I will not marry

Suresh Ramdas

Bangalore

To Myself:

I figured out that I was different from the other boys during schooling days.  I was fighting these feelings that I had for guys. Scared that these feelings don’t come out in the open. This confusion continued all the way to college. But it was during my 2nd year of graduation I realized who I really was. I realized that my attraction towards boys was real, until then I thought it was a phase.

Thanks to internet, I was able to figure that I wasn’t the only one in this world who was having an attraction for guys. I met some guys from chat (17 years back it was called mirc chat). I explored my sexuality quite well during those years. I even tried dating girls to see if all this is a scam in my head. Even after all this, I was still not remotely thinking of saying that I AM GAY. Then one evening during my conversations with one of the guys over coffee is when I felt that I was gay. Later walking back to my hostel room, I said that to myself, “I AM GAY”. I felt good about myself. Never understood the impact of saying that then, but I so strongly feel that now and am glad that I said that to myself.

 

Coming Out to My Best Friends:

college friend

During my second year of college, I got introduced to a guy who was full of fun, loves bikes and a traveler. During the initial days, we used to hang around, chill out after college and have a good time. One day, something happened for which I was there when he needed someone to support him and ever since we have been best buddies.

After I got comfortable with myself, I wanted to let him know. I was not sure how he will react. I was scared of losing this amazing friendship. I battled this around a lot in my head and finally decided to come out to him. After our classes got over, we met at our regular hang out place and asked him to drop me to my hostel room. While we were on the way, my heartbeats never sped that fast.  I told him that I have very important and personal thing to say. He kept a straight face thinking that it’s a new crush of mine at college that I wanted to tell him. (I faked having crushes on girls during college so that my friends think I’m straight).

After a deep breath, I told him I was gay. He was indeed surprised as I could see that on his face and he didn’t speak. Then something in my head told me to tell him that it’s ok for him to not be my friend after this and I will respect that. I

Suresh with his bestie

also told him that it was really nice knowing you and please keep this with him. I rattled all of this and didn’t wait for him to respond. I just left for my room. The coming days I avoided to have a conversation with him. After classes I just went back to my room. After 3 days, I remember, he barged into my room. He then said which I still remember very clearly, I don’t care who you like, but never ever again say that we will not be friends. I was clearly taken aback. He seemed hurt and sad by the fact that I told him to end the friendship. He explained to me as well, that everyone have their choices, like some guys like skinny girls or girls who have more flesh or girls with long hair or big boobs and all. We don’t break friendships with people who like different things. What if you like a guy? I’m fine with that. Those last words just melted me and I fell in love with him for accepting me who I am. He later hugged me and held me for a while longer than usual. That hug was the hug of acceptance, love, respect and everlasting friendship.

colleagues

My colleagues at work with whom I joined and we became friends. During my working days, I was pretty much gay during the weekends and in weekdays, I constantly made sure that I hid my gayness thinking it shouldn’t affect my career. I was living a dual life which was frustrating but was very much required. It so happened that even my colleagues who became my friends didn’t know about this. They used to crack gay jokes during dinner or over drinks and I couldn’t tell them anything, just had to laugh along outwards but inwards was feeling very bad. This hiding continued for a couple of years and then one day I decided that during the New Year’s Eve of 2006 I will let my friends know. When the day arrived, I was still thinking should I tell or not. But after a stiff drink of vodka, I got the courage to tell them. An hour after midnight, I broke the news to them letting them know that I was gay. In this group of friends, 2 were girls and when I told them they smiled, while the 2 guys were a bit surprised and upset. This kind of got me worried. The girls were all thrilled and very happy for me. They mentioned that they always knew that something was different about me which they were absolutely fine with that. They were also very proud that I took such a bold step to be who I am and live my life. When I spoke to the guys, one of them mentioned that he was very upset that I didn’t tell him who I really was. I was shocked. Then he went on to say that I didn’t consider anyone to be my best friend and that’s why I didn’t share this information all this while. All this time they considered me to be their best friend as they shared all their secrets (good, bad and ugly). They felt bad about it, but when I explained to them, they understood why I was quiet about it. After that we celebrated New Year’s again and this time it was for me. A lot of hugging and kissing on my cheeks happened. It was one of my best new year’s in a really long time.

