Bullying and Discrimination of Gays in Society

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Social repression and discrimination of gays are done in many forms. They can be in the form of verbal abuse, ridicule, rape of gay or lesbians by person of opposite gender and forced marriage. Generally these crimes are carried out with or without state’s involvement. Forced medication and criminalization of homosexuality lead to all these evils, which in turn damage and disfigure the social life and psyche of gays. The author voice and articulate the complications of gays in this novel at various places. Whether the acceptance of homosexuality is appropriate or inappropriate varies greatly across different culture. Indians view on homosexuality is rigid. Societal acceptance is a distant dream for gay couples who want to live together and have their family. When the question of homosexuality is ‘justifiable’ or ‘acceptable’ is put forward to Indians, they prefer to keep mum about it. Rao has displayed the shameful attitude of society in harassing a gay men by his own friends and acquaintances. Every gay guy has undergone certain issues like his straight counterparts go through but the nature of problems are different. From disowning to physical-violence, denial of job to blackmailing, anxiety and depression to suicidal ideas are very common in gay’s life.

The major problem faced by effeminate gays is bullying. Bullies are not different from one’s own friends, they mimic voice and gestures of homosexuals. There is a close association between bullying and suicidal behaviours. Bullying is faced by girls and girlish-boys and it causes for anxiety and psychological distress. The protagonist of the novel doesn’t attempt to suicide shows that he is mature and educated as well and he has accepted himself in this way. Hence he is not soaked by provoking circumstances which might take his life too. The other major barring factor is his age, with age one learns to adjust with such things.

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The other major problem faced by gays is verbal assault. In many places author in the novel has used the word chhakka, the derogatory remark used for gays and transsexuals. This shows that how Indian people are naïve about gender. Despite of being in relationship with Yudi, Milind uses abusive terms for his partner at various occasions. Most of the gays have to go through such instances in their life, where they just have to ignore this for the sake of being in relationship or to continue the pleasure of sex or out of helplessness. Milind gets angry when he finds out that Yudi had been to his place in his absence and has met his parents, and offered prayer at Chaitya Bhoomi. His mother compares Yudi with David and Pramod the other macho friends of Milind. She refers Yudi as womanly man and more worried for him than his entire family. In rage and anger Milind thinks he has become laughing stock for his friends and family because of a chhakka. Further the worst fear comes true for Milind, that is, his family might suspect his sexuality and think he is also a chhakka. Milind Blames Yudi for ruing his life and because Yudi only he became homo and joined A.K. Modelling Agency and became male prostitute and doubts whether he’ll be able to lead a normal married life.

The trainee police Dnyaneshwar blackmails Yudi and demands for money. Yudi escapes from his trap because Yudi was not ashamed of himself and deliberately he wasn’t hiding his identity like other gays. The police man believes that men fuck men only when women are not around and all men are straight by default. Rao clears the misconception of homosexuality here. When Milind goes back to Yudi in the last chapter, he thinks to demand for reviving his pocket money from Yudi on regular basis. He tries to employ blackmail for the cause but it doesn’t work because Yudi was as open as Azad Maidan about his sexual inclination. From blackmailing to getting blackmailed haunts Milind because of a past event. When Yudi and Milind got married at Mate House, while encircling the fire and Yudi was draped in chiffon sari and became bride. Milind was the groom, he put sindoor on Yudi’s maang. After promising for life time partnership they posed for a photo in front of automatic camera. After this historical event Milind got afraid of blackmailing by Yudi and studio that would develop the photo. Through-out the life the fear of getting blackmailed surrounds gay community.

In this heteronormative society homos and transgender are regarded as disgrace to their family in particular and to the society in general. Parents fails to understand their own grown up kids, who may not have similar sexual (heterosexual) preference as they had. This exclusion is one of the main reason why gays and lesbians continue to stay in closet. The traditional values plays a pivotal role in acceptance of gays. The traditional values are based on religion and their notion towards marriage and having children along with level of education in a family. The description of drag queens in the novel shows that there is an acceptance in upper-class society. Families with less traditional values clubbed with high political and social status have broad mindset in turn they accept their homosexual sons and daughters.

