Dear Pappa, Mamma and Keerti, my sis,
Never had I ever thought in my dear life that I would be in such a position. All I ever want is happiness for all. I am still trying to make that happen. Just to let you know this is very difficult for me. So please bear with me, keep an open mind and try to read the following fully, thoroughly, as calmly and as understandingly as possible. This is difficult for me, very difficult. And I am crying as I write this, but I am not trying to create sympathy here. It’s just because of the pain to arrange my whole life in front of you right now, even though I was right there with you all, living it.
Let me tell you, these are the things that I realized/noticed after coming here and I had never thought about it when I was back home. And even if I had thought about it sometime when I was younger, I was terrified of the very fact of daring to consider this. It is just not easy at all. I want you to help me through this process. I feel so helpless sometimes thinking about what I want, what I can have, and what I am allowed.
This year is for studies, but somehow it has also become the biggest exam of my life. Being away from home, gave me space and time to think about my life. So below is my life story, I am not going to hide any details and tell you about as much as I remember of my childhood times, it’s all here below.
In the 3rd grade, I joined a co-ed school and there, as you know, I used to be the tomboy of the class. I used to play cricket with the boys and also kabaddi with the girls. Never having had a good group of friends, I used to fight with the girls and keep moving from one group to another based on which group the fight was with.
Please try not to be disgusted with me for what I am going to say now, because I have gone through this a lot. I have been shocked at myself for thinking like this, but I just cannot help it. When I was young, studying sometime between 4th and 6th grades, all must have watched movies or shows where couples were romancing and fantasised about it. For any girl it would have been the predictable fantasy of being with a man, but for me it was the different, the fantasy was of me with a woman. I was young at that time and thought that everyone must have similar thoughts. I did not share these fantasies with anyone. There are times during my 6th to until may be 10th where I used to plead with God for a miracle that would change me into a boy, overnight. That mom and dad should start thinking that they have given birth to a boy, the records in the schools must miraculously change, and I should be one of the boys in the class. But yeah, this was too much to ask of God, wasn’t it? Such miracles never happen.
There were only women teachers in my school, and I used to have crushes on the beautiful ones. I also used to befriend the beautiful girls in my class, and charm them using my humour and my imitation skills, and make them laugh. Let me tell you all, there were no questions in my mind about who I was and why I was that way, nothing crossed my mind. Then it was 11th and 12th grade, it was time for studies, and nothing much happene. I don’t remember much about those times.
Then entering college life, an environment where girls talk a LOT about boys and check them out: I did too. I became best friends with Padma. Basically, as you might know, it was a co-dependent relationship. She needed a shoulder to cry on as she thought she was the most unlucky person in the whole wide world, and I was happy to lend my shoulder because – I don’t know why – maybe because I enjoyed the importance I was getting in her life. I used to hang out with her most of my free time and we were inseparable. I used to write poems about her.
It was during my second year of college, that I came across the Ellen DeGeneres show on TV. I became her fan immediately and was able to relate to her for her dress sense, sense of humour and her dancing. I googled her, and found that she is gay! I did a little research about what it means and found that she likes women and that she is going to marry a woman in California. I was shocked. I got too afraid and since Padma had not yet got into a committed relationship with a guy, I was terrified that people in college might start talking about us in a bad way based on the amount of time we spent with each other. Then Padma got committed to Suresh, and I never really cared about making any more best friends. It was too much of hurt and trouble and I did not want anyone to be as dependent on me again as was the case with Padma. I chucked the thoughts of Ellen out of my head. and as an obedient daughter when the college got over, told you to look for a boy for my marriage, because after college life, I felt very lonely without anyone so close in my life.
I am skipping the part of engagement and things with Mahesh that you all know. So, after coming here, I do not know, what was the hidden urge in me that made me join the LGBT society in the university here! I had also joined it as a strong ally (a non-gay person who wants to support LGBT people); because I don’t know why I felt like these people deserved equal rights in their lives too.
Then began my journey of self-discovery, you see all the paragraphs above, all these little details, I started to get reminded of all that, the things that I had locked into that little box in my heart, my fantasies, my dreams, everything that I had tried to erase out of my life, came back to me. May be it was the space and time that I got here to think about myself. But I researched a lot, read a lot and was depressed thinking about what I feel, think, imagine and compare it with my research findings and cry and feel sad for what I was doing to myself by pulling out old stuff from that little box! It took me four whole months from September to January, to finally I accept myself for who I am, without any anger or regret. I needed someone to talk about this and I have a close friend and I knew she would understand my situation. After a whole week of gathering up courage, I did not even tell by words, I gave her a letter stating my dreams from which she asked me questions and I answered them and she finally understood what I was trying to tell her about. It is difficult.
When one knows that one is different and that a kind of different that will be looked down upon by the society of so-called “normal” people, I feel sad. There, tears start again. Being LGBT is not something abnormal, it’s not by choice, it’s just natural. When I finally accepted who I was, it was like meeting another self of mine. That person who was locked in so much within myself that I had forgotten about her, who has been a part of my mental and physical being but I had just decided to ignore her. But I could not do it anymore; I needed to recognise that other person within me.
