Indian Society homosexuality open letter gender equality homophobia human rights

I Was Born Gay, I Wasn't Given A Choice. Please Have A Heart.

( words)
*For representational purpose only.

Most of us have beautiful childhood memories. Unfortunately, my childhood was not a very memorable one. I belong to a typical middle-class family. My family, friends and relatives were always around me. But I sensed that there was something different about me. I never felt good when I was with them.

I was always a quiet, shy, soft-spoken and homely boy. My family members hated me to the core for these traits.

Strange that the society that we live in believes that:

‘A man should never cry!’ ‘A man should be tough by nature.’ ‘A man should be emotionally strong.’

I was exposed to these beliefs while I was growing up. When I entered high school, I noticed that all my friends had a crush on some girl or the other. They would openly admit their love for each other. As usual, I was scared to indulge in such things.

Somehow I sensed that I could never experience the kind of feelings that they had for girls. After I finished my schooling I entered the second phase of my life – my college. I joined the best college in my city. It was a boys’ college and as usual, I continued to be my quiet, shy and innocent self. But this time I experienced something different too.

I felt I was attracted towards men. I was very scared when I realized this.  I always felt as if I was the only person who was born with different feelings. I cried for months.

I felt very depressed. I then started doing some research about this and discovered what was wrong with me.

I realized that I was GAY.

I was 20 when I realized all this. I was very scared about the whole thing.

I was sure that my parents, friends and neighbours would never accept me if I told them the truth about myself.

So I created an account on Facebook and made several friends there. Of course, my family members too added me to their list of friends. In fact, I had a couple of gay friends too on my Facebook account.

One day, I saw a handsome man on my list of friend suggestions. We had a mutual friend and he was gay too. I sent him a friend request. I did not receive any response from him immediately and I did not use Facebook for the next few weeks. When I logged in the next time I saw that I had 10 messages from that person and all of them had been read. I was wondering how this could happen because I knew I had not logged into my Facebook account for several days.

It turned out that my sister had read all these messages on my Facebook account. My life changed forever after that.

The boy had been very appreciative of my looks. He had mentioned that I looked handsome and beautiful. His messages were very flattering and in the last message, he said, "I think I have a crush on you. Can we exchange numbers?" He had also sent me a ‘love’ emoticon.

My sister had discussed this with a couple of my cousins and later on with my parents too. All this had happened without my knowledge.

One fine day, my parents and all my cousins stopped talking to me.

I was shocked. My mother did not even see my face for almost a month. I could not control myself. I cried my heart out.

I literally begged them to talk to me and tell me what had happened.

I apologized to them and asked them to forgive me for all the mistakes that I may have committed unintentionally. My father was very direct with me. He asked me if I was attracted to men.

Without a second thought, I said, "Yes."

Five years have passed since all this happened. I continue to go about leading my life quietly. But deep down I continue to cry for myself. I don’t know if they have accepted me. I don’t know if they realize that I did not have an option about being gay. I did not choose to be gay. I was born gay. I am a postgraduate now. I work in an MNC.

But I don’t have a single friend with whom I can share my feelings.

I don’t hang out on weekends because every time I forge bonds with a new friend, my parents think that he is gay too. If I decide to go out alone, they think I am going out on a date with a guy. I don’t like to visit my friends and colleagues nor do I like to invite them to my house. I have stopped attending all family functions. I know that my cousins still bitch about me. But I don’t care anymore. My sister is well educated and has settled down in her life. But she could never understand me.

But I hope she realizes that I AM NOT GAY BY CHOICE – I AM GAY BY BIRTH!

I don’t curse my parents for the way they behave with me. I know that they are very innocent and are scared about the society that we live in. I am innovative in my thoughts and am multi-talented. But my life changed forever after my sister read that those messages in my Facebook account.

It arrested my mind and soul.

I know I can’t leave my parents. They are dependent on me and I too am really dependent on them.

Often I wish that I had never been born. At least my parents and I would not have to suffer for who I am.

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