order to be cured.

Credits: How Gay is Pakistan? (00:32)

Credits: How Gay is Pakistan?

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How Gay Is Pakistan?

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Being gay is illegal in Pakistan. But, despite this, the country has a growing gay scene. So why are gay rights not being addressed here? This is a complicated place, where homosocial behavior, like men holding hands, is common and accepted. In this revealing journey to the country of his birth, presenter Mawaan Riswan talks to the people struggling to assert their sexuality against a complex backdrop. From the activists campaigning for gay rights despite the threat of violence, to the transgender sex worker considering surgery, and the men who identify as straight but enjoy gay sex, Mawaan discovers a fascinating world hidden from public view.

Length: 52 minutes

Item#: BVL124905

ISBN: 978-1-63521-903-6

Copyright date: ©2015

Closed Captioned

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