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Despite the politics, I must clearly state that the majority religion in Sri Lanka (Buddhism) holds no negative attitudes towards homosexuality, despite some of our political leaders trying to use our religions as a means to justify a homophobic culture.Travel correspondents Stefan and Sebastien traveled to Sri Lanka in December 2014.
Unfortunately, many men hide their identity on these sites. If I tried to help the transgender, they would have definitely beaten me up too.At school it was decided we had to use see through bags for a period of time for security.When travelling on public transport there was an intense paranoia and everyone suspected everyone of being a suicide bomber.Funny Boy is a Sri Lankan book Stefan grew up with and loved (written by Shyam Selvadurai and highly recommended to any LGBT traveller visiting Sri Lanka).It tells the story of a young Tamil gay boy called Arjy growing up in 1980s Sri Lanka during the civil war era, struggling to come to grips with his homosexuality in a very religious and traditional family and society.I’ve not heard of anyone ever being convicted under sections 365 or 365A. For example they target places gays use to meet like parks, beaches and public toilets and frighten them into paying a bribe, sometimes physically assaulting them. Many of my gay friends have married women to relieve them from family pressure, but in doing so they create more problems resulting in divorce, fleeing the country and in more extreme cases, suicides.
Once I witnessed an assault by a group of three tuk tuk drivers in Colombo victimising a transgender. Even in the UK this is a common problem amongst some Asian communities.
He also opposed Norway’s ambassador to Sri Lanka (Grete Lochen) bringing her wife into Sri Lanka arguing that lesbian marriages are not legal in Sri Lanka, so allowing *them* in would encourage Sri Lankan women to want to behave in The recent surprise result in the Sri Lankan elections removed Rajapaksa from power and saw Maithripala Sirisena elected.
Whilst this brings an end to the homophobic government of Rajapaksa, it remains to be seen if Sirisena’s will be any more welcoming to the hidden gay Sri Lanka community than his predecessor was.
Tamils are a minority in Sri Lanka, as is being gay, so not an easy life for Arjy.
Growing up in Colombo in the 1980s, my family lived with continuous fear of bomb attacks.
Suicide bombers killed hundreds of people in Colombo.