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As a community we are still struggling with accepting dating between men and women. Navigating this homophobic world as a gay or lesbian is a ballpark we haven’t even begun to recognize. Homosexuality within the Punjabi community shouldn’t be a surprise to any of you. I am going to say it once and I want you to comprehend it — Punjabi Sikhs can be gay or lesbian. Got it?

After our recent article, Asking a Guy Out, we received a lot of feedback. However, this inquiry really stood out:

Qte (1K)  Please shed some light on how to ask a gay guy out, there are many gay Sikhs around,our life is a hell! Please publish some thing about our plight with some solutions. Thanks.

Unfortunately for you and our other LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) brothers and sisters, you are born into one of the most hetero-male dominated culture ever. And we thought our lives as straight men or women were tough?

If you’re gay and Punjabi, there’s a low chance you will ever be able to come out to your family. It sucks. Step one is to accept they may never completely comprehend your life. In this way, you’re not much different from other young Punjabis who lead double lives and are daily torn between their true and pseudo selves. It’s your duty to be faithful to yourself regardless of the cruel disdain the people around you may feel. It’s depressing and we’re sorry, but it’s just the way it is.

LGBT (17K)The worst thing about gay dating in our community is the hetero-male dominance of everything Punjabi. How will you even find out where the other available men are? Amidst the Humvees and testosterone filled bhangra competitions, it’s impossible to find gay love (or any kind for that matter). While talking to a good friend of mine last night, he put the Punjabi dating scene into perspective for me — after narrowing down the dating pool on the basis of religion, culture, location and/or whatever other factors matter to you, you basically have such a small population that you will eventually end up dating someone who has dated someone you know before. If this is the case for hetrosexuals, then one can just imagine how difficult it must be to date as a homosexual in an already extremely small community.

In this case you’re going to have to be the one who takes major action. You’re looking for other gay Sikhs. Well, have you put it out there that you’re gay? Have you come out to your friends? If you haven’t come out, things are going to be even harder for you. I’m not saying announce it at the Gurdwara, but people who love the true you should know. If your friends are a bunch of homophobes, make new ones. You should only be around folks who make you feel good about yourself.

Once you have a strong base of people who know, ask them to keep an eye out for other gay Sikhs. The issue is going to be that too many people in our community hide their sexuality. So this part is going to be hard! But if your friends know you’re gay and it’s not a secret, people will eventually trickle your way. It’s 2012 and gay rights are on the up and up. If you are on the vanguard of self-empowerment and people know you’re out, they’ll gravitate towards you.

Have you ever asked a gay Sikh out? We imagine it’s just as difficult as asking anyone out. One thing you have to do is build thick skin against rejection. We wrote an article for hetero girls, but some concepts transfer. For example, having the guts to ask someone out matters more than whatever response you may get. In a macho community like ours, it’s possible that you’ll get rejected a lot- even though you’re 100% sure the dude you just asked out likes dudes. You more than anyone have to learn to rise from the ashes and keep trudging forward. I’ve said this many times, but it’s true – if Waheguru made you, then your counterpart exists too. If it’s a gay Sikh you want, he’s out there.

We wish you the best! And remember when you’re going through hell — keep moving because life gets better.

PenduPrincess & MizKaurista

P.S. For readers interested in LGBT challenges in Sikhi, read Sonny Singh’s article We Are One: LGBT rights and Guru Nanak’s Legacy of Inclusion. It explains why Sikh homophobes need to get with the times.


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