When I thought that I should share the feelings I had when I came to know about the sexuality of my son, my mind recalls that experience as “those bad days.” But now it seems to be ridiculous for me. Why? I am asking myself. The answer revealed before me and I am presenting it as it is (even though it is a long narrative).
It was eight years back, I was in Chennai and my son was in the US. When my son invited me to the chat and said that he will not be happy with a girl as his life partner, I was broken into pieces. The entire future of my family appeared gloomy. He suggested some books and sent me links through which he wanted me to understand his feelings. At that time I was worrying about his mental health. As he was away from me I thought that I can ‘change’ him when he comes to India. I was not able to digest this and at the same time I didn’t oppress his feelings. He again and again sent me many related research articles and at one stage, I told him that I would support him keeping in mind my own hidden agenda. I started to avoid the topic whenever he opened it.
When I visited him about three years back I went to the therapist with him. There I told her that I am expecting that he would ‘change’ with the help of such therapist and I wish to see my grandchildren through him. Before that my son was under the opinion that I have accepted him as he is and I am happy with that. Now when he saw the other face of mine, he couldn’t tolerate. That day we had a long argument. When I was questioned on my values like integrity I felt so small before my son.
I took my own initiative after that. I went to the local libraries in California, I took some books on the life patterns of gay people and read many books about their feelings. I started to realize that we cannot answer the question asked about why we prefer something as a special one and why we don’t like the other one of the same group. For example, I don’t like milk sweets. Why? I cannot answer. I know that it is also sweet in taste but I can cherish the taste of simple soanpapdi instead of Agarwal milk sweet. If you come and give me Agarwal milk sweet and tell me that you bought high-rated sweet only for me to enjoy, I will simply say, if it seems to be that precious for you, please go ahead and enjoy that yourself. I will not be able to enjoy that in which case, I won’t get it for myself. This is the case for one day’s pleasure. I thought about the entire life of my son. It became clear to me that my son could be happy only with the life partner of his gender.
It took years for me to get convinced. I don’t say that it is that easy. Even to think about our son or daughter doing something not acceptable for us, gives this much of pain. They have to lead their their lives with that pain. Why? For the sake of the society? Nobody is going to pay my current bill, in case I have any financial problem for one month. It will be my own son who will come and attend me whenever I am in need of. So far he has done so much to his brother and to the family. For the sake of those “four people,” why should I make my son unhappy?
In my family, my husband is against all these things even now. I have my confidence that we (both my sons and myself) can change him in due course. Till then my son will talk to him in all the ways possible. When I attended the group meeting in Magdelene’s office in Chennai, I had to face my husband who opposed it. When it comes to the issue within the family we have to handle it. But for the society I don’t think I have to answer. When I attended the wedding of one of our relatives, I was invited to do some customary pooja on the stage. Immediately my sister-in-law said that I have no experience in doing that. She was commenting indirectly on my son not getting married yet. I said “Yes. You are an experienced person. So, you go.” This I said with a smile and whole-heartedly. Till this day I don’t feel for it. I am more concerned with my son’s happiness than about taking part in all these events.
Some 15 years ago, widow re-marriage was not accepted in our society. People who stood for it had to undergo mental agony. Now many girls are able to see their life path with the lamp they have been given. Like that, this will also become a socially accepted marriage in the years to come. Till such time we have to hear people shouting “this is against our culture”. I have decided not to pay attention to these voices. Many of my relatives are asking me about his marriage. My answer is “You will definitely get the invitation when he marries”. I find people become silent when I say this with a fearless voice. If I stumble they will start to advise me.
I am proud to say that I have got a good son. When my husband went to the extent of suggesting that he can marry a girl for the sake of the society and can have a secret second life he refused that saying that he won’t be insincere to his life-partner. I want to respect the integrity. He is precious to me in this way. I don’t want to be a fool to loose such a precious gift. I will stand by his side always happily.
mother of KMRamki