ཡུམ། Tibetan Women's Reality

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Q&A: What about gay rights?


5848364048_400a3fdbf5_nQ: I have a humble question: I am a gay western man that helped a Tibetan family in the United States for many years. The wife of the family discriminated me worse than anyone has in my life and in any country Ive visited around the world. She treated me worse than an animal, without any hesitation. She then accused her husband of domestic violence. I truly believe in Tibetan women standing up for their safety and freedom.. but, is there any kindness from them towards LGBT individuals? Would appreciate your response.

A: Achieving gay rights and respect is going to be difficult in Tibetan culture, more than women’s equality, which is difficult enough. Many Tibetans believe that being gay is a strange Western thing that doesn’t exist in our community. Acceptance will come eventually, we can’t be stuck in 1959 forever, but there is a lot of resistance to change and “Western influence.” I hope some gay members of our society will be brave enough to speak up and help move this issue forward. Independence for individuals to be themselves will only make the community healthier. I can imagine how difficult it is for these people to have to hide, people should be allowed to be who they are.

Although women’s equality and gay equality are not the same struggle, they both are similar challenges to social control. By starting the process of getting people thinking about fighting for personal freedoms as well as political freedoms, I believe that women’s equality is taking a step in the right direction. Gay rights will be a little farther down the same road.



  1. Tshering says:

    There have been gay Tibetans for as long as there have been Tibetans. Tibetan monks, in many monasteries, practice gay sex – often the penis is inserted between the legs until the more active partner ejaculates. This is simply accepted, but rarely talked about in many Tibetan circles.

    • kunsangdolma says:

      It seems like some people in monasteries are the ones who are most against talking about problems in our community, and they are against talking about problems in monasteries too. Somebody told me that when he was a young monk, older monks harassed him. He was very frustrated about it. We have all heard about these things going on, but most of us are afraid to talk openly. I don’t think the embarrassment that can come from recognizing a problem is a good reason for allowing it to continue. There’s no good reason gay Tibetans shouldn’t be allowed to have a healthy relationship, especially if pushing gay Tibetans into monasteries creates an unhealthy environment.

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