Guest Post: A Sikh Doctor’s View on Homosexuality

The concept of Oneness is at the core of the Sikh tradition. Most commonly this is espoused as seeing everybody equally without discrimination. However when it comes to the issue of sexual preference, we find ourselves less accepting and instead we begin to draw lines in the sand in terms of what we feel is correct or incorrect.

In reality Guru Nanak Dev Ji had a very different approach to humanity. The Guru introduced concept of Ik right at the beginning of Gurbani. To describe this concept as ‘equality’ does not do it justice. This is a much deeper understanding of what makes us alive, and what links each and every one of us. In essence, the Guru describes everything as One. Duality – the method through which we begin to divide the word into distinctions – is the root cause of ego and therefore the root cause of human suffering. To say that one person is separate to another is to misunderstand Ik. To say that you identify an individual based on their differing sexuality is to use one’s own dualistic intellect to override the very fundamentals of Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s message.

In fact in terms of spirituality, sexual preference is irrelevant. It is neither good nor bad. It simply is. It exists, whether we like it or not. How we feel about other people’s sexual preferences is completely irrelevant to their existence. We can kid ourselves by saying that a particular type of sexuality is against Sikhi, but to do so is utterly pointless. Not only does this attitude highlight our own lack of understanding of Sikhi, it is an attitude which has absolutely no spiritual value. You are not going to find the Oneness within yourself by saying that part of that Oneness should not exist.

The Guru does not exclude any individual group from Gurbani’s message. In fact the message crosses the boundaries of sexual preference, gender, and even religion. The message is about something much bigger than all of these things and we are in grave danger of missing the point.

Let’s be clear. By the mere fact it exists, homosexuality is part of Ik and part of Hukam. The Guru advises us to see the world as One and to flow with the tide of Hukam.

Who are we to argue?

  • StuffedAnimal

    My take on human sexuality is so different from that of anyone I know, no one agrees with me. But I have never believed in sexuality as an entity unto itself. I see it as an expression of gender, and I do not accept the binary concept at all. There are more than two genders, and LGBT folk fall somewhere between the ones we recognize. Our sexuality is, like heterosexuality, a mating instinct. We mate and we reproduce, although exactly what Gay men and women reproduce is unknown. Whatever it is, I think it’s as essential to nature as trees and large bodies of water. And our attraction is an expression of our gender, just like heterosexuality is! The idea that we are sexually “queer” is entirely wrong, in my opinion; but just because the world holds a narrow, only-Straight-is-normal view of gender and sex, that doesn’t mean the individual must follow suit. On the contrary, the individual must NOT.

  • KKat

    Thanks for posting this. The shame of being Sikh for me is loving the religion and hating the culture. I try and live a good life, try to be kind and charitable, but know that my sexuality is a shameful secret for my father regardless of who I am.

    Times are changing though and hopefully there’ll come a time where it isn’t so painful for us both.

    • GaySikh

      I agree, culturally it’s still very difficult to be accepted as a Sikh LGBT person. Do you think comments such as this Doctor’s would help?

      • KKat

        I signed up to this site when I was a student and it was the only place that I could find sensible information on being gay and a Sikh.

        Punjabi culture is still so conservative and people don’t talk about real issues very much. I think that the above comment piece will be helpful to people who are looking for other narratives about being a gay Sikh man or woman.