By Dr. Javed Jamil
Despite different natures of their issues, the market forces have brought them together because if there is anything common in them, it is the interests of market forces in them. The Lesbians, gays, transgenders and bisexuals have organized themselves into a community called LGBT; and they have developed massive networks throughout the world. The interests of the market are providing, as always, the promotion they need. With the advocacy, on-going normalisation, institutionalisation and legalization in one country after the other, the community is growing in the numbers; the interests of the market are growing even faster.
Gays are of course the leaders. Lesbianism was popularised because gays feared that their movement might be levelled an infringement of women’s right to have male partners and children through them. With lesbianism recognised and popularised, the “equality of women” was ensured. While gays and lesbianism help tourism and sex market, transgenders (excluding) were of special interest for Medical Industry. Eunuchs were a relatively smaller business material for the Big Industry but helped the LGBT community to attract sympathy.
The truth however is that each one of the components of LGBT are different in terms of the ways they emerge and the impact they create. In my forthcoming book, “Economics First or Health First?”, I have discussed the subject in detail.
Eunuchs the Victims
The case of eunuchs is entirely different. Eunuchs pose a greater problem in Asian countries including India. Most of them are kidnapped in their young age and are subjected to surgical removal of their male organs and are forced to live as eunuchs. A study conducted on Eunuchs entitled “Eunuchs of India – Deprived of Human Rights” by Shoma A. Chatterji says:
“In 1990, Dr. B.V. Subramaniam  of the Surat Medical College wrote a paper based on his research on the making of a eunuch. The study reported that most eunuchs in India were the result of forced castration. The method adopted for the surgery is crude, unscientific, threatening to the health of the patient and done in the most unhygienic conditions. The genitals of a normally born male baby are slashed off with a knife dipped in boiling oil. After dressing the wound, a nail with a string attached is tied to the waist and drilled into the stump, which would, with medication and time, begin to look somewhat like a female crotch…..In cases of castration, Subramaniam’s paper says that breasts develop because the seat of the male hormones – testicles – has been removed. When the female hormones take over, the growth of secondary sexual characteristics, such as growth of facial hair, is restricted. So, also the regular change in voice. Castrated or not, eunuchs are sexually active. As they cannot form intimate relations within the parameters of either acceptable or aberrant behaviour due to lack of takers, they take to prostitution. Because of their indiscriminate sexual lives, Subramaniam warns that they are possible carriers of the HIV virus. Gully No. 1 of Shuklaji Street, a notorious red light area of Mumbai, is an almost exclusively eunuch preserve. “
Describing the plight of the eunuchs who have been forced by the circumstances to enter prostitution, the report further says:
“In a sudden police raid on a Bhandup (a Mumbai suburb) brothel more than 15 years ago, many of the prostitutes were eunuchs. When rounded up and taken to the local police station, they were found to have deep gashes, cigarettes stubbed on their arms, scars of regular beatings and lashings. The police too, are no less. All eunuchs must pay hafta (weekly payment) to the police or risk being beaten up. They are rarely employed in regular jobs, though many would like to lead normal lives. They fight among themselves for clothes and money when the time to share the booty comes. They have no grudge against normal human beings because they accept their sexual identity as ‘destiny’, which, as we all know, is not quite true. How can castration be destiny?”
How can castration be destiny? How pertinent a question! How mind baffling! How painful! But no one – in the government or the Courts – has tried to stop the destiny of castration. While giving Hijras their human rights, opportunities for good education, jobs and comfortable living are what the existing Hijras deserve without bias, what needs to be ensured with greater vehemence is that no more eunuchs are created. According to surveys carried out by Salvation Of. Oppressed Eunuchs (SOOE), the number of eunuchs in India is around 1.9 millions, (Eunuch Statistics in India – Dr. Piyush Saxena)17. The natural justice does not merely demand good life for existing eunuchs but also total and effective ban on the creation of eunuchs and rigorous punishment to those involved in the trade. Furthermore, strict action is also to be taken against those who pose as eunuchs for money and those who are engaged in prostitution have to be removed from the trade and rehabilitated.
Let India take lead in not allowing castration to become destiny!
Transsexual people may undergo gender transition, the process of aligning one’s gender expression or presentation with their internal gender identity. In order to make their bodies conform to their feelings, medical attention is often sought with hormonal and surgical interventions. In that case they are called transsexuals. Transgenders have created a big market for advanced surgeries. According to World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), medically necessary sex reassignment surgeries include “complete hysterectomy, bilateral mastectomy, chest reconstruction or augmentation including breast prostheses if necessary, genital reconstruction (by various techniques which must be appropriate to each patient) and certain facial plastic reconstruction. In addition, other non-surgical procedures are also considered medically necessary treatments by WPATH, including facial electrolysis.”
According to WPATH, “The array of medically necessary surgeries differs between trans women (male to female) and trans men (female to male). For trans women, genital reconstruction usually involves the surgical construction of a vagina, whereas in the case of trans men, genital reconstruction may involve construction of a penis through either phalloplasty or metoidioplasty. In both cases, for trans women and trans men, genital surgery may also involve other medically necessary ancillary procedures, such as orchiectomy or vaginectomy…. a medically assisted transition from one sex to another may entail any of a variety of non-genital surgical procedures, any of which are considered “sex reassignment surgery” when performed as part of treatment for transsexualism. For trans men, these may include mastectomy (removal of the breasts) and chest reconstruction (the shaping of a male-contoured chest), or hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. For some trans women, facial feminization surgery and breast augmentation are also aesthetic components of their surgical treatment.”
