One of the most popular topics on LGBT blogs, movies, discussions and stories is that of “coming out”. A lot of people talk about coming out to their friends, parents, extended family, work places, etc. But the most painful of them all are the the stories about one’s coming out to oneself. That glimpse of suffering while they struggle to understand their feelings, realize their own identity, make peace with it. And then having to hold on to it. This is me.
There are times when people have asked me too, “How did you know?”
Well, I’m not really sure when I started falling for women, sexually. I do remember, however, my very first attraction to the same sex began with family friends who were at least a decade older than I was. I wanted them to be a part of my life, more than they already were. Being a single child, I felt then, this was my need for an older sibling. As I grew up and relationships got more complex than just Mom-Dad, brother-sister, uncle-aunty, husband-wife, I started thinking if I really did want a sister. I had found a new way to explain away my feelings; it was my search for a BFF that drew me to all these women.
During this BFF-quest, I had a conversation with my Buddy, which changed everything. I don’t remember clearly what sparked that conversation but we were discussing gay and lesbian relationships, and how normal it felt and how neither of us agreed with the stigma attached to it.
Maybe it was the rebellious 14-year old speaking, but it was my first conversation about LGBT. And I knew right then, that I would be attracted to a person, not their gender identity.
People say we queer are different. Well, of course we are… But only as different as one heterosexual is from another. I have my own personality, emotionality, physicality, beliefs and sexual preferences. My family has always supported and encouraged four out of those five. And the fifth doesn’t feel any different to me.
I’m asked often if this is a phase in my life, if I’ll ever grow out of it. I am also asked, “You still like boys too nah? Then why not get married to one and make life simpler for your parents?” The hope in their voices can be infuriating, but it’s understandable. It would be just so much easier on everyone if I fell for a boy, got married and my parents would live happily ever after. Then again, won’t everyone be happier if I was with someone I loved and someone who truly, madly, deeply loved me too? I am sure my parents would put my happiness above all, eventually.
I don’t know what the future holds. But this is me today. I like women. I like men. I love people. And I will fall for a person, no matter what the physical being.
It has been an easy start for me, thanks to The Buddy and my close friends who’ve been understanding and supportive (sometimes, even protective). I know there’s a long road ahead. But from here, it doesn’t look that bad.