I would humbly request you, not to take any hasty decisions. I did not know all this would happen to me if I came here, and believe me when I say, I swear on my God, this is not how I had planned my life. I want you to be with me in this journey, I want you to accept me for who I am. Please be with me, I cannot do this without you all.
I have never ever wanted to hurt any person in my life, I love you all so much and I care so much about you all. This is true and my God knows and I think you know it too. I hate hiding stuff from people I love, and I knew that you should know what is going on with me. But believe me, this is very hard to accept oneself and it’s like one terrifying journey to tell someone about who you really are. I love you mom, dad and sister so much, I love you so much and I don’t want to lose you all. I hope you will understand. I miss you all so much right now and feel so lonely. And I am not able to stop crying. This is very hard for me. Please be with me. I try to be a strong person, but I will be very lonely without you all. Please understand the things I have said.
I notice women, I notice how they smell, imagine having a good chat with them and some romantic dance. Whenever I listen to songs, I am singing the male lyrics that praise the girl and not bother much about the girl’s lyrics. There is this rush and tingly feeling that happens in my heart whenever I notice a woman that I like, and I get nervous around her. Whenever or rather rarely I imagine dancing with a man, I still tend to lead, I do not know why, I have always wanted to lead and be the man in a relationship rather than being a woman.
In the light of this situation that I am in and the things that I found about myself, it would be selfish of me to get married to Mahesh and spoil his life. He noticed that I was not myself for past few weeks. I had to tell him before I told you all. He understands my situation very well and I think we have agreed upon cancelling the marriage plans. Because, if we didn’t, it would be us who would be living the marriage and it would been fated for doom. He deserves a good life with someone who can make him happy emotionally and physically. I cannot handle the physical aspect of the relationship with a man. He understands me for who I am and has been supportive for past one week. He has told his parents and therefore I would request you not to call them for a while until you can process this information because they are trying to process it as well.
I am sorry that I had to take this decision, but I am telling you pappa and mamma, you are reading this and may be finding it hard to accept, but I am living this. Knowing that I was never really the person I was, that’s something big to accept oneself. I know since our lives are connected, I am making you face these things with me, and I am sorry for that. I really am. I have tried to be a good daughter that you both deserve, you are wonderful parents anyone could ever ask for and I want to make you both proud of me. I hope I will. I am the same daughter that you have had, but this is a reality about me, which I hope you will accept. I love you pappa, mamma and sister. I know I am unable to keep up with your dreams of getting me married to a man and sending me off with him, but please see the fact that I am more at ease with my identity and inner self now. I have understood that I was not crazy to feel different for the past 25 years. My God has always given me what I have asked for. I had written him a letter after coming here saying that I have realised who I am and I don’t think I will be able to fulfil that aspect of myself in this life. But see what he did, he made me accept my identity in front of my parents. I think he wants his daughter to live the life in her way.
I know the outside world is tough. It might even mock me for who I am. But mamma, pappa and Keerti, if I know the fact that you all are there with me, I will be 200 times stronger than I am now. I can face the world or anyone else. I just want you all to understand me, accept me and my heart.
I know you will have many questions about this and I request you to keep calm and read this FAQ sheet fully. It will answer most of your questions.
I will not be able to answer your call or Skype with you all for few days. Because I am not ready and I think even you will need time to understand this information and process it fully. I wish I could have told this to you all in a better way, but I lack the courage to say on phone or over skype. I have my LGBT support group here and my best friends who are there to give me support. I would request you to try using the contact numbers in the above website and talk to any parents of LGBT people or their counsellors to have a support group, so that you have someone to talk to about this and understand my situation and your own situation better. Sister, please do this for me, try contacting some numbers in this website and arrange a meeting with them sometime soon.
I will be just a call away but not immediately as we all need to process this and we all need time to come to peace with our thoughts. It’s been an emotional toll on me to write this email and I know very well it was for you all to read it. But I did not want to hide myself from my family, after I discovered myself after so many years.
Dear pappa, please do not be angry towards me, this is not something that I am doing on purpose, I am BORN THIS WAY and my God wants me to acknowledge it! I cannot help it, it’s not a choice I have, but this is who I am, I am attracted to women. I would request you and mamma to please forget about the society for a while and just think about your daughter and the things I am going through. It’s me who is living this and not them. It is no one’s fault, it’s in my nature.
With lots of love, hugs and a wish that you will reply to this email and not avoid me. I respect you all, but please don’t call me immediately I will be unable to answer it pappa, I need you all the most now and an email reply from you whatever it is that you all want to say would give me strength, I love you pappa, mamma and sister, please remember I am the same daughter you have and the same didi you have my little sister, there is just this one thing that you need to accept about me…
All names in this post are pseudonyms