I could have told Iain Lee about this had he only asked me about it. This article in The Independent by him took me back to some two decades or so. What the reporter found was exactly what I found too.

I was visiting a number of places in the UK and Europe, while my brother Barath normally resident in Edinburgh then was to meet up with me in London for a last night together before I left for India the following morning.

I reached London in the evening and checked into the Grosvenor House where Barath was also to check in later. When he did, the two of us met up with some other friends for a couple of drinks at the bar and then went off to a Thai restaurant in Soho that Barath was fond of. We had great food there and it was about ten in the night when the two of us quite maudlin with a lot of booze inside us walked back to the hotel talking about how we will miss each other from the next morning. I was hugging Barath as we were walking and that is when we experienced homophobia, that must have been fairly common in London then and now this article tells me is so even now.

A group of four young boys, could not have been more than just out of their teens started abusing us and making obscene gestures at us. I did not quite register what was happening because it was a strange English that they were speaking, and thought that it was Paki bashing, which too was quite prevalent those days London. The street fighter in me took over and I was ready to pile into the four and asked Barath if he was game for a bit of a dust up. He was saner and told me to ignore the youngsters and explained that they thought that we were queers hugging each other. So, I turned to them and tried to explain that we were brothers and this for some reason made them even more obnoxious! Barath pointed out that I would miss my flight if I landed up in a police lock up for the night and that we should just ignore them and walk to the hotel. That was what we did with the hooligans accompanying us for quite some time hooting at us.

Another story from the family archives for the family now resident in the UK!

36 thoughts on “Homophobia.”

  1. Unfortunately, that’s the dark side of human nature. I just read an article about how the Sikhs and Hindus are being driven out of Afghanistan because of the harassment. Many of the ones remaining aren’t sending their children to the state schools because of bullying.
    Cheerful Monk recently posted..Habemus ….

  2. It is quite common in our country for boys / men ( for that matter girls/ladies too ) to hold hands and walk or put arms around the others shoulders . Quite often I have observed overseas visitors ( esp from UK ) glance quizzically at such “couples” and I have had to explain that here it does not mean what they think ….necessarily ! And I was left thinking to myself ..even if so, what of it !

    1. It cannot happen here because it is not considered improper for people of the same sex holding hands and walking together or hugging each other here. We do live in different cultures.

  3. I am terribly sorry for both of you for having this experience. The memories of such experiences last for years, and make us increasingly aware of the fact that there is a certain portion of every society that is hate filled and looking for a target, unfortunately. And not just homophobic. During a conference at the Birla Institute in Hyderabad, my husband, who has bad eyes, and I ended up being chased over two blocks and into a public building by a gang of young men, since, as we were told by a guard, we should not be holding hands (so that I could lead him) But we also have been laughed at and mocked at an airport in San Francisco. It is worldwide. You learn to be strong mentally and emotionally. And the many possible usages of a cane or nordic walking sticks.

    1. I am surprised that this happened in Hyderabad. Moral policing is becoming a nuisance here with young people with nothing better to do. Social media is not actively promoting a movement against it here.

  4. I have belonged to a Christian page on Facebook. Today I read a post by a man who said that he had posted something about homoerotica on the page, only to have it deleted by the administrator. I commented and offered ny thanks to the admin. The man then began to say that I must br afraid of sexuality, and hinted of homophobia. I told him that I don’t think that sex is an appropriate topic for a Christian page, gay or straight. I suggested that he could make his own “Christian sexuality” page, but hoped the Christian page we be left for actually discussing Jesus Christ. Once again he commented that our sexuality is part of our relationship with God, and I must just not be comfortable expressing mine. My last comment was that I wasn’t sure why I even still followed the page with comments like his. Then I promptly deleted myself from their membership. Just because I don’t enjoy holding homosexuality on a pedastal and exposing it to public view does not mean I’m homophobic. Is nothing sacred anymore??!
    Delirious recently posted..Family Ties

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