In just one single day

Here I present you my worst experience being gay in my college. I did my hotel management from a college in Wayanad district of Kerala. I was one the best student of my class, teachers liked me a lot since I was also a classical dancer of Odissi. Everyone gave me respect. But an incident which took place, spoiled everything in just one single day.

I was in relationship with a guy whom I had met 4 years back, when I was too young for relationship. But I was in love with him, and he was a good person. But one day I came to know that he was the biggest fraud I had ever met. After that breakup I came across a guy whom I had accidentally met and later became good friends with. One day he wanted me to accompany him to Trivandrum and I went along. In the night we took a room and stayed there he kissed me and did some softcore. After few seconds he said he got to reply some messages and he took his mobile and clicked my pictures.

Few days later he asked me for 4000 rupees, since I was a student and I didn’t have. I said I don’t have, then his way of talking changed and started blackmailing with my photos. I was terrified and I paid him 4000 rupees but few days later he asked me for 8000. I really didn’t had and when I refused he said he will publish my photos and since he was working in a telecom company he easily traced out my address and other details. And started threatening me again and again. And when I discussed this with my friend he said “You are unnecessarily taking tension” and asked me to be bold and tell him to go & do whatever he wants. I did the same and then next day changed my life.

I was alone in my hostel room, sleeping it was early morning 5 am and someone started knocking my door. I was sleepy so didn’t open the door, I asked them what they want in the early morning and they replied me to check my Facebook. I found there was nothing special, I saw there was a new friend request from an account which was looking like my own account my name, details and my photo everything was the same. And it was him when I saw it was showing 23 mutual friends and me saw all were my college mate’s senior’s staffs teachers. And his id was uploaded with my nude photos. I felt like killing myself, suddenly more people started knocking my door and I was totally lost. I went and opened the door and all the class mates were there to tease me insult me. I was crying but it didn’t bother anyone, I didn’t talked to them.
Just ran to the stair case and said I am going to end my life. I said goodbye & was standing near the handrail. Was afraid to die but didn’t had another option too. Suddenly my friend who advised me to be bold earlier came to me n said “what are you doing?” my eyes were filled with tears & said I want to die. He said “Why you say you are gay & can’t survive?” He came towards handrail, pulled my hair & slapped me, hugged me and said “kill him rather than killing yourself.”

The moment when I came back to my room, for my class mates I was like an untouchable person; no one talked to me no one sat with me.  No one talked to me. For several days I didn’t have a seat in my college bus. Always being insulted. I got extra duties. No one clapped for my dance programs. Said bad words about me. I faced a lot of insult from my teachers too. Earlier I used to write attendance register and other works but I was stopped from doing all those things since I was gay. Even if I sat somewhere in cafeteria the other group of student will get up & leave. One day I felt like crying and went to the washroom and threw my foods away. All of this was happening because I was gay. Gay gay gay they gave me several names, teased me, harassed me.
Several times I really felt that it was better to commit suicide.

Slowly 6 friends among them understood me and came to me as a good friends. We had our own good times. Slowly I began to understand that I haven’t done any crime to deserve this. I was harassed even by one of my chief, who taught us food production. One day when the class had to submit our log book and we all submitted in which only my log book was not corrected or signed, then I went to him for getting my log book signed. He was sitting with few other teachers and said “Hey, I came to know that you will bend your ass in front of anyone who waves.” I was really shocked and terrified because a person who was a teacher of mine insulted me. Suddenly I replied “Sir if you want me to bend for you don’t need to wave your hands, just give me a miss call” Listening to this he felt embarrassed & insulted. I added “Sir, you are not paying my fees, nor educating me or taking care of my expense or giving me shelter and food so it shouldn’t matter to you whether I bend my ass or not”. I said “You just take care of your child who is just 5 years old”. He was mum.

Listening to this several well-wishers form my college encouraged me that I have guts to speak. They encouraged me to reply back to people who are nasty & hurtful, I listened to them and did just that.

Once we had an extempore speech competition in our quality development class and before like I mentioned I had few best friends and among them, one was a girl. She took the lot and her topic was “Should gay marriage to be legalized or not?” And she asked me to help her to prepare for the speech and I helped her, she asked me my experience and all… And when the debate started it was like she said everything in an opposing way. I felt so hurt & insulted. My madam asked me to counter her arguments, I said my part and made her mouth shut and on that day our friendship ended.

