Chakra Discussions

A Dilemma

by Venkatesh Raghavan

Posted October 31, 2005

I was aspiring to be a disciple of a well-known sannyasi in the Hare Krishna movement, until I spoke to a close godbrother of his, who is also a sannyasi. When I confided that I am gay, the godbrother said I should avoid or minimize contact with men and only associate with women.

As an outspoken gay Hare Krishna devotee, I found his statement very disappointing. If a male devotee stops associating with male devotees and hangs around female ones, his action will be questioned by the mass of people. He will be outed to the entire public.

I have a very nice devotee friend whose house program I visit without fail. Now the sannyasi with whom I spoke plans to visit her place and conduct several programs there. My dilemma is as follows:

  1. I don't want to hear from him. His homophobia prevents me from respecting him as a learned man.
  2. I don't want to hurt my friend, and don't want to mention this reason to her, since she has faith in him.
  3. I don't want to cause offenses, whether by attending or by not attending.

Any suggestions?