Coming Out : A South Indian Brahmin Speaks…

I guess I always knew I was different from other boys, I just don’t know why I felt different. My earliest crush on a guy was in my first year of high school I was 12. I remember thinking about this guy all the time and fantasizing about him when I got home after school and at night. I didn’t think too much of it back then, although I am pretty sure I thought there was something odd, this was partly because I knew that I couldn’t tell anyone and I didn’t, particularly not my parents. Not that if I liked a girl I would told my parents, that’s just not something you did in an orthodox South Indian Brahmin family, life as a pre-teen was completely geared towards getting good marks in school and for me anyway learning classical Carnatic music. In addition to that my other hobbies included, memorizing all the world capitals, countries and flags and music in general.

Other than that one crush early on, I did not have any other interest in boys for the rest of high school, however I did find myself attracted to the male models in fashion catalogues and underwear ads. As it happens in high school at some point nearly everyone you know starts pairing up, everyone starts dating and here I was thinking why am I not interested in dating a girl. I hid behind my conservative Indian heritage which prevented me from dating and the fact that most of my guy friends were geeks who had little interest in girls anyway and were more interested in programming or science like me.
Towards the end of high school, I knew that there was something different about me and I was scared that I actually might be gay, but the problem was I was still attracted to girls, so that was a relief to me that maybe I was bi-sexual and that I could still get married in the traditional sense and have a family. However, as it always goes my attraction towards girls began to wane just as my attraction go guys intensified, I tried as hard as I could to sweep this attraction under the carpet and part of me was hoping that it was a ‘phase’.

I desperately clung on this even though all evidence pointed to the contrary and finally at ripe old age of 20 I told myself look this is not going to change you are clearly gay; at which I came out to all my close friends and my younger sister many of whom already guessed this and weren’t really surprised and everyone was fully supportive. My sister’s reaction worried me the most, the night I told her she did not sleep and cried for a large part of it, her worry was also my biggest worry what would my parents say and do? This was the main reason for my continuing mental torment which continued for another good 4 years or so. I finally got the courage and knew it was time (in face of many marriage proposals that were coming my way) and told my parents. I was surprised by their reaction, which not adverse in any manner, disappointment yes, a lot of questions followed yes, but nothing like what I had imagined in my head. That was over a year ago now, and my parents are coming to terms with it still, but have definitely accepted it and know that it is something I can’t change and understand that I am same person as I always was. Since telling my parents I have been on the gay dating scene, which I have to say is just as complex, if not more than the straight dating scene. That however, is a story for another day.

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