By analyzing the initial conversation between Yudi and Milind, we come to know that Yudi was open about his sexual inclination to his friends and journalist folks but not to his ageing mother, who wanted Yudi to get marry someone like Gauri and have happy future. The millions in the society are in the mode of denial, they don’t believe that homosexuality exists. Most of the parents can’t digest the fact that their son or daughter is homosexual and attracted toward a person of her own gender. This is the case with Yudi’s mother but she does not nags constantly Yudi to get marry because of her learnedness. Rao in the first chapter itself shows this, when Milind questions Yudi, “What language do you speak at home?” (Rao 10). English, Yudi replies. In India people with different linguistic and cultural background have varying attitude towards marriage.

Author tosses the coin and makes his readers to see both the sides of the coin through his protagonist Yudi and Yudi’s love interest Milind. Having low self-esteem and superiority complex are two sides of the same coin. When Milind meets Yudi for the first time, he is full of inferiority complex, shameful and has negative image of himself. The reasons may be whatever. Later on as Milind blends with the work culture of A.K. Modelling, his shame starts to turn into self-confidence and he was dying to see his pictures on print media, he curses Yudi that he would have never helped him to achieve this though he was a pressman. Gaymen’s lives are cluttered by complexities and lead to perpetual problems.

The problem of anxiety and depression can be seen in Yudi’s side, he is not different from any heterosexual lover who weeps in the separation of her/his lover. Yudi is portrayed as isolated character, he has no other friends to share his feelings, often interacts with Gauri but there is no friendship with her. Gay life has no support system. Anxiety kills Yudi after separation. Combination of all these factors leads to suicidal ideation and LGBTQ are at higher risk for suicide.

Moreover the author has created two contrast images in front of readers through the lovers Yudi and Milind. Yudi has characterized as the one who is not ashamed of his sexuality and doesn’t live his life in secrecy but in a lively and cheerful way. He represents gays who are out of closet and belongs to the empowered section of sexual minorities whereas Milind struggles to accept his sexual inclination. Yudi in a casual meeting asks hesitantly his boyfriend Milind, “Tell me honestly, are you really a homosexual?”(Rao 82), in response Milind says Who Knows? The conversation further continues “Do you enjoy having sex with women?” (Rao 82). This time Milind accepts that “I’ve never had sex with women, so how can I tell?”(Rao 82). This shows Milind is either confused about his sexual orientation or needs to explore enough to identify his gender. But in the closing chapter author reveals even the gays and bisexuals can be internalize homosexuals. In their first meeting, after landing from A.K. Modelling Milind blames Yudi and says. It’s because of you that I became a homo, you are the one who ruined my life. This behavior of Milind indicates that there is a relationship between shame and homophobia in gay men. Milind has been presented with low self-esteem and doubtful. Due to the hidden gayness he falls prey to his parental pressure and marries Leela. He does not accept himself as gay or even as bisexual. The internalize homophobia is a self-loathing of someone who is gay, lesbian, bisexual or trans and does not want to be. The reason behind this self-disliking is negative stereotype attached to gays in religion and society. Internalize homophobic man may attempt to change his sexual orientation by consulting psychiatrist and undergoing various reparative therapies. A internalize homophobic gay man may act ultra- macho to hide the fact that he is gay. He may be aware or unaware of his sexual feelings towards the people of his own gender. Nowhere in the novel Milind admits himself as gay or bisexual. He constantly presents his disagreement of being a queer despite of making love and fornicating with Yudi and other clients of A.K. Modelling for years.

