Yesterday I got a chance to watch the movie “Evening Shadows” again. It portrays a beautiful relationship between a mother and her son, who happens to be gay. Being a mother, it is difficult for her to accept the reality of her own son, especially when there is social pressure about his marriage.
Aai, I have seen the same emotions in your eyes and have felt the same awkwardness when people ask you about my marriage. It’s neither your fault Aai, nor mine, that I am gay. But I don’t have the courage to tell you the truth. Because I fear you will not understand. I have tried to speak to you about it in various other ways, but you never understood this concept of being gay. In your eyes, there isn’t much difference between a gay and a hijra. Even if I was a hijra, I would still be God’s creation. Even, God Shiva is called Ardhnarishwar. It’s not your fault that you do not understand this as you have never met people in your life who have been open about their sexuality. But I fail to express what I am, to you.
When I was 5 years old I got sexually assaulted by a guy in our society. How could I tell you this Aai when I myself was not able to understand what was happening to me? I was regularly bullied in my school and college. Boys would call me bailya, chakka frequently. They used to make fun of the way I walk and talk. It was difficult for me, but I never spoke about it to you. The peon of my school tried to molest me, but I still remained silent. I used to always run away from him, or was I running away from myself, maybe? I used to cry alone in my room, but never shared with you what I was going through. I fought with it myself. I used to wonder why I was behaving like I did. I used to wonder why I have those feelings. But it was much later that I realized that there was nothing wrong with me.
Aai I know you have always been very open minded with me. Though we are from a small town, you never asked me anything when I used to get any calls from my female friends or whenever I invited them to our house. Because you had that trust in me. Like every mumma’s boy, I wanted to celebrate with you when I fell in love. I wanted to cry out to you when he broke up with me. I wanted to share everything with you. But I couldn’t.
I know you have those dreams which every mother has. You want me to get married and be happy. My younger cousins are getting married but not me and I know that is bothering you. I know this Aai, but I can’t help it. I see those dreams for me in your eyes whenever we attend any wedding ceremony. You are not wrong, but neither am I.
To accept oneself is a matter of courage and I have developed that courage to accept myself. But yet I don’t have courage to tell you the truth. The way your heart is melting inside for me, my heart also does for you, but I can’t help it. I don’t know how will you react to this, so I am holding myself back.
Aai,I want to be a proud son and give you all the happiness in your life. And if I am not happy how will you be? I have seen friends facing marital discord because they were closeted gays who married due to societal pressures. And their family life has suffered due to it. I don’t want that to happen with our family.
Maybe one day in the future I will gather all my inner strength to tell you who I really am. At that time I hope you will not ignore, but accept it…and accept me.