Am I Gay? Apr02

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Am I Gay?

There comes a point in lives of every queer individual where she/he needs to accept her/his sexual orientation though one need not come out regarding this. Yes, coming in terms with one’ own sexuality stayed as a herculean task for me too, especially being born as the eldest son in a traditional Syrian Christian family. Though I was quite vivid on the fact that am attracted only to chiseled male faces and toned chests of them, I was totally unaware of terms like gay, coming out etc: . For me life as a teenager was all engaged with various activities that kept me restricted from the jocund of cute girls. Though I didn’t even know any gay people in person till I was 21, I always carried the fear of denial that took me farther away from the answer I was seeking. Internet brought me many friends with the same genes and I could learn more about the alternate sexuality from various sources, but then as told homosexuality was a matter of secret to every gay man I came across, who all were hiding their true face from their wives and leading a dual life. Even, I had not much worries and had plan to get married and live on with family.

As years passed and my age surged to late twenties I did not only realize that testosterone ooze in me only when males pass by but also my sexual quotient for women was null. It was then I met a few gay persons who were living single and was Open about what they are. They could give me an idea on the natural default to which we all must return at some stage and how impossible it is to be miserable forever, how natural it is to us and it’s not a choice! Yes, the blockage of thought preventing me seeing what is innately in me got ever and I accepted myself as Gay!!!

Later days and months were of immense trauma to know Coming Out being the self-disclosure of one’ sexual orientation and how pivotal it is for LGBT minority. In a society where the straights dominate and where there is no need for straights to come out and celebrate, the minority always get into dilemma regarding the same. Though I felt lucky enough to have those men to serve as an excellent medium to identify myself, it was terrific to realize how hard life being gay is, in a state like Kerala, where people always speak about morality based on cultural-socio-religious basics. For me coming out was obviously a gradual process, through which I identified myself as a homosexual (which took more than a decade). Coming out is never a pre-requisite to stay gay, but when it is meant to occur, one should never block it to happen, and with the aid of many a living models I met, I could come out to my kith and kin.

Discussing the Curious fact with sincerely interested straight friends made me realize how friendly straights people too can be and the next one year made me kind of activist as I understood that ‘It is only with increased visibility and openness that society and the world around us become a more tolerant place’ and If we didn’t have so many Out people, I would not be living in a generally tolerant society. As I wanted to get involved with the LGBT community and started doing my part being socially responsible to bring the change, I was right ahead, but hadn’t expected my dear ones to jump right away with me with all their support and care. I knew it takes time for them to acclimate to this news, so I prepared myself to be sure to don’t take it personally if they don’t want to come in Pride with me.

I attended queer pride marches(in Kerala and later in Bengaluru last year) about which society often keep an impression that such gatherings are lewd celebrations of sexuality especially when many people dress themselves in weird costumes. But we must understand that truth that they are just caricatures and what we oft see in media, where many pick and post only the sensational pieces. My idea to attend pride was just to see it for myself and I felt it as a Duty to be part of it- no matter how odd it can sound for others. I saw, read, and followed queer activists & latest news on the issues happening across the globe, but when it came to the matter of being myself along a big gang of my kind, nothing can pride marches which are totally a different experience every queer individual must pass through at least once in life.

Today , after being part of many lgbt awareness programs across the state, I am proud to say I could be a stand of support to many young queer persons who are passing through the same phase I traversed once. I wish, if India had been a better place for us and is on a constant struggle, to witness rainbow shine in India, beyond just being different.

PS: Back at home, family thinks my gay identity is a mere premarital naughtiness and wishes me to get married, I always say a big NO to their wish though.