Coming Out to My Parents:

This I think would be the most difficult but the most required stories to tell. By the time I came out to my parents, I was very comfortable with my sexuality, but didn’t have the heart to tell my parents that I was gay. Around 4 years before coming out, my parents had started seeing girls for me thinking it will take time to find the right match for me. During those days, I used to tell my mom that I don’t want to get married. They thought that I didn’t want to get married as I didn’t want to be a responsible guy. My close friends started getting married and this added more pressure to my parents to get me married sooner. But another interesting part during the match making was that my horoscope was not matching with the girls. Due to this I was even more convinced that I wouldn’t need to tell them as I won’t get married. Mentioned this to mom that even god didn’t want me to get married and hence all this is happening. They said that there is a girl in someplace in this earth who is born and waiting for you. I secretly hoping for it to be a guy. I was seeing my parents getting worried about this whole thing. I spoke to my girlfriends who were married, asking their opinion, if it will be right to get married to a girl for my parent’s sake just in case they find a girl. Those were some of the most interesting and heart to heart conversations I’ve had with a girl about everything about a marriage. I then made a very firm decision that I will never get married to a girl and spoil her life for the sake of parents or family or relatives or society.  I also asked my guy friends. They said if you can get married to a girl then go for it as you don’t need to make your parents feel sad and bad. What if something happens to them and you will feel guilty all your life. This also made sense. Making parents proud was one of the key elements that is being instilled in our lives from a very young age. So again I was going through a lot of turmoil which was affecting all aspects of my life. But the fact of cheating a girl is not the right thing to do was always in the back of my mind. Then finally the day that I dreaded came, when my parents told me that they have found a girl whose horoscope matched with mine. They were relieved that their second son’s marriage will happen soon. I was too stunned and shocked to hear that. Later that day I thought and thought of every possible situation that I could think of, the good, the bad and the ugliest.

Suresh with his parents

Then I made my choice and the next day, I called my parents into my room and told them I will not marry. When they asked me why, I said, I’m gay. My dad was like, what’s gay? My heart sank even more thinking how naive my parents are and it will take a long time for them to even understand who I truly and. The next couple of hours were really difficult, as I had to explain to them about many things. Emotions were all over. Parents were angry, sobbing, upset and shocked. All this while, I maintained my composure but at times cried as I couldn’t see my parents cry because of me. I had also decided not to give in to their emotional blackmail, instead tried reverse psychology. I told them, they taught me to be truthful and honest which I’m being honest now. I told them that I will not be happy if I get married to a girl as I can’t love a girl. I even said, if they want me to get married which will make them happy, I will get married. But I won’t be happy one bit in that. That shocked them even more as they said they wanted me to be happy. A lot of a conversations happened for which my parents didn’t have an answer as they were all valid and logical questions. During all this drama (that’s what I think of it as now), I felt relieved, and a heavy weight let off, unburdening of something. I felt light, very happy and proud that I could tell all of this to my parents. I was screaming inside with joy and happiness.

fire slogans and rainbow poems

Its not the first time they are chasing me down, hands full of stones.
It wont be the last I am pelted at and called names.

My house has been burnt before and I have sat in its ashes. Equally burnt and devastated. I have gathered that powder, mixed it with my blood, forming an ink thick enough to write fire slogans and rainbow poems.

And I’m prepared to do it all over, until the day…

When a mother no longer flinches at the idea of her boy bringing home a boyfriend.

When a girl is not raped in the name of curing her homosexuality. There’s no cure, because there’s no disease.

When queer people of my county are no longer treated as second grade citizens on the roads, in the metros and in the places they once called “home” and can feel safe again.

When they wake up to the truth that there is never any honour in a killing.

When transgenders are respected also on the days other than weddings and baby showers.

When human rights also means rights of LGBTQ.

When hijda, chhakka and kinnar aren’t ġaalis, and aren’t the meat our “just” society feeds on to feel full of righteousness.

When of course there is no need for anyone to write poems like these.

But until then

I have enough blood in my veins. Enough strength to sit in ashes. Enough heart to make an ink thick enough to write fire slogans and rainbow poems.

– Amy Singh

(Scenes from the pride walk and poem to stand in solidarity with some really happy, funny, queer and zinda dil humans)

 

 

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.