When I first realized I was into girls, and only girls, things seemed so clear and easy. I had finally figured out the reason behind the unhappiness and discontentment in my past relationships. I finally embraced a significant part of myself, and in that moment, I was finally able to piece together who I was, instead of who I had always wanted myself to be. I no longer had to act “properly straight”, showing interest in my guy friends when they showed interest in me, commenting on all the hot Bollywood actors when I’d see movies with my friends… when really, all I was paying attention to was Madhuri Dixit or Priyanka Chopra.
Coming out to my brother and my friends was the most logical in those first few weeks. It was like I was jumping for joy. Having just graduated college with still no clear idea of what I wanted to do, this seemed like the biggest turning point of my life. As if, after years of feeling like a misfit, finally being able to define myself would enable me tackle any obstacle and choose any path.
That was nearly two years ago. I feel like in the time since that summer, I have been slowly coming out to myself over and over, letting the realization sink in, and convincing myself that it’s okay to be who I am and carry it with me instead of trying to hide it. Having the support of true friends has helped tremendously.
I have never truly dated a girl. I want to, so bad. But I live at home, and I believe there is no way I can hope to meet girls or ever build an honest relationship while sitting on my behind, in the closet, in my parents’ house.
I know I need to tell them. I just always assumed that when I told them, I’d be financially independent, preferably even living on my own, and have a true, solid relationship, so that when I came out, they could see that it is possible for me to have a happy ending, no matter who I love.
But I don’t think things are going to be able to be that way. I want to go out, to gay bars, join some gay organizations, and go to the Pride festival this summer. I want to feel like I’m part of something larger than myself, rather than being so isolate from the world in my small, sort-of-open closet. I live in Los Angeles, which is supposed to be one of the most gay-friendly cities in the nation. I want the opportunity to be who I am, openly.
I’m scared of how my parents will react, as they too, are the embodiment of nearly all Desi parents. My dad is someone who even passes judgment on Anderson Cooper for supposedly being gay, and clearly voiced his displeasure when the infamous Proposition 8 banning gay marriage in California passed and protests took over the city.
I don’t know how to go up against their values without hurting them. I don’t know how to help them understand that this isn’t their fault or anything, that they didn’t somehow fail me as parents. I don’t want to disappoint them, but I know in not being who I truly am, I’m just disappointing myself.