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Coming out… an ongoing process.

Written by AnJ on . Posted in Coming Out

Coming out is not about lesbians only.
Coming out requires giving others a better understanding of double standards, of the concepts of diversity and the freedom to live in harmony with one another. It is about crossing boundaries… whether racial, religious, gender.. or sexual orientation.

After the forum organized by Sayoni during IndigNation, some people gave this feedback: The coming out stories are too rosy. They cannot identify with it.

Yes, coming out is a long-drawn process. Things don’t change over night…
The thing about people is..
They may understand what you are trying to say at that point in time; they may see the logic behind your stand.
But old habits die hard… and i find myself repeating when they automatically fall back on stereotypical cruel jokes on the queer community.

You see… our mind is filled with schemas. Which are elaborate networks of inter-related information. As people grow up, people group information together. Ideas like “lesbian” and “gay” elicit other ideas like “ephemeral relationships” and “bad”. So, each time we reason with someone, we are modifying the schema. But it is difficult to modify the entire schema at once.

Plenty of people have come up to me and gave me lines like: “You are so lucky that your mother understands.”

Yes, she understands. But no, she does not completely understand.
She understands that love is regardless of gender. She understands that straight relationships do not promise happiness, and that gay unions can provide sweet and loving companionship.
But there are certain mentalities that she holds on to… such as homosexuality is a hot trend. A trend that people can “catch” and precipitate the demise of the human race. And thus, flowing from this line, we should not allow gay people to be open about their sexuality.

A life without compromise – Chapter 2

Written by (Guest Writers) on . Posted in Coming Out


I came out at 32 on Sept 10th 2001, right before the dreadful landmark Sept 11th terrorist attacks in the US. I remember this not as a delusion of grandeur but only because it was pointed out by my best friend who reacted to my disclosing e-mail aptly as “more drama than Sept 11th”. Strangely, I also saw that as privately significant because it made me realize how fragile our lives are and just living in the shadow of my true identity would only be selling myself short of what was left on earth.

So I strengthened my resolve from that day on, having come out to myself first, then to my closest and dearest friends, even to my ex-now-gay boyfriend, that I would have to make a significant paradigm shift (yes, I am truly indoctrinated in corporate-speak!) In a word, I knew my life from that day would be different.

Years later and it has been nothing but a confusing flux of changes, sometimes even to the point of breathless chaos.

The first day when I admitted that I am gay was well, rather exciting, almost as exciting as say acquiring a new pair of kickass shoes which you just couldn’t wait to show to the world. Well, I suppose I was overcompensating as a late-bloomer of sorts so the first thing I did was to hunt down every possible form of gay literature, media and even fashion statements. I e-shopped with a vengeance and ran up a sizeable bill within the month just from the sheer excitement of reinventing myself, atoning for my decades of homophobia by being exaggeratedly proud of my homosexual identity. I was what you might call a ’screaming ranting dyke’, for want of better phrasing.

A life without compromise – Part 3

Written by (Guest Writers) on . Posted in Coming Out


A year later and I shelved those disturbing feelings because I found that evasion was often the most convenient resolve. However, it was almost part of some divine will which I would, at different points of my life, meet an individual who would rekindle these extinguished embers.

M was a junior during the freshman orientation which I was part of the executive commitee. The first thing I noticed about her in that sea of gormless faces was an inexplicable aura of inner peace, which I so jealously yearned for myself. She radiated her calmness from within in the way she spoke in her impeccable diction accompanied by a serene smile.

At first we only had brief encounters over dinner in the communal hall till she decided to pay me a visit at my dorm room to discuss an interview she needed for her course of study. Along the way we discussed religion and I confided my faltering faith to which she displayed an immediate understanding which moved me.

As the weeks went on, M made it a point to come over every time she saw a light in my room (cliche, I know) even on occasions when I was too busy with an assignment to be good company. She would sit on my bed and stare into a vacuum which I could not comprehend and ever so often drop a bombshell line like, “You seem to need a lot of love” which completely threw me from an appropriate reply. She was unnervingly perceptive and sometimes she would make an observation which reached the darkest depths of my soul.

A life without compromise – Part 5

Written by (Guest Writers) on . Posted in Coming Out


Two years later and I commited it to matrimony, saw eight years and two children through with him. Unfortunately, as in many things, I would be lying if I said that the questions about my inclinations had completely gone away. In fact, I found myself still deliberating the polarities of my sexual orientation even while married. One encounter with a colleague at the school I was attached to for practical orientation still rings clear. Her name was Shirley and she sat beside me in the office and initially we started out as two people sharing very common experiences and wavelengths. We found that not many of our co-workers shared our sense of humour, let alone visions in life. I was gradually drawn to her chirpy and positive personality and she my open-mindedness and laconic wit. We looked forward to seeing each other for a brief hour or so because we were in different sessions (hers morning, mine afternoon). But everytime we shared a moment, it seemed to make our day because it assured us that there was still some sanity in the midst of bureaucratic hogwash.

The day I left we shared an awkwardly pleasant encounter. We had sneaked off for some ice-cream and we talked about nothing significant until she hinted how life would be tedious without her verbal-sparring partner. I knew that I would miss her too but not until a week later when I returned for a farewell gathering in the school. I found myself unusually excited on my way there but when I got there, I made it a point to avert her gaze and proceeded to sit at a few tables away. She seemed to notice this and later remarked that I was aloof and had so quickly forgotten her, and added that she had broken out in rashes that morning for no apparent reason and hinted that it was from excitement at seeing me. With that remark I felt strangely warm and fuzzy because of its closeness to my thoughts.

A life without compromise – Part 4

Written by (Guest Writers) on . Posted in Coming Out


I was starting to really plunge into the absolute abyss of self-doubt by the time I was 20. Taking a vacation job as a fitness instructor only served to open more avenues to explore my nagging questions. As a fitness mentor to several women every week, I found myself deeply gratified by my new position. It was a combination of egocentricity and the Svengali-ishly rewarding sensation of being these women’s ideal physical form. They would hang on my every word and depend on me to make their otherwise mundane work day a little more bearable with my light-hearted aerobics sessions. One particular student in her mid-20s caught my attention because she was not only at my class punctually but regularly. Although there were other instructors at hand, she would wait for my later class even if she had arrived at the gym earlier. She also encompassed what I would define as a beautiful woman – big hazel-shaped eyes, well-chiseled cheekbone structure and most importantly, an alluring smile which left me wondering what was behind it sometimes. I found myself looking forward to her attendance and even slighted if she didn’t turn up. The day my hamstring injury rendered me immobile in the middle of class, she quickly rose to the moment and offered to lead it for me with my verbal instruction (how bizarre). And when I had to quit as a result of that, she stopped attending and to me that was a coincidence I appreciated with private gratitude. We rarely spoke but it was that quiet acknowledgement of mutual admiration I’ll never forget.

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