Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Shocking Indeed, But in a different way

Too many things have transpired in my life since the college reopened. I entered the hostel, only to be greeted by Mr Bansal's - "I read your blog", as the welcome speech. I was surprised a little. Too many thoughts ran through my mind. My heart started thumping. While a part of me had always wanted that to happen, another part had always held me back. I had crushed that other part when I wrote that blog in Feb, but still, it was limited to a few people. I decided to finally confront the situation, and replied back- "Its good then". Soon a few others were telling me the same thing, with that wry smile on their face, and that evil glint in their eyes. I knew, finally, the cat was out of the bag and I must not flinch.

However, I wasnt fully aware of the exact situation, until my room mate arrived. All that I had faced till now was- "What am I hearing, U have written something in your blog", with that expression in the eyes that I find so hard to explain. And I answered it with an emphatic yes. Only after he arrived, and was probably flooded with all kind of "queries" and "suggestions" did i get to know about the "talk of the hostel". Well, there were various versions going around. Some said, I had declared in my blog that I was gay, and that I had a partner (and i suppose they meant sexual partner (whatever that means), and not boyfriend) supposedly in Delhi (dont know how they arrived at it), some said I had written something supporting Gay rights, others said I had come out against Sec 377 (as if supporting the cause makes u a homosexual!). Whatever it was that they heard, all of them were interested in one thing- "finding my partner."
Strange!! Assuming a 1% homosexual population (who mostly remain in the closet), pure statistics gives the 99% an edge. These 99% should have little difficulty in finding a "partner", for heterosexuality is so much common. In that case, should it be assumed that these 99% have a partner of their own (and they clearly are at an advantage).

But, the most shocking thing for me wasn't the hunt or interest generated in my sex life (I had anticipated such reactions). Instead, it was the harassment of my room mate! While no one went beyond those "What am I hearing!!" while questioning me, he was being harried with all that shit. Feel so sorry for him and dont know how I can apologize to him. But, I must thank the person who "spread the word", for it not only helped me open up, and become comfortable while talking about the matter, it also proved that many of my fears were unfounded.

Life hasnt become hell (really surprising!), but I know, that doesnt imply that people have become tolerant or acceptable. I have had some of the most frank conversation with a few friends, and received support from most unlikely corners. But I didnt start writing this post to narrate all this, instead, I had started with the intention of sharing some of the comments I received in these days from various people. Many find it hard to believe that a man doesnt have sexual feelings for a woman, but with time, have now learnt to accept it (or should i say, live with it), never leaving a chance to explain how "well" it feels. Here are some of the comments-

"So, who is your partner"- The most common , most annoying and most offending one. Why, does every straight person has one? Do they imply that they have reached the age of 20, fucking around women, and so expect the same? How many homosexuals have they known to arrive at such a conclusion? And someone's private life is none of ur business.

"When did you turn gay?/ Tum gay ho gaye ho"- As if, its a switch that u turn it on or off. As if u decide that since everyone is running around behind girls, I shall not follow the herd. No one turns gay my friends. He is one or he is not. Its just that you weren't aware of the fact before. (Of course, I am not telling that a person cannot develop such feelings at a later time. But thats another story.)

"Try it out with a girl at least one time, may be you will change" to "Go to a Red Light area, we would pay the money"- Now, doesn't attraction come to you naturally. This has been the most outrageous one. Never did I say I was a bisexual. That explains the plight of lesbians, who are often forced into marriage. Understood u dont get it, as to how can someone feel differently, but doesn't imply that u go on to make such comments!!

"Who will go through this big a blog, just show me where have you written it." Probably a thing of amusement for this guy.

Now, some positive comments

"I appreciate your boldness."- Thank you! Indeed, I couldn't take it any more. If only I could explain, how painful it is to remain hidden. Explains why freedom fighters started revolting against British, braving all tortures and hardships.

"That changes nothing between us."- A really matured approach.

Well, there are quite a few lessons I have learned. The first and most important – coming out doesn’t only affect you. It also affects the lives of those who are near to you. I am still pissed about all the shit that my roomie has to hear often. All this, from people who have known you for over 3 yrs now. I get it, why it is always said to come out to your near friends only. Do I regret my action? Well, I cant really answer that. It has been a pretty smooth ride. But what hurt me the most? It was all the jibes directed at my room mate. I would sure take this into account when I come out next time to someone. How my action could affect his/her life.

Most of the literate persons are still uneducated. I must say, despite so much sensible media coverage in the recent days, they are still ignorant about the reality. Mostly, they shun any news report that has anything to deal with the topic, unless of course it makes fun of the group, because that’s what they have in their mind. All that a majority of this “class of intellectuals selected through JEE”, who make sure that they have THE HINDU coming in their room because they want to read “good english”, could think about was sex. Who said being gay was all about sex? Sex is a part of anyone’s life, but not the beginning and end of it. And if I may point out, its jerks like you who go about raping women, molesting them at the slightest chance, making the society unsafe. Hardly any day goes by when there’s not a report on breach of a woman’s modesty in the most inhuman way. But still, you hear someone’s gay, and he is the one who is considered an assaulter. I don’t know, what this “Hindu” janta reads in the paper. But, you try and start a discussion on any current news, most of them would be at a loss of words. Just subscribing to a newspaper won’t improve things, you must go through it. And I am specifically pointing towards The Hindu because of the fixation of students here. And I must point out, that in the last month, it has published some of the most sensible articles, written by doctors from prestigious medical colleges. Still, if that is what your mindset is, then either you don’t read the articles, or you don’t want to break your prejudices. So, get your thinking “straight”.

And there are a thousand things I would like to write down. But, I always intended to keep this post short and precise. But as always, I have failed miserably. So before I wind up, I would once again like to thank all those who have been supportive enough, specially my roomie. If only I had considered this aspect too… But anyways, I owe a special thanks to that mysterious person who helped spread the word. Had it been not for you, I wouldn’t have ever come to know that I have such good friends, and that many of my fears were unfounded (though not all). There are many things I have learnt in the last one month. The discussions surely would have helped clear misconceptions of some people. Others probably don’t want to change. You can close your eyes and pretend that there are no homosexuals crossing your path. But the fact remains, I might not be the first gay you have known and surely wouldn’t be the last. Whether someone discloses it to you, would surely depend on how sensible you talk.


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