The Comfort Closet!

-Harshmir Pangli

Actually, not so comforting as suffocating the closet is. No human should have to pretend to be someone he is not. It’s time when we stand up for ourself, along with our families and friends, who care about us. It isn’t that difficult to come out from the sickening darkness of the closet to the bright sunshine and rainbows of the real world. The journey won’t be easy, but it’ll be worth what you’ll find in the end. The destination will be your peaceful state of mind, where you’ll be socially at ease!

Coming out to friends is the easiest. They are somehow the safer bet. Its because, first of all, you can share secrets with friends easily than with family. And secondly, your friends don’t have to live your life. You know that sooner or later they’ll accept . Of course, some of them (generally straight guys) try their best to convince you that you are really not what you think you are. They’ll tell you to atleast try it with a girl. But asking them to try it with a guy to ensure they’re straight makes a point nicely. Girls, on the other hand, accept you without asking much questions; the ones they ask are mostly funny, like how do guys do it? (Hello? It’s 2011, heard of porn?).

Its always tricky to tell the family, especially your father & brother (if you have one; or worse, more than one or even worse, all elder to you). At that time mothers & sisters will show that they belong to you as a part of your being rather than a family member. Whereas, male mentality is more about the larger picture. They care about you, yet also about the “society”, the way world would look at us & them. Give it some time, they’ll come around the fact that you’re still the same person and you’re never changing.

The one person who’ll be the most difficult to come out to, will be you yourself. I feel all of us have been there at one time or another. Family will accept you, friends will do as well, the most complicated will be to accept yourself. All day long you go through being “straight acting”, “dude who like dudes”, liking when someone ask if you are straight, feeling good while buffering your nails, having queenie moments, being a gentlemen for your girls, and more.
But end of the day you ask yourself,
“Who am I?” or worse “What am I?”
“Do I really need a label?”
“Do I have to declare it to everyone ‘what kind of’ gay guy I am?”
The answer is no! Coming out isn’t putting posters and announcing to the world that a star has landed among them. It’s about being comfortable in your own skin, with your own behavior and acknowledging that you’re special in your own little way. It’ll take you a while to accept yourself, to look at the mirror and love the person looking back at you.

Being gay doesn’t mean that you have to do every single thing opposite to the staight guys, yet it doesn’t mean that you’ll behave exactly the same way they do. Its not the question of right or wrong, good or bad, ethical or unacceptable. It’s just being different from the majority; living it & loving it.

Sukhdeep Singh