Rainbow Lashes — The Ultimate Reality Show
Ladies and Gentleman. Hold on to your Heart as we present to you the Ultimate Reality Show called Rainbow Lashes. A show that’s 100% LIVE with no edits and no special effects, this is as raw as it gets. Come one, come all. Women this way, men this way please. Use of smartphones is advised, cheering during the show is recommended and recording this spectacle and sharing it on social media is highly encouraged. Lets make this show go viral!!!
All eyes this way then, as we present two imbecile men [boys, really] who dared disrespect our religion and law by engaging in the unthinkable — gay sex! We thank our friends of the Vigilante Group who first stalked, and then caught these two men in the unmentionable act, dragging them naked to the local police station, not giving in to the repeated pleas of these men to let go nor fear that was so evident on their faces. Our town is indebted to the group for standing up to human dignity and privacy to withhold our religion — beliefs — law.
And now, for the show — ladies and gentleman standing on stage with these two young, shameful men whose faces are well exposed, are our executioners who will carry out the supreme justice of 83 lashes in accordance with the law. We have covered the faces of our executioners to protect their identity from any threat. As you can see, we take care of our own.
And on the count of three, let us begin — one, two, three, four … pop … squish … lipshitz… whipppp …
And so it rolled on May 23rd, 2017. Whip after whip. Amid rapturous applause and jeering (“hit them harder”, “let this be a lesson to you”), the youthful spirit of two young men was snuffed out. An example was set. Playing to a cruel irony of sorts, May 17 had just gone by as the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia and even as the world woke up to news of the horrific bombing in Manchester, Aceh carved itself a sad little niche in all media outlets.
Even as more nations decriminalise same-sex sexual activity (124 countries at last count), why is humanity threatened by what two people do in the privacy of their lives? Why does sexual orientation attract such savagery, witnessed recently through the shooting at Florida that saw 49 people, mostly gay, decimated at the hands of Omar Mateen, Eric Lembembe, an LGBT activist tortured and murdered at his home in Cameroon and 16 homosexuals killed by stoning or being thrown off a building in Syria?
Technology might have bred a whole new world of connections but it has also polarized, inculcated a fear of the unknown and built an opinionated civilization. It has led to a culture of snacking content, where every news item is consumed, regurgitated and dispensed off with alarming speed. It’s easy to shame someone, oppose a religion and take a stand even when the best thing might be to lie in the balanced middle of a continuum. Its’ this same radicalization that breeds extremist acts, whether terrorism, deciding to dismember from the EU, electing a President with zero political experience or thrashing and killing gays in public.
History reveals that most countries started off peacefully and were highly tolerant. All religions preached respect and dignity for every individual. So what went wrong? Part of the answer lies in the colonialization that occurred a few hundred years ago with the British — Dutch — French — Portuguese ruling large swathes of the world. Most anti — gay laws are a gift from colonial rulers.
The spread of homophobia is directly proportional to colonisation. India, that had no laws against homosexuality, is feasting off on Article 377, a British hand-me-down that neither government nor judiciary wants to repeal. In the spirit of hypocrisy, we make a fervent pitch for a permanent seat at the UN Security Council every few years yet can’t find enough spine to let adults do as they please in their private space. Indonesia is actually better off than India in this regard as gay sex is not criminalised [with the exception being Aceh which practices Sharia law under which these two men were ostracised]
Criminalisation fosters prejudice, decriminalisation fosters acceptance. Hence, it is the prime responsibility of every government to develop a society that fosters a culture of acceptance and respect for the individual or there’ll never be true progress. One country’s gay bashing will be another country’s cow vigilantism.
Eventually though it falls upon each of us — do we build someone’s spirit or do we kill it?