When I think about coming out, I think about coming out to my parents, because for as long as I can remember, that is all that mattered. Apart from that, I haven’t made any such announcements to the world. Before telling my parents, I came out to a tight-knit group of friends. I obsessed over whom I told about my truth and made them swear on dramatic things. I didn’t want the news to reach my parents before I was ready. The relationship I shared with my parents was very open. I used to be proud as a teenager about the fact that I never hid anything from them, but this was one thing I had kept from them for so long.
I came out to them when I was 19, during my second year of college. It was an impulsive move. I was at home one night and decided to tell them. I sat them down and did it quickly before I could change my mind. They already had a vague idea. My dad guessed what I was about to say. There were tears and disappointment, but also reassurances. They reminded me that they loved me and that would never change.
My dad, being a ‘manly man’, doesn’t talk about it much. Everyone has their own way of dealing, I guess, but his disposition towards me has not changed one bit. He has always been proud. My mother took about a year to warm up to the idea, but once she did, she got fully involved, like mothers tend to do. She knows all about my relationship and the ups and downs they go through.
I came out to everyone in my college without meaning to. Someone saw me kissing my boyfriend and the news kind of spread; but since my parents knew, I didn’t care. And I was lucky, because most of the people in my college just shrugged at the news and moved on. Being gay isn’t a big deal when you’re in a design school. My boyfriend and I were treated just like any other couple. That’s the reason I’ve never had too many gay friends, because I was never made to feel like an outsider amongst heterosexual people.
It’s been pretty much a smooth sailing for me in the coming out department. I guess I’m one of the lucky few. Being gay is not something that I would actively tell people or hide from people. It has never been a big part of my identity. It’s like having a favourite colour. People don’t go about announcing it unless they are asked, right?