By Himanshu Singh:
Editor’s Note: Commemorated especially in the United States, October 11 is annually observed as National Coming Out Day. This can refer to coming out as one of the several gender and sexual identities that are not heteronormative or even coming out as an ally to the LGBTQ community. Long seen as a step to (re)claim a space for oneself in a world that chooses to ignore, overlook or overpower alternate gender and sexual identities, “coming out of the closet” is a very important step for queer identities to take shape, claim rights and most importantly, to live without fear.
In the following Facebook post, Himanshu Singh, a young man based in Mumbai, comes out as gay and proudly owns his sexuality. Questioning long-held assumptions with a tinge of hope and a determination to never give up, Himanshu proudly takes a page out of his life to make the world a less fearful place to live in, for any closeted queer person. At a time when Section 377 is still law and discrimination is rampant, Himanshu’s post is a ray of positivity and faith in a world of bluster and bigotry.
[su_box title=” ” box_color=”#c6cec9″ radius=”0″]While I am changing the history here, it is my sincere request to share this message to give courage to those who are still living in shadows. Please do not hesitate in sharing. If you hesitate, I lose. We lose!
The one thing that I learned from [the] Harry Potter saga is that nobody should ever live in a closet. Tetris taught me that when you try to ‘fit’ in, you will disappear.
I am much more than my sexuality. My close friends would know me as a writer. Childhood friends would know me as a painter. IIM-K friends would know me as a pathetic actor and as an amateur photographer. I am an ambitious soul who yearn[s] to learn. I aspire to become a great pianist someday. How does my sexuality define me as an individual? But it is certainly one of the most fundamental part[s] of my being. My sexuality is not a phase, it never was. It is not a disease, it is not a mental disability, it is not a choice, and definitely not a disgrace. I was born this way. I realised it when I was 14. It is so saddening to say that I had to strive for normalcy to be in societal norms all these years. It smothered me for quite a long time. Why do people advice to tell it to only those who matter? Why it has to be hushed and shushed?
People reading this post would ask – does it matter to anyone? Why do I need to shout the truth aloud? Does it change anything? Probably! If I lose friends, family and my loved ones over this, it is important to me. If this post could give courage to others, this is important to them. I don’t expect support as much as I expect respect as a human being.
There are so many people out there who are still struggling to come out. I just want to give a message that you are not alone and I am with you. Somehow the below lines inspired me to come out:
“We don’t have to be ordinary, Make your best mistakes,
‘Cause we don’t have the time to be sorry, be the life of the party!
I’m telling you to take your shot it might be scary, Hearts are gonna break,
But we don’t have the time to be sorry, so baby be the life of the party!”
Right now my brain is going [at] 2 million miles per hour. From internal turmoil to acceptance. Describing them in words is not easy. This is the strongest decision of my life. My hands are little cold but the heart is confident. A new man is born today. Life will never be the same from now on. And I am going to love it anyway.
Not everyone was privileged enough to be a Mathew’s (my Humanities teacher in IIM-K) student. Do not make wrong assumptions [and] notions. Have an educated view. Ask honest questions. Respect individuality.
REMEMBER – Your assumptions, lack of knowledge, ignorance and phobias are killing your closeted friends. Everyday!
I am so grateful to my parents, my brother, close friends and flatmates who supported me immensely on this.
Special Note: Dear LGBTQ fellows, if you are facing any kind of challenge or need any guidance, please feel free to reach out to me. Call me (+91-8447798932) or email me (email@example.com), if you think that I may be of some help. You have got only one life. Live it well. Play it well. Don’t be afraid of anything or anyone.
For those who are still wondering on the subject, start your basics here – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality
*Mic dropped!* …Anyone up for a drink? [/su_box]