After finishing the speech whole class supported her and I said you are you all clapping? I said “You fools before clapping and encouraging others, you all don’t know that there were 11 boys from my class who asked me for sex date and had sex with me. I will never disclose their names because I have promised them, I will disclose their names one day when I leave this college.”

The whole class started looking at each other, all started to doubt their friends, roommates etc. I lied that I had sex with 11 people in fact I never had sex with anyone in my college but my gutsy dialogue made them confused. And because of that doubt popped among friends several classmates of mine fought with each other doubting each other. But only I know that what I told was just a lie, to divert everyone’s mind.

Final exam came whole class became enemies with each other. I was happy to see that because they spoiled my 3 years and my one single lie spoiled their friendship which they build in 3 years. Everyone dispersed from college like how they were in the first days of the colleges without speaking much with each other. I was happy to see that no one gained anything in return of my tears. Finally those 11 names became an unknown secret to everyone. Till now they are waiting for that. College over classes over and here I finish my long story.

Chocolate tart

Jabez Kelly

Chennai

Jabez (in center)

I am Jabez Kelly and I am gaaaaaaaaayyyy!!!! I am an eighteen year old gay dude who has no clue what he is doing in his life. Trust me, not everyone is sane and sorted. My life story is daunting and interesting at the same time. Put on your seat belts and get ready for this mysterious roller coaster hell of a ride.

From my childhood I knew I was different but, I did not know I was gay. I just knew I was different. I liked wearing my mother’s clothes, in fact I am way better than her in draping a saree. Born in a very orthodox Anglican family, doing anything that did not fit the norms was shunned. (ha ha ha, look at me !) I was a miracle baby right from my birth. Let me tell you why. My parents made me when they hit their mid-life crisis. That is a polished way of saying they made me when they were too old to be making babies. My mother had a bleeding when I was 5 months old and the doctors suggested aborting the fetus was the right thing to do and my mother still thought I had a great life ahead (poor mom) And by the eighth month she again had a bleeding and this time the doctors were not leaving my mother unless they cleaned me out. My mother still thought I would have a great future! oh ! My poor mother! And when she said no, the doctors warned that if she gave birth, the baby will either be physically or mentally challenged.

Two months later all they could hear was how fat,femme and dark I was (just kidding). I was  a healthy baby weighing 3.89 kgs (details people shouldn’t know). Growing up in Chennai was difficult. I was judged for everything I did. I was the one who was different in everything I did. I played video games when people were out playing cricket. I was the one who ate pasta alfredo when everyone ate biryani. I think I made my point. Me coming out as gay happened only a few years back. I was not sure if I was gay or a woman and started taking hormone injections. Then realized I wasn’t a woman and I was born a proud gay man (circle of life from lion king plays in the background) A very religious Christian gay dude, really hard to find. I came out to my friends. Some of them were really supportive and the others not so much*momma still loves you people!*
People made fun of me for wearing skirts, I call it jealousy. People made harsh comments on my makeup, thanks, I have improved myself.

“I came out to the whole world on facebook”, sounds familiar? Yeah, not a grand coming out per se but was really amused by the reaction of the people. Some of my favorites-“ You are my brother and I will still love you the same, “Jabez, you think I did not know all this time?”

“ Gurrrrl !!! Welcome to the club !

My relatives were really happy that I did too.  My mother got to know about this post after a really long time *thanks to those kinda relatives*. My mother being a very staunch Christian could not accept the fact that I was different in a different way. It took her some time to digest it. One day she came up to me and said “I understand if you are a transgender and I completely support you.” I broke to pieces as all those days of making her read about homosexuality, showing her clips about gay men and everything and this is what she had to say to me ?

But I am happy in a way that she understands what I am going through and how difficult it is for me to face this society. She has always stood by me and she’s my rock.

And then college happened.

