Pak`s first gay pride party sparks online debate

US Embassy hosted Pak`s first lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender (LGBT) `Pride Celebration`.

Updated: Jul 03, 2011, 14:43 PM IST

Islamabad: The US Embassy`s hosting of
Pakistan`s first lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender (LGBT)
`Pride Celebration` has spurred a debate in the virtual world,
where it is safest to air views on the taboo subject.

Most people learnt of the celebration organised on
June 26 through a statement posted in the `press releases`
section of the US Embassy website.

Unlike other press releases from the Embassy, however,
this one was not widely circulated among the media.

As the release was posted on micro-blogging site
Twitter and various Pakistani blogs, people took to the
virtual world to debate the consequences of what was possibly
the country`s first LGBT event.

The US Embassy`s involvement in the event at a time of
rising anti-American sentiments was pointed out by some

During the event at the US embassy, Charge d`Affaires
Richard Hoagland acknowledged the struggle for LGBT rights in
Pakistan and said: "I want to be clear: the US Embassy is here
to support you and stand by your side every step of the way".

A person who identified himself only as Ali wrote on
the blog of The Express Tribune daily: "To all the straight
people out there, think of this. Why would anyone in their
right mind choose to be gay in a society that persecutes
anything different? I am gay".

"I would never wish it on anyone else as life can
become hell. I would never choose this. But the fact is I
don`t have a choice, I am who I am.

"So I just accept myself and get along with life".
Ali added: "If you ask me to get married, who should I
marry? Would you like it if your sister was married to a man
who could not make her happy?" He pointed out that the
situation is worse for lesbians in Pakistan.