Obviously, all these surgeries are extensive and highly complicated and involve huge expenditures. As these surgeries are relatively new, its impact will only be known in decades. The truth is that Transgenders are more the creation of a movement. They are psychiatric patients who need treatment to turn them into normal human beings rather than hormonal or surgical interventions to turn them into completely abnormal persons. There is a need of total ban on LGBT organizations, and hormonal or surgical procedures to cater to the abnormal needs of transgenders. The surgeries cannot turn their chromosomes from Y to X or X to Y. These are unnatural means that permanently damage the true identity of the individuals.
The LGBT is of course a big and fast growing industry. The purchasing power of LGBT is often described as the “Pink Money”. According to an article, “with the rise of the gay rights movement, pink money has gone from being a fringe or marginalized market to a thriving industry in many parts of the Western world such as the United States and United Kingdom. Many businesses now specifically cater to gay customers, including nightclubs, shops, restaurants, and even taxicabs; the demand for these services stems from commonly perceived discrimination by traditional businesses. Worldwide in 1998, pink money was valued at £350 billion ($560 billion) across a variety of sectors — especially entertainment and consumer goods. Purchasing power in 2012 in the United States is expected to increase to $790 billion.”
This money seems to exclude the exorbitant amounts spent of reassignment surgeries and hormonal therapies.
The article further says,
“The economic power of pink money has been seen as a positive force for the gay community, creating a kind of “financial self-identification” which helps gay and lesbian individuals feel like part of a community which values them. Indeed, upwards of 90% of gay people support businesses which target pink money, while actively shunning “anti-gay” companies. …. It’s been considered more often than not a market exclusive for USA, UK and some places in Europe, but its extension covers a large amount of Latin America and part of Asia, making its actual earns larger by year and giving marketing options some impulse and variety.”
Another report tells specifically about the LGBT tourism:
“The world’s leading LGBT tourism trade association today released new research at World Travel Market showing the annual spend on tourism by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people will exceed USD$200 billion for the first time in 2014.,,,,The new LGBT2020 data showed that the top 20 markets for LGBT tourism now account for annual travel spending of USD$202 billion….The largest spending markets were the USA (USD$56.5 billion) and Brazil (USD$25.3 billion)…Johnson also said the results presented during the ONBC Masterclass at WTM today had much to keep the industry thinking on about how to best understand and meet the needs of the global LGBT travel market……It is great that the value of LGBT tourism spending now exceeds USD$202 billion but there are still many challenges the industry needs to address,” Johnson said. “Staff training is essential to help get staff up to speed with what has become an unstoppable LGBT consumer revolution for the travel industry. We are obviously pleased that all ONBC members now receive unlimited online staff training to help deliver better understanding and customer service to LGBT guests.”
Gays vs Lesbians
With the kind of natural biological functions men and women have to perform, it is natural to assume that women should be less likely to fall victim to the addiction of homosexuality. The figures confirm this. Men are more gays and females are relatively more bisexuals. Biologically, males have just to vent their discharges and have no further role to play in reproduction. Women need men;s semen to become pregnant, deliver and breastfeed, and their natural desires are naturally conditioned for that role. Lesbianism does neither involve penetration nor transfer of discharges from one person to the other. To continue as pure lesbian for long is difficult for them unless forced or lured by surroundings. This is why they would tend to become bisexual soon or if properly counseled will tend to revert to heterosexuality. They are also less likely to fall victim to sex transmitted diseases unless they become bisexual. But gays tend to become addicted to a kind of sex, which is different from heterosexual. Once addicted, it becomes difficult for them to wean themselves away. Their case is like that of drug addicts. They not only need counseling but sexual isolation through social and legal pressures if they are to be weaned away from their addiction. They also tend to enjoy because this kind of sex keeps them away from the responsibility of looking after their wives and children. A family man cannot be as promiscuous as a solitary man can be. And promiscuity is much higher in gays than in heterosexuals.The disintegration of family system of course remains high on the agenda of the merchants of beauty, sex and addictions of all kinds.
Law needs to be different for L, G, B and T
The Law needs to look each of the four cases differently. The Supreme Court should have given strong directions to the Government to ensure that no new eunuchs are formed. It should have also warned in strongest terms against any attempts to institutionalize, popularize and commercialise homosexuality. It would have then bean plausible if it would have directed the Government to put the gays and lesbians into counseling cntres for a certain period rather than lodging them into jails. By straightaway decrimininalizing it, they have turned homosexuality into something that needs celebration and support. Soon, the Gay clubs, tourism and media will prosper and within a few decades, the gay community will swell leading to huge medical and social issues. But in a world where both problems and their solutions are ommercialised to the hilt, who cares for life, healthiness of life and peace of individual, family and social life?
Dr Javed Jamil is India based thinker and writer and Head of Chair in Islamic Studies & research, Yenepoya University, Mangalore, with over a dozen books including his latest, “Muslim Vision of Secular India: Destination & Road-map” and “Qur’anic Paradigms of Sciences & Society” (First Vol: Health), “Muslims Most Civilised, Yet Not Enough” and Other works include “The Devil of Economic Fundamentalism”, “The Essence of the Divine Verses”, “The Killer Sex”, “Islam means Peace” and “Rediscovering the Universe”.