It is said the most selfless people in the world are “Parents”. Even when the child stops believing in himself, the parent’s belief in their ward never ceases to exist. Imagine a scenario, where the only two people whose acceptance matters the most, are unable to accept their child’s sexuality. It is not the question of simple rejection, but we are dealing with something more complex and petrifying. The kind of irreparable damage that is incurred on the individual’s psyche is heart-wrenching. In one move the family, which was supposed to stand beside the gay child, planted deep insecurity in him, which would act as their reference guide in the future. Being gay isn’t easy when most of the civilized society scorns at you, but the parental rejection, adds to it further.
With the fear of abandonment hanging on an individual’s head, coming out neither was nor will ever be easy. Why would a person want to lose the only people, whose whole life revolved around them? Parents often have a one-sided notion, they are fearful of the society’s probable reaction and the lonely life a child would be condemned to. Adding more to the list are the issues of marriage, pro-creation, social stigma, and keeping pretenses. But they are missing out on one key factor, every change begins at home, the society comes later. It is their acceptance, which will primarily help the gay child in facing the world outside. The fact, which is frequently overlooked is that by disrespecting their child’s sexual orientation, they are deserting their ward.
Not for once, the parents think of the adverse effect on the child’s present and future. Facing parental repudiation at a very nascent stage in life, the whole of the personality goes through an unwelcoming change. An individual becomes insecure about themselves, they face trust issues in every relationship, be it with friends or later on with their partners. They always have a nagging doubt, of not being enough for their loved ones. In a few extreme cases, it might lead to suicide. Primarily, because they were unable to handle their parent’s anger, rejection, and ultimate betrayal.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, geared towards seeking validation from every single soul, they unknowingly get into a series of toxic relationships. In order to gain unquestioned acceptance, an individual lets go of most of the things which matter to them. Losing oneself completely for the sake of a relationship or changing one’s entire personality is definitely not a good idea. Many victims of abandonment, stoically bear domestic violence, mental or financial abuse, conditioning their mind to believe, this is the only path towards attaining domestic bliss. But in the end, they are engulfed with disappointment and disillusionment.
Another alarming statistics is that mental health issues in the gay community are least addressed. Thus we often see a high rate of suicides. And in the Asian continent, where most of the countries are grappling with the acceptance of the LGBTQ community, there are no laws in place. It is not uncommon to find a gay partner fleecing the other partner both emotionally and financially. Probably if they were accepted readily, this blatant exploitation could be avoided. Also, as there are no laws present for the community members, the victimizer moves around scot-free.
Depression is widely rampant among community members. A study has proven children with high levels of family rejection, are nearly six times more likely to report high levels of depression. It is often difficult to let go of a bad childhood, which paves for wrong mental conditioning.
When one goes through a trauma like this, it’s not easy to bury it, in the majority of cases the person carries the emotional baggage throughout life. Even in the happiest of situations, the ugly shadow of the past is always looming around. As a result, such individuals are highly defensive or offensive, even a small provocation can lead to bigger fights. The past insecurities kick in destroying their present. Things worsen further when these feelings start spilling into their professional life and affecting it negatively.
Many times the community members often abandon each other. The hookup culture is pretty in, it can also contribute to the lack of trust or long-term commitment.
It is of utmost importance that the society develops acceptance towards the LGBTQ community, and parents need to look at their children holistically, putting the sexuality aside. But in my opinion, gay kids should not be in a hurry to come out. They should seek knowledge, financial independence, and stability in life, before coming out to the world. A strong message needs to be sent out to the young LGBTQ that knowledge, skill set, networking can never be defined by one’s sexual orientation. Be it in any field- corporate, sports, entertainment, medical, science and technology- they are filled with queer trail blazers, who are working relentlessly towards the development of the humanity.
Do remember a person is more than his/her sexuality.