Growing up in the Wilderness in Delhi

The confusion stands in the minds, the body and the soul. It gets enhanced by the challenges and ignorance set forth by laws, society, family, peer groups, faith, patriarchal conventions and so-called guardians of custom and social laws.

At an age when it seemed that with the assistance of knowledge and technology, the wall of confusion, isolation and loneliness would be a thing of the past, the challenges faced by a teenage gay guy seems unending. He doubts his sexuality. Is he man enough to prove himself to his parents, telling them that it’s not a phase that will pass away; strong enough to live alone without finding his true love while he grows old; courageous enough to fight for his identity at work; and honest to himself about his needs. While struggling in this world of confusion, he creates identities in the numerous gay applications which are easily available these days. Flipping through profiles, either he finds solace in the thousands of facelessness and raw carnal appeal, trying to place himself in them, or searches for his true love, a partner, who would bring him the comfort of being able to define his body, soul and spirit, ending the confusion.

While growing up, facing the increasing competition of getting a good job and being settled, as what his family demands from him, he grasps at the constant flux that society goes through. Either he swiftly chooses the path of settling down, passively agreeing to what the society wants him to be; an engineer, a doctor, a lawyer, a journalist, a teacher, a degree from the West or securing the sacred government job, or ends up isolated, humiliated and miserable. But in both instances, the confusion does not end.

Once he thinks he has settled down, if he escapes from the societal pressure through the process of ‘coming out’ or ‘moving out’, he makes feeble attempts to fall back on the norms that he has grown up with; Monogamous relations, asking to play a specific role, with water-tight labels, in the set-up of a family, which maybe grudgingly accepted by his society. If such norm satisfies his peer groups and family, along with the existing couple, they turn into icons and celebrities within small confused groups. Or else, he opts to accept the confusion, settling down to lead the life his family and society wants him to lead.

Can such confusion for this guy end easily? Or it’s an unending search for answers, finding means and ways to satisfy oneself while pleasing others, while juggling with the challenges of life. He carries the struggle on, searching an end to the confusion that lingers.

Dr. Dhrubajyoti Bhattacharjee
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