This is Aniket. I am gay. I’m Scorpio. I like dogs. And my favourite dish is everything that has eggs in it. I’m still waiting for the time when people would react to me saying “‘oh I love dogs too’, ‘eggs!?, everything that’s eggs?'” or simply “meh” but today what strikes them is that three letter word. Gay.
This word haunted me for good 8 years.
You hear lot of gay guys on YouTube and Instagram saying that they felt like they were living a lie before coming out. Let me tell you what it really means. You reach a certain age where you start looking at people in a different way. For most of the guys around you it’s the girls they’re looking at. They talk about girls all the time. This girl, that girl, she’s beautiful, she’s hot but you clearly don’t see what they’re seeing. You like this cute guy who sits in the front seat. You’re sitting with your friends and he’s there too. Suddenly someone starts talking about that one really hot girl and now everyone’s talking about her. They ask you if you like her and you be like ” you kidding? She’s obviously hot! In fact, I have a crush on her” and everyone starts patting on your shoulder and smiling and that guy! That guy has a weak smile on his face. That’s when you realize you can’t say the truth out loud. Not even to him. After school, you go to college. It’s totally different scene. Everyone has girlfriend and those who don’t have one want to know if you have one. You have crush on the chairperson of student council and he seems to be checking you out almost all time. But you can’t talk about it. To anyone! Then you make up lies about how you were in a relationship and how she ended it because suddenly it’s hard for everyone to believe that you have never been in a relationship. So no one knows you’re gay. You have been with 2 girls but you haven’t. Your parents don’t even know what is homosexuality and no one even wonders of there’s an alternate possibility. And it does not affect them. It affects you.
There were three monumental incidents in my life as a gay man. First, when I came out to my best friend, the first person ever to know, after my junior college. We went for a movie and then while returning we pulled over on my request. I asked him if he can keep a secret. After he convinced me that I can trust him I said the words for the first time, ” I am gay.” It actually sounded very weird to say it out loud. After some 20 minutes of not getting a thing, he said “we’ll go to a good doctor, you’ll be normal”. Today, 5 years later he’s my dearest of friends.
Second incident was when I expressed my feelings towards a certain guy in third year of engineering college. I was frustrated of liking guys and not letting them know. It was crystal clear that he liked me too. With all the courage that there is, I told him I liked him. He laughed at me, being a senior, told me to focus on my studies and assured me he won’t tell anyone. He didn’t. But every time I ran into him, I got shit scared. I couldn’t feel my legs.
Third one was when I came out to my father at 22. My siblings already knew at this point. Auntie ( Papa’s sister) was very supportive and suggested that pappa should know. Late August of 2019, papa and I, we’re in his bedroom. I’m helping him with WiFi. “Pappa?” I said. He hummed in return. I didn’t say anything.
“What is it” he asked
“Come on, I’ve noticed you’re gulping your words recently. Say it”
This it it! I said to myself ” I’m gay”
I spent the night explaining Mamma Pappa everything. After being questioned about my sex life and reproduction possibilities they asked Auntie to come and take me away. It was a 2 hour drive and I couldn’t stop crying. I knew everyone in the car was aware of it but no-one looked at me. Not my brother, not Auntie, not my sister.
For days, even though my friends were there for me, I felt alone. A month later, I was taken to a town, mostly populated by Bramhins, one of them, after studying my Janma-kundali, declared that I am Mangalik. Which basically means I will get married twice and my partners would suffer mentally, financially, physically. I sat for a Pooja for 2 hours( believe me, it’s not good for your butts). In that ritual, I was married to a Banyan tree branch and was divorced right away which represented my first failed marriage. So, if im ever to get married it is going to be a successful one. On the way home, I was taken to an Ayurvedic doctor who claimed he has cured 3 homosexual people. Well, he didn’t me because after mentally torturing me about how I’m a Vrikriti ( unnatural) of Prakriti (nature) I realized that he was phony.
Though, at this point, it was clear that I was depressed, I knew that I’m being honest with people I loved. It really felt freeing to get all that stuff out and have nothing to hide. I decided that I will be honest through and through. I broke friendships that were toxic, told my crush I like him. I didn’t stop there. I decided I’ll listen to my desires too. I set up Grindr and started meeting guys. Well, not everyone is as sorted out as teenage girls in Hollywood movies. All I found was, hot married men and guys who thought it’s crazy to come out.
So, I settled for it. He was a doctor and we met casually for a month. The first time that I hugged him at his place was something beyond explanation. That was first time that someone was that close to me and liked me. Someone who when kissed me on my forehead sent chills down my spine. We continued meeting secretly for 2 months until I gathered the sense of whats really going on.
In late January of this year, I met a guy. Mid 30s, an architect, bisexual and out, Lucifer is one handsome guy. I had a crush on him by just seeing his profile. The night we met, I was very nervous (I bet he couldn’t tell). His way of talking almost convinced me that he was disappointed. For next 4 days, I rambled about him to my friends but he didn’t call not even texted. I thought that I was right. He texted me next day and we decided to meet.
Two weeks later, we both said that we liked eachother and liked spending time together. This is the first time ever that my crush actually liked me back. Unlike the guys I met before, Lucifer wasn’t worried about us being seen together in public, told me his insecurities and introduced me to his friends. Now, I know not all guys do that. Finally being honest with everyone and yourself is being paid off.
In the middle of all this, some important relationships were in conflict. 5 months after being at her place my Auntie tells me that I am no longer wanted by my father. She told me that the next day I came out, the day I was lovingly kicked out my home and asked to not come back again, my father wished if I was dead the day I drowned. My father told this story very proudly about how his then 1 year old son survived this drowning incident miraculously after doctor flung their hands high in the air in defeat. Like Ross’s father told about him being a medical marvel. My friends told me that it’s ok, He was angry at that time. But wasn’t he supposed to lash out on me and not wish it secretly behind my back?
Thanks to Lucifer, I have forgiven him now. After two sessions of guided meditation and healing, that memory is a little modified now. That day when I was kicked out of my home and I was crying in the car and no one was looking at me, I was looking at me from the shotgun seat and me was smiling. Me knew that I am going to be okay.
Now, I’m here, sitting in my chair at my parents place, maintaining social distance because of Covid-19, hoping that one day they’d understand. Understand what their son has been through. Understand that its normal and learn why I came out to them and the courage that went behind it. Crossed fingers, Y’all!!!