Author: Sukhdeep from Kolkata, West Bengal, now living in Bangalore, Karnataka, India. The following was first posted on his blog in 2009. Since his coming out, the author has been involved in LGBT work and successfully running a leading online gay magazine.
Watched Milk (Oscar-nominated movie) yesterday. Such a beautiful movie, and an inspirational one too. Yes, I have been inspired by it a lot, and the flow of emotions in me are currently running so high that I have finally decided to come out through this blog, lest I again revert back to my shell. Yes, you read it right. Come Out.
I had been deliberating over this matter for a long time. Each time I watch such a movie or go through someone’s coming out experience, I feel like breaking the veil myself. But, its never easy to come out and say, “I’m Gay”. But I partially broke this veil a year ago, when I came out to one of my best friends. That was also after much thought, and when I could no longer bear the fact that he “didn’t know me completely”. I always thought what if he says, “Don’t talk to me again!”. But I mustered enough courage to break the news to him. Though quite shocked (and I had to explain a lot of things to him), he finally said, “It doesn’t matter to me what your sexuality is. You are still the same friend to me.” That gave me some courage and then I came out to my second best friend in December, 2008. He too has been quite supportive. But still, I had asked them not to tell it to anyone and so I am still suffering from almost the same plight.
Now, let me just point out a few points why coming out is so difficult:
1) First of all, while growing up, it’s always confusing not to share the same feelings as others. You can’t talk to others, because you don’t know why or what is happening. Once you realise the fact that you are gay, you realise that it is not something that would be accepted.
2) The worst fear is that of being ostracized. You suddenly become untouchable for many homophobes or ignorant people. You would be the butt of each joke, looked down upon, teased and discriminated against. And for what?
3) Coming out to the family is the most difficult. More so because, in India, it is the duty of the son to carry the family blood ahead. Each mother wants to have her grandchildren. How are you to shatter the dreams of someone you love so dearly? And then, given the generation gap, you are never sure if your parents would be able to accept it and not force you to go against your will. This probably could explain why in India, there have been cases of lesbian girls eloping, but never any case of gays. I accept, men are cowards not to be able to break free of these social bondages.
I know that if this news spreads on campus, probably my life will become a living hell. Each of my actions will be scrutinised and misconstrued, but I can’t take it any more. It kills me each day to be someone I am not. I don’t know how I will face others, but I know I must. Thanks to Harvey Milk to give me enough courage. Thanks to the speech of the director of Milk in the Oscars. I am finally out to at least two more people (with the potential of this news spreading faster than wild fire). For the homophobes, I just have one question – Don’t you have left handed persons in the society, though majority of us are right handed? If you could accept them, why not Gays? Heterosexuality is not normal, it’s just common.