Tag Archives: gay

Me Knowing Myself

Author: Pranay from Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Growing up was definitely not the best feeling in the world. I know every queer feels they were different as a child, and I am no exception, but for me much before my sexuality, came my quirkiness. I was the dork, aloof, peculiar, fatuous one, who always had and wanted to have a different opinion and logic about stuff.

I found myself as socially inept, so much so that I was apprehensive of going to new places and meeting new people as they would judge me for my mannerisms and short height. I was scared of non-queer guys (for they would tease me) and queer guys (for they would realise I am one of them)

A typical middle class Bengali family in a homophobic neighbourhood and chauvinistic relatives was pretty much my life. Even talking about LGBT issues is a taboo & would raise a few eyebrows to them. It kills me every time to think of  the ignorance they have, the hatred they must feel for my community.

Being forced to play either cricket or football, getting ridiculed by our sports sir and friends for playing with girls or for being short, feeling shy of going to the toilets with my male classmates, my mom getting complained by class teacher in PTA meet that I don’t hang around with guys enough – these were common occurrences for me.

As a child, a very effeminate guy used to live in my neighbour. I knew probably that’s my future, but fearing the immense condescending behaviour that was in store for me, I forcefully used to laugh at him when my friends made fun of him and used to regret it after reaching home. Nonetheless, there wasn’t any refuge for me, since I was on the receiving end a couple of years later, which makes me question how many guys are actually laughing at me every time I get mocked? Maybe someone there is just forcibly laughing due to peer pressure as I was a few years earlier.

As a pre-teen, loving a man was pretty much normal to me. I thought people like me exist, just not in abundance. But I didn’t want to reveal myself because of the stigma attached to it. I was fantasising about the “hero” after reading a story or watching a film; I always got excited to find a new boy in my class; at the same time I went weak in my knees for older men. As I aged, homophobic slurs, mockery, gay bashing came my way though I never felt cursed to be a queer. Post teen, pornography, music, movies, reality shows nurtured my ideas and peeked an insight into the life, behaviour and mannerisms of people of varied sexualities.

It was the summer night of 25th June 2010 when I told one of my school friends the unspoken secret about me (exactly a year after Michael Jackson died, probably because I wanted that day to be a happy day, something to overshadow MJ’s death). I was petrified, asked her not to tell it to anyone. Ironically, a month later, I told almost all my friends about it, though almost everyone seemed to be receptive of that and acted maturely. Gradually I found my male friends drifting away. Some didn’t want to talk about it anymore, a few laughed behind my back and others plain ignored it. Some even hoped one day I would turn straight, which just made it all together awful, but I never was more relieved, ecstatic and happy, because I was finally coming to terms to myself.

Often I am asked, “When did you find out that you were a queer?” I just can’t think of an answer because there wasn’t any defining moment in my life like an apple dropped, or a bell rang and I realised, “Oh! I am queer!” There wasn’t any! Just like a straight guy knows that he is straight, I always knew I am bisexual.

I have spent two decades of my life in knowing myself. Being queer has helped me to know myself and the unparallelled aspect is that every queer in the world go through self-identification while in the process of knowing their sexuality, which in itself is the most priceless reward any human of any sexual orientation can ask for.

Coming Out of the Closet

harvey-milkAuthor: 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.


The term gay was originally used to refer to feelings of being “carefree” or “happy” but towards the late 19th century and gradually in the 20th century it came torefer to the men who feel sexually and romantically attracted towards other men and are involved in relationships with them. Most of the men who identify as gay are comfortable in using this term.

Traditionally, in Urdu, ‘humjins parast’ (ہمجنس پرست) has been used as a word for male homosexuality, but this word is problematic as ‘parast’ means ‘worshipper’ and doesn’t convey the love, committment, passion and mutual respect within gay male relationships.  Therefore, in Urdu, we are using the word ‘Hum Jin mard’ (ہمجنس مرد) instead, which means homosexual man.

However, please always remember: it is your body and your life, and whatever you want to call yourself, that is your full right and entitlement and we support it one hundred percent.