I realised a few days back that I have already lived almost exactly half my life. About half of that had been lived lying about myself. I didn’t want to live my remaining life being dishonest. Least of all to myself. I decided that it was time to start coming out to people other than my parents. I still stand by my opinion that my sexuality is no one else’s damn business, however, the presumption that since I was single, I must be really sad had really started to irritate me no end now. Moreover, I wanted people to know that I was in a enriching relationship for almost a decade now. Much longer than any of these married types. Our habitation arrangements were not exactly as we would have liked, but then some dreams are worth living for. So in any case I decided to hold life by its balls and squeeze hard.
I have been regularly coming out to my parents for quiet some time now so I decided but we don’t seem to have made any progress. I decided that it’s time I took outside help from my friends- books.
The name of this book does not need any addition to describe what it is about. All the key search words figured in the title. No wonder it was amongst the top books that a search on Amazon.com listed.
Reading the 2nd chapter ‘Initial Reactions’ in the kindle book sample, was what motivated me to purchase this book. It answers all the questions my mother was feeling.
The book is very practically divided in to useful sections so that you can directly jump to one relevant to you. I personally feel that the 2nd chapter should have been the 1st, even before the introduction, but then that’s my opinion.
Particularly interesting is the section about ‘coming out to people’. I would specially like to quote the following lines: “It is not the responsibility of anyone in the LGBTQ community to be vocal about their identity-this is a personal choice and it can vary.” I sometimes feel that in the queer community in India (I can’t speak for other countries) those who are out put considerable peer pressure on those still in the closet. As if those who are not Out are traitors to the ’cause’ of the ‘community’. I think it is very important to point out that even though coming out is an important part of being comfortable with your sexual identity, there is no set timeline which works for everyone.
The book is written for an aware reader Someone, whatever her opinion on homosexuality, at least knows that it exists. She might have even met someone in her life who identified himself as gay. It is definitely not aimed at a society where a news piece on the elopement and subsequent ‘marriage’ of two women, is inserted in the Punjab Kesri for comical relief.
Since both the writers are women, most of the personal stories are from lesbian perspective. Being a gay man, I felt a little left out. But in the end the human emotions are all same. I was near tears reading some of the things which were exactly what was unfolding in my home.
Wish we had such books written in Indian languages. Wish we had