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Question
Hello Adriann
I am Jyoti, a 22 year old guy from kolkata, India.

I came out to my sisters last year on 19th Feb, but ever since that topic has never been
discussed. I some times feel like i'm still in the closet and sinking in. Whenever, i do or say
something that might be homosexual, my elder sister frowns at me.
WHAT SHOULD I DO ABOUT IT?
Also, please suggest some idea as HOW TO COME OUT TO MY PARENTS, they don't even know
what gay is! They think gays are 'Hijras', i tried telling my mum once, but she refused to
listen, as for my dad, he is completely homophobe, i mean even the smallest thing i do of
grooming- like facial or scrubbing my face, infuriates him and lead him to calling me names
or 'what the hell is that on your face? Go and wash it off, now' or sometimes 'my son also morphed into a girl', SO, SHOULD I COME OUT TO MY DAD?
I am really depressed, i don't know what i am going to do with my life, sometimes i even
get suicidal thoughts, like on 31st dec 2012, i didn't wanted my this year to be same as my
last 5-6 years, dying inside.

Moreover as you might know, our society is not at all accepting of homosexuals, so is it a
safe option to come out completely(i myself am not sure how to put out this question) or
just leave it as it is for a while. should i come out to my friends?
Sorry for asking so many questions at once, I just needed to get it off my heart.

Thank you in advance"

Answer
Hello Jyoti

The whole idea of coming out has always been a difficult one, but here is how I handled it, and it's worked out just fine!  You see, if you're going to make a big deal out of your sexuality, then other people are also going to make a big deal out of it.  If you want to be accepted as 'normal', just like everyone else, then you should treat your sexual preference as normal.  You don't have to come out, because you're already out, to those who notices and are clever enough.  For those that are too closed-minded to notice your preference, that is their problem!

Straight people don't go around announcing they are straight, do they?  No, because it's accepted as the norm.  Well, you have the same rights, Jyoti.  I would suggest just working it into your life, as if everyone knows, and leave it up to them to feel stupid if they didn't :-)

I have only 'come out' once in my life, to my brother, and his reaction was so underwhelming (his response was: oh, so do we get another movie ticket, are you bringing someone on Friday?), that I decided back in the day that if we treat 'coming out' as a 'thing', then it will become one.

If someone asks you if you're dating anyone, for instance, your response could be 'I haven't met him yet, we'll see'.  You assume the other person knows.  I've found that this tactic makes them wonder why they know in the first place!  See them stutter, hehe.

Why don't you try and just enjoy life as it is, and don't make your sexuality the central point of everything you do and talk about, you will find that if it becomes part of your life, instead of your whole life, it will be easier to manage and be such an issue, to yourself and to everyone.  Besides, what's it to them who you choose to love, one day?  It's ultimately your decision.

As for your parents, yes Hijras are one type of homosexual, but there are of course many.  You seem to be a normal Indian guy, who happens to like other guys!  Why don't you give the things I mentioned above a try with them too, see how they react.  If they are too closed-minded, then there's no real way to ever convince them.  This goes for any kind of parental resistance.  Imagine you were straight and brought home a girl that were too poor for your parents, or came from a bad neighbourhood, or had a 100 tattoos.  They would be resistance to that too, and there would be no way to change their mind.  They have to want to do it themselves.

As I said, straight people don't go around advertising their sexuality, and if you think YOU have to, then you're making yourself out of the ordinary, not society.  Sexuality is a small part of your personality.  There is also your intelligence and humour and physical strength, etc.  All of these make up who you are.

If you want to ask anything else, or you want to chat more about this, please feel free to email my some more.  You don't have to go through this alone!

Good luck J
Adriaan

PS Your letters to me are set to 'not private', so they will be published on the internet.  If you want your letters to remain private so that only I can read them, set them to private when you write them :-)  

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Adriaan Pretorius

Expertise

Any questions on how to come out, handling people close to you, handling the pressures of being gay in society, going out, seeking a partner, etc. are welcome. I live in South Africa and may have a unique perspective on gay live, as gays do not live openly and have been scorned for a long time here. If you need to speak to someone, and no one wants to listen, I will try my best to be a friend when you have none.

Experience

I am a gay male who have lived the life as someone that had to hide it from everyone for a long time until coming out some years back. I know how it feels to be 'in' and 'out' and have had diverse experiences in relationships. I have had friends who hated gay life, gay bashers, friends who understood me.

Education/Credentials
I have a postgraduate degree in Science. I have worked together with and currently work with homosexual and heterosexuals in my environment.

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