‘Mom, I’m Gay’ are three words that could certainly shock the daylights out of any parent; while some families are comfortable and accepting of this news, others fret and fume. However, there’s no need to be afraid. In today’s society, you can be whoever you want to be. There are gay dating sites widely available and gay marriage has been legalized in numerous places. It may be difficult for some parents to digest at first but it shouldn’t stop you from being who you really are.
Pune’s youth spoke to us and shared their experience of having their parents hear of their sexual preferences.
Sahil Kharat (28), a marine engineer explains that it was his folks who spoke to him about it. I was 21 when my parents sat me down to have the talk. Coming from an extremely unconventional family, I knew it could be about anything from organ donation to practicing safe sex.
“In reality, it was an enquiry into my astonishing lack of girlfriends so far. It was my mother who asked the question and my father who said that they’d be there for me no matter who my partner was. I came out to them a week later and we drank to mark the occasion,” he shares emotionally.
Raised by a single mum, Shireen Walia (17), tells a different story. “Shrill laughter is all I got from my mother when I first told her I’m into girls. Once she realised I was serious though, she has been nothing but accepting of me. It was a tremendous relief as my family consists of just mom, nani and me.
“Funnily enough, my grandmother’s reaction was stranger still. She asked me to bring home a nice ‘bahu’. It was a huge face palm moment for me, though I suspect my mother had sensitised her to the situation,”
Alas, not every coming out story is this heart-warming. Boopalan Nair (33) a systems analyst narrates his experience. “I was fourteen when I first had the talk with my parents. I was confused at the time, as I was crushing on my best friend who was straight. I remember my mother’s appalled face, but it was my father who beat the living daylights out of me for my supposed ‘insolence’.
“It’s been 19 years since and I’ve realised that my sexual orientation is not something my conservative South Indian family can stomach.
Sharad Thomas’ memory of stepping out of the closet still haunts him. “I remember a lot of weeping on my mother’s part, while my dad was strangely quiet. He later poured me a drink and told me that he understood completely.
“He cautioned me about the social pressures of being queer before choking out that I shouldn’t repeat my old man’s mistakes. It felt like I finally understood my mother’s reaction and I was livid. My father and I have been estranged ever since,” he says shortly.
Vidisha Rana believes bisexuality is much more difficult to explain as opposed to homosexuality. “I was 19 when I realised it. “It was difficult explaining to my parents that I’m attracted to someone’s personality rather than being fixated on their gender.
They tolerated it, but understanding was a whole new ball game. They try to tempt me with ‘good boys’ from matrimonial sites these days,” she laughs shaking her head.
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