A case study about a gay man who wants to follow his Sri Lankan culture and dedicate his life to a person – a man

ABSTRACT – The study from an Interpersonal Phenomenological Approach of gay sexuality in cultural terms offers an opportunity to identify the driving force behind why some men will marry a woman to fit into the society they grew up in. This study presents a case of a 40-year-old man, called Dillion living in London but wants to move back to Sri Lanka, who negotiates his identity to fit in with Sri Lanka and in London. The case study highlights the struggle of juggling between the culture of his birth and the culture he now lives in with his drive to become accepted.


Introduction – History shows that gay sexuality was evident in pre-colonial times and that it was considered a normal part of the continuum of sexuality and gender (Tiwari, 2013). And as a result of post-colonial structures have demonised LGBTI sexuality and gender, and still to this day are more likely to keep sexuality private for fear of social exclusion (Amory, 1997). It is argued that this continues to have a profound effect on many Black and minority ethnic lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people in the UK, who often have to struggle with cultural tensions about sexuality/gender as well as the racism that can occur within LGBTI communities in the UK today (Varney, 2012). For example, in Sri Lanka, where people often have arranged marriages, the expectation is that a person will marry for the honour of the family, which may cause difficulties when sexuality or gender does not match. Therefore, some married men or women do not enjoy a full marriage because they have been forced to marry, for ‘family honour’, a gay, lesbian or transgender person (Equal Ground, Center for International Human Rights of Northwestern University School of Law and Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights, & Global Initiative for Sexuality and Human Rights, 2014). Whilst the law in many countries now accepts LGBTI communities, in some countries like Sri Lanka it is still viewed in negative terms and as a ‘Western condition’ (Bhugra & Mahler, 2015). De Munck (1998) offers an insight into Sri Lankan marriages, describing how it is the first cousins who are matched and so from an early age they are trained to be honourable and respectful to aunts and uncles, as they may become an in-law in the future. According to Bhugra and Mahler (2015), Bollywood has influenced changes in attitudes towards gay sexuality (which has always been portrayed in caricatures) in recent times with a positive portrayal of a transgender……

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