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Rajib’s Coming Out Story

Rajib D. Mukherjee is a member of Wajood, an LGBT group in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. Orinam.net thanks him for sharing the transcript of his coming-out conversation with his mother.

Photo credit: author

March 2012

Finally did it!  There is nothing in this world that is impossible. Just a little courage and push from within to do the things just when you want them can get you where you want to be. So, this is how the conversation started :

Me: Mom, I have something to tell you…

Mom: (with curiosity) What is it ?

Me: Mom, I do not want you to talk about me getting married to a girl to anyone.

Mom: (with a weird look) Why ?

Me: mom, I am not attracted to girls and I like boys…

Mom: My heart signaled this a few weeks ago, and I was expecting this to come from you! So this is the way you want to destroy your life ??

Me: Getting married to a girl will destroy not only my life, but the girl’s life as well. If you want to get me married forcefully, then that will end up nowhere but a depressed life and divorce.

Mom: If that is the case, then you don’t have to get married ever. If you cannot marry a “nari” then you cannot marry a “purush”- period. That’s it!! Live alone.

Me: But I am not asexual. I like boys and want to get married to a guy! (At this point I quoted a previous conversation where she said  “You need to marry and have children, so that there is someone to look after you when you are old.)

Mom: It cannot happen, how will two guys look after each other when both are old ?

Me: We can always adopt! 🙂

Mom: (with anger) No, this will simply not happen. You have to marry a girl; else, no marriage for you!!

Me: Not possible! If i fall in love with a boy, i would want to live and raise a family with him in the long run.

Mom: (emotionally) I was born alone, lived my life alone, your father died at an early age, you were the only hope and now you are also doing these things…I have no sukh (happiness).

Me: I am there for you and I need you to be there for me. You are my strength, and if you reject me, then I would have nowhere to go…

Mom: I am not leaving you, but just wished you had a better life. So, who is this guy who calls you all the time?

Me: He is my friend and he likes talking to me 🙂

Mom: What’s his name ? What does he do ? Where does he live ? Did he ask you to speak to me about all this ?

Me: His name is *********, and he is ****** by profession. He already has a boyfriend, and he did not ask me to talk to you about this. I have been trying to talk to you about this for the last few weeks, but could not bring myself to have this conversation, as I was afraid.

Mom: Afraid of what ? Why didn’t you tell me when I was trying to get you married last year. Why this sudden change now?

Me: I did not change. I was just scared to tell you as I was afraid I would lose you 🙁

Mom: (with pride) I am a strong woman. I did everything on my own and raised you after your Dad. Why would you lose me?

Me: I know your anger and thought you would kill me or yourself after you get to know about it..

Mom: Never, why would I kill the one i gave birth to, and why on earth would I kill myself? I will die naturally, when God wills.

Me: I love you Mom. Thank you so much for accepting me for who I am!

Mom: Who said I accepted you??? I would still want you to get married to a girl.

Me: Again the same thing, mom ? I cannot. There have been many instances of people getting married due to the pressure from their parents and society, and these marriages ended nowhere…

Mom: Ok, i wish you a happy life. Do whatever you want to…

And then I went on to explain many things to her about being queer. I also explained to her the meaning of ‘Wajood’ (name of the new LGBT group in Hyderabad, translates as ‘Identity’).

Now she is sleeping right beside me as she has been for the last few months, and has been speaking normally.

I hope she will come around in the long run…

Thank you so much guys for all your wishes and support and love!


8 Comments. Add your own »

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  1. A great lady, a great understanding mother and I admire the way Rajib handled the situation. Rajib is a light-house in this vast choppy darkness that surrounds the community. I hope more people will come out and you will publish their experiences and encourage those still in the closet.

      1. Dear Rajib –Your story of coming out is very touchy . I felt overwhelmed with myriad kinds of feelings.I wish the world has been more accommodative. — Warm Regards–Rasheed–Rasheed Ahmed Nirmal

  2. Rajib, I would particularly like to commend you on your opening lines: “I do not want you to talk about me getting married to a girl to anyone”, and “mom, I am not attracted to girls and I like boys…”

    You addressed the basic issue very simply, without using the word “gay”. “I am not attracted to girls, and I like boys”: this statement pretty much sums up what it is to be a gay man. The average heterosexual person is burdened with all kinds of weird ideas about what it is to be “gay”: paedophile, animal sex lover, enemy of god, perpetually engaged in anal sex, and so on. So, when you inform a heterosexual person tersely that you’re “gay”, which is what many gay people seem to be doing, you are not communicating clearly to them. You’re only triggering off their mentally stored images of what ‘gay’ means to them; and often those images are very unflattering and also false, exacerbated by the lies and hatred spread by some religions in the name of “loving gods”. It is no surprise that many parents react with dismay to this terse declaration, “I’m gay”. By telling a heterosexual person, “I’m gay”, you would be doing yourself–and them–a great disservice.

    Instead, you touched right on the essence of gayness: not attracted to the opposite sex, and attracted to the same sex. That sums it up very nicely, doesn’t it? That’s ALL there is to being gay. All the rest of the nonsense, like pouncing on or groping every passing male, converting little children to your filthy lifestyle, etc. are all mindless addons that the average heterosexual is burdened with.

    Once you’ve made yourself clear in this simple way, you can then go on to explain, “it is also known as being gay, queer, etc.”. But, people who start off by saying, “I’m gay”, have to then go on the defensive, saying, “Mom, I’m gay, but I don’t do all those other filthy things you are talking about…”

    So, it makes sense to first describe your situation (not attracted to someone, but attracted to someone else) and then bring up the name given to this condition (gay). You are also leading up to a “soft landing” for them by your step-by-step disclosure.

    Otherwise, by starting off with an abrupt announcement of the name given to it (I’m gay), you would be creating all kinds of ugly images in the mind of the recipient (a hard landing for them), and then you will then find yourself on the defensive, telling them you don’t do this, you don’t do that, etc.

    Names and terminology can be very limiting and disempowering, especially when their meanings have become distorted, ambiguous, filled with falsehoods, and so on. In many cases, it can be better to describe the situation first and then allow the name to fall in place as a conclusion, rather than start off with the name given to the situation.

    People who want to “come out” can benefit greatly by memorising the lines from your story and using them appropriately; especially the opening lines. Looks like your story has a happy ending. We can do with more of those 🙂

  3. I have come out to my parents 2 days ago. There reaction has not been negative. I feel so lucky and thankful. I had come out to my bro a couple of months ago. Now there is no more the constant burden. I feel like I have so much space in my head suddenly for so much more to do. Finally I feel like I can begin my life.

    However, I still need to help my parents educate themselves and find support and meaning. Sites and blogs like these are very helpful. Thank you.

  4. rajib,
    good on you! and good that you have a good and strong woman in your mum!!
    i fully support neel’s comment on your opening line ‘i am not attracted to girls, i am attracted to boys’ was the soft opening up, rather than saying ‘ mum, i am gay’ ( where all the worst case scenarios/stories/FEAR come forefront, resulting in a mental blockade).
    if you or the other lgbt organisations should ever write a few guidelines to help people coming out, they should use your words.

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