Canada – A Toronto-based Pakistani author has written an LGBTI themed book for children in the hope that it will teach tolerance and further equality in Pakistan where same-sex relations are illegal.
The book “My Chacha is gay” is billed as the first ever resource designed to teach Pakistani young people about different family arrangements. Crowd-funded on Indigogo, it tells the story of Ahmed, a little boy and his gay favorite uncle who live in the Pakistani city of Karachi.
Chacha is a traditional Pakistani word for uncle.
Ahmed lives with his parents, sister, grandmother and chacha who are often visited by ‘Uncle’ Faheem – Chacha’s boyfriend.
The story tells of why Ahmed likes his Chacha because they have fun together flying kites and because he takes him for camel rides on the beach and for ice cream.
Uncle’ Faheem, who is a pilot, lets Ahmed wear his pilot’s hat.
The highlight of the book is when a conservative Muslim shouts at Chacha telling him to get a wife but Ahmed says he knows Chacha and Faheem’s love is the same as his parents for each other.
The book was written by Eiynah NM, who is also the author of the Nice Mangos blog about sexuality and Pakistani culture.
The author intends to ship the book to Pakistan from Canada.
Eiynah said she wrote the book to dispel stereotypes about gay people in Pakistan but also stereotypes about Pakistani people and to show they have a diversity of views.
‘I dream of a progressive Pakistan as opposed to the extremist state it is close to becoming,’ Eiynah told gaystarnews.com. “The best way to do this in my humble opinion is to start early and teach our children tolerance and diversity from a young age.”
Eiynah said she knew the book would be controversial in Pakistan where same-sex is strictly criminalized but she was hopeful the book would find its way into schools.
‘We’d be happy to donate copies to any school in Pakistan that would accept our donation,’ Eiynah said.
‘Right now, we are working on finding such an open-minded educational institution. Even if one copy makes it in…it will make a difference,” she added.
Eiynah has expressed hopes of her book being translated into other languages so that it can be used in other countries as well.
Pakistan’s law criminalizing consensual same-sex dates back to 1860 under the colonial rule of British East India Company. Pakistan continues with that law making it an offense punishable by up to life imprisonment even after it gained independence from British rule in1947.
Source – Gay Asia News