The not so planned coming out:Some excerpts from the conversation is in Malayalam
One fine evening I was studying whilst my mother was watching TV in the adjacent room. The show named ‘Comedy Stars’ was being broadcasted on Asianet. The show frequently features drags and Trans women in comical roles. Suddenly my mother enquired as to why ‘these’ people run away from their homes.
The conversation that ensued –
Me: That’s because they are not accepted in their families. They are ill-treated and many a times kicked out of their homes with nowhere to go. And many of them end up in large cities and fall victims to exploitation.
Mother: Why would any parents kick their children out of their homes? That’s not true.
Me: Is it?
Mother: All parents love their children no matter what.
Me: Oh please. All these dialogues are good to hear. You too would have done the same.
Mother: No. I will not disown my child if it was born that way (She does not have a very good idea about the LGBT population. When she said this, she was referring to intersex persons). I will bring the child up proudly and love it.
Me: *laughing cynically*
Me: What if I told you I was one of them (pointing to the Trans women on the TV screen)?
Mother: Enittu poda vrithikedu parayade [Get out… Do not utter such dirty things]
Me: Dha ippo ningal ningade thani niram kanichu [See, you showed your true colors now].
Mother: Shut up. You’re my son. I know you. I didn’t bring you up this way. I am sure of it.
Me: Ok here’s the thing. I am not Trans but gay. You may accept or deny but that is not going to change.
Mother: What do you mean by gay? Is this why you told me you will not marry? (I have been telling her I wouldn’t marry since my 10th grade). Pinne kanmashi? (I used to wear suruma frequently).
Me: Gay means swavargaanuragi (Homosexual). Yes this is why I told you I wouldn’t marry. Kanmashi enikku istham ullaond idum, poyi case kodukku. (I wear suruma because I like to, go file a petition if you want to)
Mother: I do not understand anything. What are you telling? Do you want to go to a doctor? Oh God! How will I tell this to your father?
Me: I can’t explain it to you any more mother. Please call sister and ask her to explain.
*She immediately calls my sister. Part of the reason why I told her to call my sister was because they always communicated very openly and freely while I was very reserved. And partly because I didn’t have to come out to her again*
Conversation between them –
Mother: Hey look what your brother is saying. He says he is gay? What does that mean? I am much tensed here.
Sister: Ma. What happened? Calm down. Gay means boys who like boys (in that way).
Mother: Chi. What are you telling.
Sister: I knew it like at least five years back. (This was a pleasant surprise to me as I had never told her. Apparently she gathered as much from some of my posts on Facebook advocating LGBT rights).
Sister: Remember my best friend used to go out with that girl. Well they were in a relationship. They stayed together bunking classes and have had sex too. (She was describing two of her friends). They were resolved to live together. Look where she is now, married and happy with a kid. Your son is still young, don’t stress him now. Let him study. We will speak about this after ten years or so. It is a phase.
*Hangs up and then comes to me*
Mother: You. (Pointing her fingers at me) You better don’t have any plans of running away. We were there for you till now. And we will be there for you always. I will take you to a good counselor and everything will be sorted. And I am not going to tell your father a word about this.
Thereafter I resumed studying. It felt good to come out.