My Coming Out Tale

Coming Out

-G. Singh

It’s been a bumpy ride for me till now. No, not my coming out experience; but my life before that. Before I proceed further, let me give a brief introduction of myself. I hail from a small village, which is rural in true sense. Issues such as homosexuality and heterosexuality are unheard of. Not that it does not exist, people just aren’t aware of such possibilities and everything is hunky dory until you are quiet about it. After all, it’s just some masti that they engage in.

As for me, I would say I was born as gay. Had it been a choice, I could have definitely changed myself. Since my childhood, I had an attraction towards boys. However, I did not realise that I was different from others. While in school, talks centered around girls never interested me. I thought of it as a temporary phase and that I would change as I grow up. To tell the truth, I had read somewhere that our body undergoes various transformations till we turn 18, and so, I was sure I would change.

As I entered puberty, things only became worse. My feelings towards other boys in my school grew stronger. Mentally, I was always tensed. I kept thinking, ‘What will happen if my parents come to know about it? Am I the only one who is like this?’ At times I felt like I should die, I had no one to discuss these things, and I did not know why it was happening to me. This drove me into depression even more, and I would remain in my home (my gay closet). But this also meant that I would spend more time studying, which helped me get admission in a reputed engineering college.

I spent the first 3 years of my college in denial. I would be attracted to my batch mates, and at the same time feel guilty. Though always with a smile on my face, I was a troubled soul from inside. While in first year, I planned that as soon as I get a job, I would consult a doctor and get myself “treated”. Such feelings continued in the second year too, driving me all the more crazy. I started hating myself. So finally, I tried talking to a friend of mine. Though I only hinted to him, telling him that of late I had been having such feelings. He said, “Such things can never exist in India. You have been spending a lot of time by yourself in your room, and the loneliness has led you to think such nonsense. You should go out, hang in the canteen. Once you have sex with a girl, such things would change automatically.” He suggested that I consult some doctor. Our conversation ended with he telling me: “You must change.”

With no respite in sight, I went to a sexologist. He told me that it was a “psychological problem” and I should consult a psychiatrist and gave me the address of one. Next I fixed an appointment with the psychiatrist and went to see him. He prescribed anti- depressants, probably because I was too depressed. Each time I visited him, he would write more of the medication. At first I was happy, thinking that things would become normal now. I started watching porn. But, I wouldn’t feel anything sexually, and my sexual drive started fading. This scared me even more. I had learnt that people become addicted to such medicines at times. I would listen to Baba Ramdev, and remain content that there is a solution. But after 2 months of “treatment” and with no improvement or change in me, I stopped visiting the psychiatrist and accepted the fact that I wouldn’t change.

At the same time, I learnt that one of my friends is gay too. My initial response was: “Why did he have to say so? He should have never confessed to that.” Although I had accepted my own orientation, I was still homophobic. After much deliberation, I gathered the courage to tell him regarding my own orientation. I could confide in him because I knew that he would be able to understand me as he must have gone through a similar situation. He helped me further in accepting my own self and enlightened me on LGBT issues, gay relations etc. With his support, I came out to a few more of my friends. Initially I was apprehensive and thought, “What would they think about me? Would they stop talking?” But I found out that true friends remain so, despite your orientation.

Now, I am happy and good things are happening to me. I am in a relationship too with a person I met over the net. I am happy because I don’t have to pretend each day or remain on my toes to hide my emotions. At times, I even think that had I accepted myself in first year itself, I could have performed much better in my academic and extra- curricular activities. I know that God loves me, and I am a better human being.

As for the first friend I confided in, we are no longer on talking terms. At times, I pity him over his ignorance. But on the bright side, I now know who my true friends are. My friends even say that I have gained weight. May be because now I smile from my heart.