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Coming out as homosexuals with your friends and family is not as easy as it may sound to the straight crowd. As hard as we may try to fight the social stigma surrounding the “gay” topic, there always seems to be something that pushes us NOT to take that step forward.
Add to it the fact that being gay is still illegal in India, so you are basically looking forward to a lifetime of secrecy with a ‘maybe’ supportive group of loved ones. But how probable is that ‘maybe’ to a ‘maybe not’?
We asked 3 LGBT Indians about their coming out stories and here is what they have to share:
(Disclaimer- Names of some people have been changed on request to maintain anonymity)
1. My family kind-of disowned me.
I decided finally to let my mother know about my sexual orientation when they started their groom search 2 years back. Always supportive of my personal choices, I thought (or rather hoped) she would support me through this too. I was never more wrong in my life…
At first she didn’t believe what I said. The S*#t hit the fan next day when she discussed this with my dad. We had a huge row with everyone getting ugly and nasty. I never thought I would hear my parents say the things they did that day.
In the end, they asked me to either marry a guy of their choice or leave them for good. I am engaged now.
(Ritu, 24, Digital marketer)
2. I have a great best friend!
I had this huge crush on my best friend of 6 years. At first I thought I simply looked up to him for his personality and wanted to be like him. It was during one of our regular guy hangouts that I realized that my feelings were more of romantic. My rationale and irrational minds fought over the decision of whether or not I should let him know about my feelings for him.
However, one night I got sloshed and tried to kiss him. He confronted me the next day about it and I had to come clean. I spilled it all out, hoping for him to be disgusted and leave me for good. That didn’t happen! He said that he understood where I come from but he was as I already knew, straight. But I am grateful that I didn’t lose a friend. This incident actually made our bond stronger. He made me promise never to kiss him though, drunk or otherwise. :D
(Chirag, 28, Cartoonist)
3. My parents were not surprised…
Coming out to my parents was the most terrifying thing I ever did. I was very scared of telling them that I had no plans to marry a girl anytime soon (as so many of my annoying relatives suggested I should be doing) or ever in the future. I was ready to face the family drama. Surprisingly, it was no new news to them, as they told me later. They said they understood my emotions completely and have known about my feelings for the same sex for quite some time now and were only giving me space to discuss it on my own. I am really thankful that my parents are so understanding! They have asked me not to make this public information though and I totally understand their point here. ;)
Coming out to your friends and family is a different affair- you have some hope of acceptance considering the bond you have shared with them for so long; but how long do you think it would take for the people from the LGBT community to be confident enough to come out open in public? Is our Modern India ready for that?