Ask Freud : Raising A Family

I agree with you that it is the right thing to do – not to marry a straight girl and I agree that it will make both of you very miserable.

Hi,

I am a 26 year old desi gay guy based in the US. My story is the oldest story in the world. I was raised in a very conservative environment and we never talk about homosexuality or any other controversial issues related to sex in our family. I am actually looking for a lesbian, preferably Indian and get married just for the sake of my family and society. That would be a compromise, but at least I will not ruin a straight girl’s life this way. I know there are lots of people out there like me, but I am finding it hard to connect with desi queer folk in US. Please let me know your thoughts.

Is it just me, or there are other gay men out there who want to have a woman in their life and have kids?? Though I am turned on by men sexually, I do not want to have a family with a guy. Thanks.

S

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Hi S,

Thank you for your letter.

It sounds like this is very hard for you and that you are struggling with a number of issues.

You have been raised in a very traditional Indian way; with the expectation that you have to make your family proud with what you do and achieve in life. You need to be seen as living the life your parents/family/society want you to live. However hard it may be for you to imagine at this point in life, your family ultimately wants you to be happy in life no matter what.

Living a lie is always tough and I don’t recommend it as the truth always comes out one way or the other. If it does come out and it is not on your terms then you are possibly not the only one who gets hurt. It might feel that you will let your family down by coming out but you may let them down even more by living a lie. You won’t make them proud if they know you are living your life in an unhappy unsatisfying and most importantly, disingenuous way. And unfortunately if the truth ever unravels it will be another can of worms.

While your immediate family is what counts, I hear of course that your family have to live with the fact that you are gay and have to deal with their extended family and the society they live in. When I told my parents that I was gay, I told them that they didn’t have to mention it to anybody back home if they didn’t want to as they were the ones who lived there, not me.

I agree with you that it is the right thing to do – not to marry a straight girl and I agree that it will make both of you very miserable. Equally if you marry a lesbian, which may seem like a reasonable midway, you are compromising the life you really want to live. More so there is no guarantee that she will want to have a family with you. Also it will be exceptionally complicated once two families are involved in this intricate web of deceit. Take a look at this article from 2008, it will show you that you are not alone but also highlights some of the issues that people face who go through with marriages of convenience. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7234163.stm

You also mentioned that you are thinking of raising a family. Perhaps you are jumping the gun a bit. Make a decision when you are ready, on your terms not because you are being cornered into it. It’s a difficult thing to live with pressure of living up to family expectations. Remember that you will have to live with the choices and decision you make. My advice is to take things step by step and not plan your whole life all at once. Think about what you want to achieve short term first.

Why are you unable to connect with other desi queer folk in the US? Is there no community in your area or are you afraid to be identified and labelled gay? Or perhaps you fear being outted and that your family will find out through the grapevine? There are a number of resources I would consider looking up. Visiting www.trikone.org is a good option. Look at their “resources” pages which may be useful.

Your urge for having sex with men will become stronger the more you try to suppress it as you are physically attracted to them. This is a natural process and your desire together with your hormones will lead to actions. This will lead to more lies you have to bury yourself in.

Before you make any radical decisions, do consider the impact on those around you and specifically on yourself for the long term. This is a difficult time for you but you are not alone, there are a number of people who go through similar struggles. The key is to remember that you need to decide what’s best for your life and be comfortable with whatever decision you make.

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Pink Freud

About the author

Pink Freud

Pink Freud is a counselling psychotherapist in training. He currently sees therapy clients part time and manages a large team in a corporate environment when he is not 'in the therapist's chair'. Long term, he wants to specialise in working with LGBT individuals, couples and groups. As a gay man, who came out 10 years ago, he understands the unique struggles of the LGBT community and is here to help. You can e-mail your questions to p.freud@ymail.com and he will respond to you via the Gaysi Family website.