LGBTQs in Myanmar

Posted: 07/03/2014 in Culture, Myanmar
Tags: , , ,

**If you act inhumane towards LGBTQs, I warn you not to go ahead**

A gay couple recently celebrated their 10 years of love at a hotel in Myanmar. And everyone loses their mind on Facebook.

LGBTs Rights in Myanmar

After flipping through many nasty comments towards that couple who are also working for organisations fighting for LGBTs’ rights in Myanmar, I tend to realize a few points and I feel like jotting down.

Many Myanmar can’t differentiate between Gays and Transgenders

Every thing is all the same for them. Some people complain while both of the couple wore traditional groom suites instead of one came up as the bride. Some pointed out that gays in American movies do not act like women and others criticized a gay should only be acting as Khin San Win, a famous transgender make-up artist.

Confusing, I know. But most of them do not have slightest clue on LGBTs which is sad.

They believe as if Buddha taught that gays in this life have raped others in past lives

I have been trying to find reputable English source that shares the exact sentiment. I found none so far.

That is copy-catting western culture, they say.

I believe we cannot trace back who was first ever LGBTQ in this world. I am pretty sure there are mentioning about gays in Pali Canons. I wonder how did they form such opinion claiming acting as LGBTQ is westernization.

It is against law.

The infamous Section (377) in Myanmar restricts people from having “abnormal” sex. It can be punished up to 10 years of jail sentence or life imprisonment. The catch is that it is punishable only when there is proof that they did exactly what mentioned in the section which means polices can’t grab a random gay couple and jail them just because they live together. I guess many people forget this part. Plus, it restricts not only gays but also straight people from performing “abnormal” sex, too. Blame the British, seriously.

The rest of the accusations share more or less the same points with homophobes in other countries such as “It is unnatural!”, “Gays are disgusting!” or “It is disgrace!”. Here’s a bonus point.

It is where conservative people following either of three more dominant religions in Myanmar – Buddhists, Muslims and Christians agree!
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Comments
  1. Ron says:

    Thank you so much for addressing this. As a closeted bisexual myself, I had trouble explaining sexuality to other Burmese best friends of mine. It’s hard. I mostly assume that this comes from the restrictive gender roles that were imposed likely during the Konbaung and British period and has yet not been changed ever since. We were isolated for a truly long time.

    As for the gay dudes in Buddhism and Myanmar, there were clearly some. In and in native animistic rites, deities like Min Kyawswa and Shwe Phyin siblings were said to have been lecherous enough to harbour attraction for both men and women (this religion is also demonized so that doesn’t really help). In one tale, Buddha’s companion, Ananda (in his previous life) was fancied by a Naga prince He politely declined his advances saying that enlightenment was a better option for him. That’s all I got.

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