Only very few female characters are depicted in the novel and they are Gauri, Yudi’s mother and housekeeper. Yudi shares love and hate relationship with Gauri and their friendship is too complex. Yudi meets Gauri at Bhatnagar’s office. She is dressed in white handloom sari with golden border, and wore bindi. She is an upcoming painter and in the first meeting itself, she is hypnotized by Yudi. She falls in love with Yudi. In a conversation Gauri says, “I also know why you’re unmarried” (Rao 52). The chat continues, nowhere Yudi reveals his sexuality but at the same time, he does not try to hide it from her. Yudi ask Gauri to tell what she knows about him. Gauri replies that she is well aware of his sexual preferences that is he is attracted to members of his own sex. Still Gauri gives feather to her imagination and dreams for Yudi. She sees possible future husband in him. She assumes that all men are naturally attracted to women. Thereafter they meet at art gallery and hotels. Gauri invites Yudi for lunch to her place, and introduces her parents to him. Gauri asks Yudi can’t we be friends. Yudi straight away refuses and says no. Again she approaches him and says, “I do, believe me I do. I’d like to have a platonic relationship with you, Yudi” (Rao 62). Yudi clearly understands her intention and refuses the non-sexual relation. After few seductive and romantic failed attempts, she realizes that her dreams won’t come true and Yudi madly loves Milind.

Rao presents gay-straight friendship to his readers and touches different layers of it in this novel. The comfort level between a gay man and straight women is more compared to friends of two opposite sexes. Their friendship is more trustworthy because they are not friends with benefits. In the beginning the mating motivation of Gauri with Yudi hampers their friendship to grow but once she realizes the fact that there can’t be platonic love between Yudi and herself she gives away her motive and tries to be a good friend of him. Straight women and gay men see their friendship as safe space where they can have intimate conversation and understand each other’s needs. They can support each other mentally and financially. Both gays and straight women are attracted to men, this may be one of the reason for having a good bond between them. Author has presented the various social issues every gay man has to go through and deal with in this novel. How their education level and maturity helps them to cooperate and emerge victorious from adversities of life. Not only the issues of bullying and love failure has to be dealt by gays but they also have to tackle the havocs created by straight friends and family members. Here it is Gauri, who constantly tries to seduce Yudi despite of knowing his sexual orientation.

Shakuntala Devi in her The World of Homosexuals views that, physical appearance counts more in the case of homosexual men beyond of certain age than heterosexuals. Men get frustrated because they no longer can obtain desirable new partners and they try to buy young partners by favours and fees to fulfil their temptations. The pressing need for sex is less in case of heterosexual men because most of them get married but homosexuals remain single because most of them are drifting and unattached. Similarly in Rao’s The Boyfriend draws attention towards commercialization of sex, Yudi rarely pays his random hookup boys because he believes time for that has not come yet because he looks younger than his age. Though his hair is greying but has not tummy. Milind learns an easy way to make money and he joins A.K. Modelling. There he satisfy clients for money. In the initial stage before exploring the world of gays, Milind advanced love and sex to Yudi for spending time together and pocket money received from him. Likewise he does with clients of modelling agency. Male prostitutes are different from female prostitutes significantly, they take this as full time occupation like normal desk job.

Apart from psychological problems faced by gays author draws attention to risk of sexually transmitted infections also. In the first chapter when Yudi moves into a public loo, where he spots two men indulged in oral sexual pleasure and latter swallows former’s cum. Yudi warns him “ Idiot, haven’t you heard of HIV?”(Rao 03). The chap replies that nothing will happen. Yudi thinks himself that these people will never learn. This incident explain the story behind negligence and attitude of gays belonging to two different classes of the society. Yudi seems risk avert and well informed about sexually transmitted diseases (STD). He understands the potential danger and alarms community about safe sex.

While working with A.K. Modelling Milind had frequently heard about HIV, STD, AIDS. These acronyms were freely used by boys in the agency without knowing the clear meaning. The agency had a rule that each and every boy from their agency must have to take precaution, whether they like it or not and the agency manufactured its own condoms to avert the risk. This was the other reason why Milind left the agency. Gays have to live double life or wear mask and take off at different occasions. This mask ensure the survival in the society. The author offers a variety of matter of concerned for his readers while reading this novel.

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Bullying and Discrimination of Gays in Society. (2021, Apr 24). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/bullying-and-discrimination-of-gays-in-society/