“Every single courageous act of coming out chips away at the curse of homophobia.” – Anthony Venn-Brown
Coming out wasn’t easy for me, but it was time. I couldn’t wear the mask anymore. It definitely shattered the people I love, I had to go through a number of uncomfortable situations and answer all the questions I had been trying to escape from for a very long time.
No matter what kind of family you are born in, or the town you belong to, the journey to acceptance is always a bumpy road. It took me several years and a massive amount of courage to tell my folks “Your son won’t get married to a woman, he likes men and is gay. Please accept me as I can’t even think of living without you.” It took them a few weeks to digest the news and I am not saying it’s all said and done. Some part of their hearts would always feel sad.
To my surprise, all they were worried about was me ending up lonely throughout my life. I keep telling them I might not have a wife or a husband (thanks to the ever so tolerant laws of this nation) but I sure will have a partner, Inshallah!
From trying to escape from the country, to making excuses for not getting married – I did what most of us do. I could have dragged this on for a couple more months, maybe even years. I just could not imagine the thought of getting married to a person that I would never be able to love. We all have two choices – to gather all our courage to tell the world or to succumb to society’s pressure and ruin more than one life. I chose to do the first one.
It was necessary. I felt liberated. The mirror isn’t hazy anymore. I can breathe now and the constant combat is over. I’m not sure if I won the war, but putting an end to this battle sure does feel right. Life is long and it’s good to deal with one less problem.
You need to be prepared in so many ways before you break the news. To begin with, tell that one person who would understand you without any judgments. This person could be a sibling, a close friend, a colleague or even a random person you met at a coffee shop. For me, it was my childhood friend who I knew wouldn’t love me any less because I am gay.
Coming out to her was also quite a difficult task, but her reaction left me teary eyed. That one big hug not only gave me warmth, but also instilled the idea that I could do this. You would always need this one person to take advice from, share your thoughts with, narrate your stories to, and most importantly, to let you know, “It is okay.”
Cherish your own being, because self-acceptance is a necessary step. We need to know that our orientation is not a fault, it isn’t a ‘condition’ and it isn’t abnormal. It is just different from what the society calls ‘normal’.
And you might have heard this a zillion times, but I shall repeat it – if they love you, they’ll love you any way. You will also learn to make others your family too. There are a lot of us, so don’t think twice to reach out.
If this helps or inspires even one person, I’ll consider my job done.