Transgender Hominin Rises Against State’s Favorite ‘Ammé’ – Groundviews
Photo courtesy of The Gay And Lesbian Review
A few months ago, the author had the misfortune of being introduced to a video from a YouTuber and apparently a “psychiatrist” by the name of Ama Dissanayake. Having never heard of her and her work, the author was indeed (morbid) curious about what her work was about and how her work was related to the LGBT + community.
Much to the author’s horror, this was one of the most disgusting homophobic videos they had seen in a long time. In the video, Ama explained that Sri Lankan culture and queerness just don’t go hand in hand, that sometimes it is “possible to cure gays” but “not lesbians”. It was an open advertisement for conversion “therapy”, a cruel wrongdoing that prevents people from feeling the slightest desire for sex or from committing suicide.
More recently, a video through the Daily Mirror surfaced and showed Ama leading a session for Kandy Police which made the author ill once again. The video scrolled Ama as usual, asking the assembled police question, “What if your parents were all gay?” Will any of you be here? and even worse, “What if your child is (sexually) preyed upon by a homosexual?” How will you like this as a parent? Honestly, that’s… not at all surprising. The same ideology as other very conservative commentators. Just that now, it’s from the mouth of a selfish and pretentious Sinhala Buddhist puppet, advertising its toxicity to the state’s violent pocket dogs.
The frightening reality that queer and transgender people face is clear: homophobia and transphobia are part of police training and are built into the institution. The report The five fingers are not the same was released in 2016, and is now available for public reading. It discusses police violence against queer people (transfeminine sex workers are among the most at risk) and the direct opposition between the state and sexual and gender diversity. This is not a series of isolated incidents.
This relationship is historic and an integral part of LGBT + resistance since Stonewall. The author reiterates that this is not just a series of one-off incidents limited to Sri Lanka, where reports of police abuse and torture have been openly documented for several years, with several counts of assault filmed in the open. Whether you are homosexual or not, the police are a brutal and cruel institution which should, by law, have no place in any society.
As a tool of state power and oppression, the police “wash” in the words of the author, coating their violence with a veneer of “femininity” with their promotions of cis women as MPs. and in places of power, and continues to lead the agendas of the fascist collective on racism, ableism, their hatred and disgust for the working class, and anti-LGBT + attitudes openly in their tortures. Just having a cisgender woman in a position of power in the state’s most oppressive organizations doesn’t make her progressive and feminist. Instead, it makes them forgiving and insecure, and seamless.
Ama sees sexual and gender diversity as a mistake and a mental illness, an attitude that LGBT + youth from conservative backgrounds have internalized for years through their homophobic and transphobic peers and families. The author has encountered a number of such people who seek “help” on the assumption that they are wrong to exist. We have failed since we were first taken to school and had to rely on pornography to identify and locate us.
The sad truth is that Ama Dissanayake seems to have always been ready for this kind of position. She already has huge coverage thanks to her family ties to the fascist Sin-Bud collective that runs the country. The nasty comments under his videos and all the queerphobic memes on Sri Lankan social media and even the harassment the author has received online only speaks to the level of safety of the majority of LGBT + people in this country. Regardless of the tweets (suspicious) of the current bloated leader of the collective, the author will roll his eyes at the moron in charge, his empty platitudes of “support” and then wonder how the spread of homophobic hate speech is going. and is mandated. by the government in the blink of an eye.
The grossly unqualified, misogynistic and queerphobic Ama is perfect for Sri Lanka’s conservative media staff and their dedication to brainwashing. She is an older Sinhalese woman with “traditional” values and presents herself as such, in a Kandyan sari while hiding a well of hatred below. Physical presence is essential in conveying a message, and state media know how to tap into their largely hateful, nationalist and Sinhala Buddhist audience. She plays the role of amme and aunt, an old guardian and bastion of “traditional Sin-Bud culture” and its fanatic values.
If the misogynistic mother’s fetish shoe fits Ama, wear it to the grave.
The author will end with a series of mixed emotions. Anger. Disgust. To fear. Losing hope is the least they can do now. We’re here, we’re queer but you can’t always see us through your hate.