FAQueer : Coming Out?

Acceptance is a journey, parents take some time to understand fully. I work with parents on this issue and it is a struggle for many. I find sometimes a parent is very understanding and in a couple of weeks there is an issue that comes up and the same parent is saying something which makes me wonder if it is the same person speaking! parents experience a sense of loss and we need to be patient and work with them through that as well.

As a lesbian teenager, I recently started experiencing feelings of attraction to other women. I imagine kissing them and desire them sexually as well. I want to do all those things I see men do with women. But this makes me confused about myself because now I am unsure if I want to be a man or I can still be a woman and be like this ? – Sent in by Anamika

Dear Anamika,

When you call yourself lesbian, you seem not to have any confusion about your female identity. There is a lot of difference between wanting to love like a man versus wanting to be a man(transgender).

People who are transgender are those who ‘gender identify’ themselves differently from what is assigned at birth. For eg – a person born a female may identify herself a man because she feels like a man, she thinks of herself as a man, she probably detests her female body, she feels trapped in a female body etc. I am thinking your concerns right now are if you can love a woman the way a man does and not so much as wanting a male body.

Just as you have discovered for yourself (which many others struggle with) that you are desiring women. I sincerely hope that you take your time and work through these questions if they are relevant to you. It will be worth taking all the time when you have come up with the answer yourself.

I wish to come out to my parents soon. I am a grown man who lives separately in a different city from them and am financially independent. I want to tell my parents before I start living my life as an openly gay man and don’t know where to begin. What kind of resources and support can I offer my parents here in India where speaking about homosexuality is still taboo ? – Sent in by Anurag

Dear Anurag,

I think you are absolutely on the right track, Those who have spoken to their parents do feel a sense of relief at having done so even if their parents have not fully accepted their children’s orientation.

Here is a link which I have found has helped parents and siblings:

http://orinam.net/parentsfaqenglish/

Acceptance is a journey, parents take some time to understand fully. I work with parents on this issue and it is a struggle for many. I find sometimes a parent is very understanding and in a couple of weeks there is an issue that comes up and the same parent is saying something which makes me wonder if it is the same person speaking! parents experience a sense of loss and we need to be patient and work with them through that as well. After all, it took many years to accept ourselves as well.

[*Editor’s Note : If you’ve wanted to talk to someone with credentials about the struggles you’re going through, or your friends and family members are going through – this is your chance! Please send in your questions either as a comment to this post or use the contact form & we’ll forward your questions to respective counselor. Needless to say, your identity will not be revealed and you can be as anonymous as you please.]

About the guest author

Magdalene Jeyarathnam

Magdalene Jeyarathnam has worked as counsellor for the last 16 years, she has worked as a straight ally for the past 10 years. She runs East West Center for Counselling and Training in Chennai. She does one on one counselling sessions (over skype as well), runs group therapy sessions for LGBTQ which are art based and runs support groups for parents and siblings of LGBTQ folk. Her next round of 8 - session group therapy will begin in January and those in Chennai and interested to be a part of the group therapy do get in touch with her for details. She is part of the Chennai rainbow coalition. Contact nos - 9884700135/ 9884700164/ 044-42080810