Chakra Discussions

About All-Inclusiveness, Not Sex

by Amara das

Posted September 26, 2004

In a recent editorial, Jnanandana das suggests that Chakra approach articles on sex with discretion. This is certainly good advice and is well taken. But has there been any problem in this area on Chakra? I cant think of any. Jnanandana himself doesnt mention any particular article but instead refers to a statement made by Srila Prabhupada against homosexual attraction and behavior. I assume, therefore, that he is referring to Chakra's coverage of gay issues.

As far as I know, Chakra has never published articles advocating any type of homosexual behavior, with the only possible exception being the subject of gay marriage. Even in this case, however, the purpose is about controlling ones sexuality as far as possible (for those who cannot follow complete celibacy), and whether or not this should be allowed as some kind of reasonable middle groundfor gay and lesbian devotees. Otherwise, the purpose of Chakras Third Gender section is not about promoting sex, but about promoting Lord Caitanyas idea of all-inclusiveness and understanding homosexuality better in order to help end the discrimination and exclusion gays face within ISKCON.

Of course, just having homosexual attraction is not something Chakra can either promote or advocate. Its just a fact of life that some people are born this way, and the only question is whether or not we can accept such people and how. There is a distinction between being homosexual, being sexually active, and how a person expresses (or suppresses) their sexuality. The quote provided by Jnanandana das is completely irrelevant since it specifically refers to unnatural homosexual behavior and rape (in fact, the demons mentioned in the story are later revealed as heterosexual and attracted to women). To use this quote as an example of homosexuals would be like using the pastime of Ravana kidnapping Sita as an example of heterosexuals (only at least Ravana actually was heterosexual!). Its simply unfair, inaccurate, and counterproductive for preaching to the gay and lesbian community. More importantly, Srila Prabhupada said nice things about the third sex and had positive dealings with his homosexual friends and disciples. Why is it that devotees focus on the negative quotes, rather than the positive ones, and what does that say about them and their sincerity in preaching to the gay and lesbian community?

I personally feel very grateful to Chakra for using their good discretion to cover this important social topic and commend them for it.