Homosexuals – different but not so different at all – 4 May 14

When I was in Europe in 2006, I continued my work with meditations, workshops and individual sessions and as usual met a whole lot of people. Just like in the years before, I also met quite a number of homosexual people but in that year, I got a bit closer in touch with what they call the ‘LGBT community’.

In India, homosexuality is illegal. It probably seems ridiculous or scandalous for modern western people that something, a sexual tendency, which is based in the genes, could be forbidden by law. It is unfortunately the sad truth and while the word ‘gay’ is being used as an insult, those who really feel themselves attracted to the same gender remain hidden. One can sometimes hear talk about gay men, rumours that someone is gay but they keep such preferences a secret. About women however, you can never even hear talk. It seems as though there was no such thing as an attraction of a woman to a woman in India.

When I came in the west, I knew however that it is a different matter there. I was aware of it and at the same time it didn’t really matter to me. When I first travelled out of India, I did not even think that I would ever get involved with a woman – and I knew that I had no interest in men. And for those men who did, well, why would that disturb me? Why would it matter to me if a woman would rather have a female partner in bed next to her than a male one? So I noticed that homosexuality was openly lived in the cities that I travelled to and it was just a fact to me, just as I accepted that most people went to supermarkets to buy fruit instead of going to the market.

There were lesbian women and gay men who came to my individual sessions and they had just the same questions about their partnerships and lives as straight people had. One of my musicians in many workshops in Germany was gay and we were good friends. I was working together closely with a lesbian lady who translated for Yashendu and me during our International Yoga Teacher Training and we became good friends as well. It was simply normal to me and not a matter to give any thought to until one day a lesbian woman, who had come to me for advice when I was in Luneburg, wrote to me while I was in Copenhagen.

She had liked my advice, I believe she had questions about her relationship, and had the idea to organize a workshop. A workshop for her homosexual friends. Well, this was something new but I liked the idea. Why not?

That’s how I was sitting in a big hall some weeks later in front of a crowd of gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and I believe also transgender men and women and had one of the liveliest workshops ever. The topic? Sex, of course. Relationships, sex and freedom, love and all the things that are actually just as interesting for a heterosexual audience as for this one.

They enjoyed, I enjoyed and it was actually not very different, just like a normal working day. Thus the question again: why do we make such a big deal out of sex and everything around it?

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