My feelings at the LGBT parents’ meet in Chennai
by Muthukumar Natesan, June 29 2011
It was a very nice experience to participate in the parents’ meet along with my mother last Saturday, June 25, 2011. I wanted to share the feelings I went through at the meeting. This was my first such meeting, and my mother and I had travelled from Kumbakonam – an overnight bus journey – to attend it. First of all, thanks Ms.Magdalene and Ramki for organizing such a wonderful meeting at the Centre for Counseling office.
My first happiness was that most of the discussion took place in Tamil, as my mother knows only Tamil. Though I suggested I could translate the discussions from English for my mother, participants spoke in Tamil to the extent possible. This made my mother comfortable.
One of the lesbian participants expressed her love for girls and her lifestyle. It was hard for me to believe that my mother was actually listening and responding. One of the participants from the parents’ side said “Initially I was reluctant to accept my son’s sexuality, but now I understand him to the fullest. I also pray to God that he should not suffer loneliness and to provide him a partner as per his wish for his lifetime”.
Referring to the expressed wish, another participant asked my mother what her wish was for me. She said, “I too wish the same”. It was such an emotional moment. I noticed my mother’s eyes were filled with tears. Mine were, too.
Immediately after the meeting, we went along with Ramki to the Sahodaran office, where a meeting to prepare for the next day’s Pride parade was in progress. There my mother met several gay, bi and transgender community friends. I introduced my friends to her and briefed her on the next day’s parade. After some time we left the venue. I was curious to know what she was going to ask or how she was going to react. I even feared she would ask me not to call her for any more meetings.
On the way back, my mother noticed the name board on one of the shops close to the Sahodaran office and remarked, “Is this the Aminjikarai area? You know, once one of our relations lived in this area”. Then she said ”I can even stay back for tomorrow’s event, but I will probably come next time as I feel tired due to travel, and want to go home and rest”. My god! I was so happy to realize that she was relaxed and interacted with me as usual. I realized that I had underestimated my mother’s value due to my own self-stigma.
I feel blessed to have been able to take this huge personal step, by involving my mother with me in meetings and events.
Muthukumar – Lotus Sangam,
Kumbakonam, Thanjavur district