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A new book by a Toronto, Canada based Pakistani author hopes to teach tolerance towards LGBTI people in Pakistan and beyond.

Gay Themed Book

Gay Themed Book

‘My Chacha is gay’ is believed to be the first ever resource designed to teach Pakistani young people about different family arrangements and tells the story of Ahmed, a little boy who lives in the city of Karachi in Pakistan and his gay favorite uncle.

Ahmed lives with his parents, sister, grandmother and uncle Chacha, and they are often visited by ‘Uncle’ Faheem – Chacha’s boyfriend, who is a pilot and lets Ahmed wear his pilot’s hat.

In the story Ahmed talks about how he likes his uncle Chacha because they have fun together flying kites and because he takes him for camel rides on the beach and for ice cream sodas.

In the book 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.

She sought to crowd fund the book on IndieGoGo and easily reached her goal of $5,000 to print the book two days before her deadline and intends to ship the book to Pakistan from Canada.

54 people signed up to contribute to the printing and shipping cost in less than a month.

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 said.

‘With all the religious intolerance and extremism I believe its important to push back with the arts and with education. 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.

‘I would also like to show the rest of the world that all Pakistanis cannot be defined by the terrorism and intolerance you see in the media. We are a varied people, amongst us there are many kind, gentle and diversity loving souls. But sadly, those voices are drowned out or silenced by extremists.’

Eiynah said she knew the book would be controversial in Pakistan where homosexuality 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, and we can all collectively make enough noise – it will make a difference, and will give strength to those who do not have the luxury of being open about who they are.’

Eiynah also hopes to have the book translated into other languages so that it can be used in other countries as well.

Chacha is a traditional Pakistani term for a paternal uncle.

SOURCE: Gay Star News

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