School days were fun because all of us were weird in our own ways so the judgment was less. College was fun for the first few weeks; getting to know different people and drooling over really hot guys and after a few months things started getting serious. I had to quit college because of the homophobia that existed.  “Ah ! Why couldn’t you continue?”, “ Homophobic people are everywhere”, “Your life is ruined!”,” Why couldn’t you act straight?” – These were some of the questions people had for me. The only answer I had for them was, “why should I tolerate?” I fought for myself and my fellow LGBTQ+ mates but I failed. This does not mean I give up. This means homophobia won!

I recently participated in a Tamil TV show called Nijangal hosted by Mrs. Kushboo. We spoke about LGBTQ issues and the host asked if my parents knew about me and if they were supportive and I said my mother is okay with me being gay but my father doesn’t know. My father being technologically dumb took another two weeks for another relative to tell him about the show and he questioned me about how I identified myself to be gay and why I did not want to become straight and how he could help me with therapy. But he realized how futile it was suggesting something like that was. See, told ya, my coming ain’t that amusing!

January 14th 2017, the momentous day my drag persona Gabrielle Jasmine Marquez came into the lime light at the Chennai rainbow film festival. I was apprehensive about how people might take a drag performer in a society where everything is considered taboo. But the performance was a great success. Post film festival I was contacted by people to host their private events and parties and I started making a living out of it. Remember, when life gives you lemons, you make a chocolate tart and leave everyone wondering how on earth you did it.

I’m not letting this guy take you away from me

Anonymous

Life had been easy otherwise except for this. Every LGBT person goes through it, called the self-acceptance phase. For me, it came too early, but I waited for very very long to decide if I’m ready to put this acceptance to test, with my close ones. Once I was done deciding, it became the easiest thing on Earth. Why? Because, I realized that what I want is impossible; come on! you can’t expect universal acceptance. Whatever you do, you cannot please everyone. Same goes for coming out. I knew not everyone will take it in a good way, but I was in for a surprise.

I knew I’m into guys since I started to have feelings. Still the first time I came out to someone was when I was 20 years old. The journey of a 1000 miles can be covered in one step if one realizes that it’s not unnatural to be attracted to the same sex and its Ok to be bisexual. Took me a lot of courage to come out to someone. It was this random conversation with my group of friends where I dropped a bomb by saying that “when I like someone, their gender isn’t important to me”. Naturally they were full of questions “this can be cured, try thinking ‘straight’ for sometime”, and “are you sure? you might be overthinking” it just tells there’s some explaining to do (of course you’ve to be sure first). I answered all their questions they came and that was how I came out to my friends.

 

 

Guess if someone loves you, it should be unconditional. Else coming out is a good friendship test 😉

 

 

 
This was easy. The difficult part was coming out to my sister (still not out to my parents). I was going out on a date with my boyfriend and my sister asked me how this guy I recently met had become so important to me. I told her that it’s not just some guy, it’s MY guy. She gave a look of utter shock, but then said, ‘I’m not letting this guy take you away from me’.🙈 She has been a great support since, and will help me when I am ready to come out to my parents.

 

 

Life felt like a huge mound on me

Syed Ayaan

Bangalore

Acceptance that supersedes any discrimination, may be it gender and sexuality, or for that matter anything that creates barriers. It used to always haunt me why am I not being accepted, what was that something which was so wrong in me? I love, I eat, I pray, I do my chores, I am responsible, and then what is it that was missing?  The only answer that I always used to get is “NOTHING” or probably my love and affection towards my own gender.  “Yes, I am Syed Ayaan and I am Gay”.

It all started when I was in school. I never doubted my sexuality , but I always doubted whether this is something which I should be proud and vocal about, or is this that secret of me which should be kept always under wraps. And as we all know, there are ample reasons to do it, the most evident being surrounded by homophobes. I was not much into the stereo-type boy thing like playing cricket and basketball. My mind used to tickle at the sound of ghungru, or may be poetry would give me freshness. And guess what, I was bullied for it. And adding more to the agony, it was not only the world outside who is calling me names, but my own family used to harass me physically and emotionally. I used to get dejected and rejected by everyone around. At times I would ask myself whether I have a reason to live in this world where I am only greeted with malice. But then to me, leaving the hope is like losing the battle…and I am no looser.

