Being my parent’s first child, I was everything they ever dreamt off! They loved me to the core and always made sure, all my dreams and wishes were fulfilled, before I could ask them for. Two years later, they brought home my little brother, whom I adored the most. He was perfect and my life revolved around him. We both grew up together, shared everything we had with lots of fun and several fights, as well… which siblings don’t fight? With age came puberty and the time to make our choices.
I was the ultimate Bollywood fan! I loved reading FilmFares, checking out the latest fashion, the style and everything that revolved around the life of my favorite film stars. I was good in studies and soon graduated. My parents dreamt of seeing me work for some of the most reputed companies in the world and so, I went off to the silicon valley of India, Bangalore. To my parents, it was the right age for me to settle down and get married to a beautiful girl of their choice. They showed me several pictures, but I just couldn’t see myself married. I kept denying again and again, every time coming up with a new reason for the denial! I had a reason which I couldn’t express. A reason, which I knew was never going to be accepted by the society and my family.
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But, I guess it was time for a few of my closest people to know the truth about my life… a truth I had kept hidden for almost 20 years. I am Gay! Most of my friends knew about it and they had accepted me the way I was! The girls loved me! They would share all their problems with me, asking me for tips about their dressing, their boyfriends, and life. The guys loved me for the genuine person I was and my work! But back home, the reality of my life was still not known to anyone. I knew they would never accept!
I was scared to tell them the truth about my life, about my real identity. I had other friends who were gay and were forced to get married to girls, just because their parents never accepted the fact. I have seen them cry, getting depressed and take medical assistance to help them live the life they had. One of the incidents that scared me the most was the story of my friend Kartik, who belonged to a wealthy family in Bangalore. He had just turned 30 and had made up his mind to tell his parents about his life. But, when he told them about him being a gay, he was abused by his family members and taken to a doctor for medical checkup! They took him to a psychiatrist (a family friend) and ended up giving him shock treatment, only to force him to become normal. After a few sessions, he ran away from his home and till date, none of us know where he lives. I was scared that my parents might as well treat me the same.
It was Makar Sankranti, a big festival in Gujarat and I decided it was time I needed to end my dual life. With a lot of courage, I went home and was greeted with love and happy tears by my parents, my brother and his wife. I waited for the right time to talk to them, but my wait simply seemed to have no end. I would make up my mind each day to tell the truth, but would fail seeing their happy faces again.
But I had to, I cannot live a life being someone that I am not! No matter, how much it hurts the world, they should know that I love men and not women. What is wrong with it? I should tell them the truth, it is the right thing to do. No matter what are the consequences, I should dare the truth and would never like to destroy a girl’s life by marrying her. This will only ruin two families’ relations. So I made up my mind.
Finally, one evening when I was at home with my brother and his wife, I blurted out the truth. They were shocked, but then smiled! They had accepted me for the person I was, and understood my choice. I couldn’t hold back my tears of joy! 20 years of emotions all poured out in a moment! I just hugged them both and thanked them for accepting me. They heard my story, how I realized I was gay and how I was scared to tell them about me. I felt relieved and free, or should I say partially free!! My brother accepted my lifestyle, but only under one condition! A condition that I would never tell my parents about my life and would keep it a secret from the society. His only concern was the reaction of my parents and their health. Did I have a choice??? No! I agreed and promised that my life would never bring problems to them. In return, he promised me to keep me away from the urge of my parents to get me married. My messy life was now simple and happy, with no burden in my heart.
I am lucky to have a family who understands me and my choice, in contrary to those who are forced to follow the wishes of their parents. I have seen people lose, going into depression and even trying to end their life. But, this isn’t the solution is it? It is important that the society understands us and why we are this way!