Dear Ma And Pa… I’m Gay

CREAEditor's Note: With #QueerWithoutFear, Youth Ki Awaaz and CREA have joined hands to advocate for safer and more inclusive campuses for LGBTQ+ students and break the silence around the discrimination faced by students who identify as queer. If your college or school has an LGBTQ+ support group, a campus queer collective, or an initiative that’s pushing for a safer campus, share your story!

Ma, Pa… I’m gay.

There. I ripped the band-aid off. Phew. I feel like a boulder has been lifted off my chest. You still love me na, Ma? I hope I haven’t let you down, Pa. Because I need you two. It’s not easy leading this dual life and I want to know that the two most important people in my life are still by my side.

I’m really sorry Ma and Pa, but I had to be very fake around you. I try to be “normal” at home, so you don’t think that there’s anything wrong with me. Every Sunday we go to church, and almost every other day I hear that being gay is unnatural, that God doesn’t love me, and that I won’t go to heaven. Ma, tell me why God made me this way then? I really tried to not be like this. Even now, I flinch thinking of your faces as you’re reading this.

I’m in pain, Pa. People call me all sorts of things. “Chhakka”, “Hijra”, “Homo”, “unnatural”, “disgusting”, “weird”. I just silently sit there and take it all. Why can’t these “friends” just accept me for who I am? They’re scared. Scared that I’m so different from them. But then I think of you – you’re always talking about the “girl” I should marry, the grandchildren I should give you – I’m sorry, Pa. I just don’t see myself being able to be that son to you.

1,500 animals exhibit homosexual tendencies. They say that homosexuals have existed for over 2000 years. We have temples that celebrate homosexuality. And I’m still “abnormal”?

I find everyone else abnormal. I feel like I’m betraying myself when I try to fit in. And when I’m myself, everyone around me tries to make me feel ashamed of who I am. What should I do? Why is this happening to me?

Even the Constitution hasn’t spared me. I’m illegal in the eyes of the law – “against the order of nature”, and if proven guilty, I’m a criminal. Tell me, Pa, was I born a criminal? I’m not hurting anyone, and I only want to live life on my terms. There’s just so much hate around me. I just want permission to love freely and openly.

I’m tired of living this double life. I’m tired of acting. I’m tired of failing at being someone that I cannot be. I understand that this can be very tough for you to understand, but please know this – my sexuality doesn’t change how I think of you and Ma. I love you two so much, and God knows how much I need you now. I don’t want your sympathy, and definitely don’t want a lecture on who I should be. I just want you to accept me for who I am. I will completely understand if you’re not comfortable with that, but I am still your son, no?

I hope I’m not asking for too much.

Yours always,

Your son.