I always used to face questions of not mingling with boys, questions like why I don’t have a girlfriend, as it was so cool and mandatory to have the teenage fling thing. And questions would not stop in those boundaries. It will extend to verbal abuses being hurled with physical torture. These situations were hampering my academics, I was not sure how to overcome it. I tried to concentrate on my studies by isolating myself from the school crowd, but this added to more loneliness. To make things worse my brother and his friends molested me in the name of me being different. My mother and family members threatened me of life if I don’t mend my ways. But what I failed to understand is that ‘what are the WAYS they are asking me to change?’ Any change to the WAYS, changes my whole identity, makes me someone who is not Ayaan, makes me alien to myself.

I stepped into my new institution after I passed my 10th grade. Thought it will bring to me some fresh air of relief, but bad luck did not leave me there too. Some of my school buddies (I prefer to call them otherwise) joined me there, and it was a repetition of history there. My school days of horror was again staged and I withdrew myself into a cocoon. Somehow this time I managed to pull my mind together and concentrate on my studies. And you know with that much of pressure from everybody around you, concentration is the last thing that comes to you. But I did this mammoth task, and somehow succeeded to crack my boards.

College days promised me some change. I still preferred to be in the closet, as I felt it was the safest corner of the world. I made new friends, but the only thing which came as an ongoing question was…”why don’t I have a girlfriend?” Now a question to you all, “Is it mandatory that one should have a girlfriend, keeping at bay the question of my orientation?” “Is it mandatory that all gays should have a boyfriend?” There is so much more to life apart from partners, matrimony, bearing kids. Why everything has to be typically set in the norms of a social institution? Why can’t it be a free flowing ocean? Why can’t it be a will of an individual to lead his/her life the way he/she wants? Food for thought, isn’t it?

I thought having a girlfriend would make life easier, so I opted for a relationship with a college lassie. But her unwanted moves towards getting close to me were hardly responded. I felt awkward, and instead of making things less tensed, it added to my agony. I started diverting my attention to college events and became an active part of it. I left home and started staying with my grandparents as things went beyond my tolerance level in there. But fate had other plans for me. My intruding mom and bothers used to visit me and torture me in my new abode. The fighter in me started to hiss and at more than one time I felt like a rebel. But I had to cut down my inner call because all I wanted to do is to complete my grads peacefully.

Out from colleague I joined a reputed MNC. Life had to be different there. But still I was not confident of whether this is the correct place or people to reveal my true identity. At times I used to doubt myself whether I am gay or not. Probably because of the non-acceptance of the people around me made me doubt my existence. I started revamping my wardrobe. My attitude towards life changed along with my dressing sense.

While I was in college I was introduced to the world of social media and online dating app for gay men. But to my utter bad luck, the only thing which these virtual medium gave me is rejection. Rejection became a shadow to me, an inseparable one. For the first time I felt all my hopes are blown off by the gush of wild wind of people who are like me, and those who aren’t. I questioned my complete existence. I was torn apart thinking that I harbored my hopes on people from my community, who at the end of the day rejects me. Life felt like a huge mound on me.

With days passing by, I started getting messages from the same people who earlier rejected me. They now wanted to be friends with me. I did not know what made this change happen, but change and that too positive is always accepted by me with open arms. I started meeting people from the community. This boosted my confidence that I am not the only one. Listening to their life stories re-kindled my spirit and wish to live, to fight back for who I am. I walked Bangalore Pride and attended the Pride events. This opened to me a galore of people who are out there, who are like me, who fight their own battles, every day, every single moment. Sigh! I was not alone. I accepted myself with peace. The first stepping stone to my identity is self-acceptance (though it came with long time) is done.

Now I am more confident and I wanted to take a step ahead and come out to my colleagues at work place. My heart sank, sweat started rolling down my face, I gasped for breath and life seemed to leave me the day I planned to come out to my office mates. But I had to do this. It’s my life and I will live it the way I want. Accept it or leave it. I came out to my colleagues and they accepted me. I was dumbfounded. I didn’t know how to react and tears rolled down my cheeks. And yes, this time it was tears of joy compared to the unlimited tears of gloom and sadness that I shed earlier. I am a more confident man now. I am Ayaan, who is proud of what he is, who has made a niche for himself with all his effort and will to strive. Now even before my family tries to cross their boundaries of intrusion, I remind them of their mal-deeds that they did to me. I love myself the way I am. I am Ayaan and I am proudly GAY.