Coming out

So far this blog has been all about Homosexuality and Sikhism, I don’t usually post personal entries but feel this compliments the blog quite well. This is my coming out story.

My mother and I used to have a very strong relationship whilst growing up, we were best friends. I’d always make jokes with her and we’d laugh constantly. I’d look forward to her picking me up from school or the weekends where we’d go and play in the park. Both my parents raised me very well, although I’d always had a stronger emotional bond with my mother.

When I was 21, I was ready to come out to her. She’d raised me to be open and honest, I’d always have her unconditional love, “what’s to lose?” I thought. I sat her down, told her I had something important to reveal. She seemed noticeably concerned, now in usual coming out stories, the child is usual scared, heart beating frantically or stuttering. I was none of these, I was so comfortable around my mum, I could speak without being scared of her reaction, we were that close. When I uttered the words “Mum, I’m Gay”, she looked shocked and her face dropped. Instantly she said, and I remember these words vividly, “don’t worry, we’ll fix you”. I was confused, she didn’t embrace me with a hug or show any happiness towards me, instead she showed sympathy. What was to fix? I’m not ill, I know being Gay isn’t a choice or some crazy curse, but does she? She’s worked with gay people in the past so I didn’t think it would be a big issue, it was.

I was told to stop hanging out with Gay people as they can easily influence me, try and be more of a man. Deep down inside this didn’t sit well, why would I want to do something against my wishes knowing it wouldn’t change anything, but there was an overwhelming urge to please my mother. I knew it’d be easier for her acceptance in the long run, if I tried what she said. We agreed to pray every night to “fix” me and I’d keep a distance from my Gay friends. Usually this would increase a bond between my Mother and I, but this was the moment the bond began to weaken. My father was not to know of this conversation as it would break him. “What about me?” I thought.

Every night, I didn’t pray for a fix, but I prayed for happiness, I prayed for my  parents acceptance. I knew my mother was doing the best she could, she has no idea about Homosexuality except it’s something only Westerners do, so there’s no chance her son was one. Understandbly she thought that I thought I was Gay and it was a passing phase. Everything she did and said was because she loved me and wanted the best for me. The final comments of that conversation severely deflated me, “You’re either my son, or  you’re Gay, not both”. Inside a big bomb had blown up, is my mother disowning me?

Many months past and we never spoke about my sexuality, in fact the next day felt like the conversation didn’t happen at all. I was relieved, I didn’t want to go through any more pain. My mother would occasionally push me back into the closet by saying things like “When you get a wife, we’ll buy you a great house”, or when family members say I should be married soon, Mum’d reply saying, yes he should be married within the year. All lies, she knew it and I knew it. Our relationship was now in shreds, I was short tempered with her (deep down I was hurting, but that’s no excuse), she knew why. We spoke about it briefly twice in the coming 8 years, but it’s safe to say I was pushed back into the closet every time and I didn’t fight to stay out.

By now I was very upset, I did as my mother suggested and no good has come out of it. I had to get out of this, I began learning about homosexuality and also my religion. “Surely if I didn’t choose to be Gay and my religion is an exclusive one, how could she reject me?” I told myself.  I didn’t care whether she did, a parent is one whom loves their child unconditionally and if she’s willing to drop me, then I should accept that and move on. It sounds harsh, but I don’t want her to suffer, I know it sounds bizarre.

Most recently, I came out for the 4th and final time. Before meeting her, I knew what I wanted to say, how I was going to say it and I would be out for good, no going back! We hardly speak so when I arranged dinner, it was unusual, she was a bit nervous as was I. We both knew what the topic was but meandered around different family topics for an hour, it was a nice calm introduction to what could potentially be quite destructive.

I uttered the words, but this time with a much more confidence voice, “Mum, I’m Gay”. She looked bemused and said “I thought we’d dealt with this?”. I told her how I think our relationship has dwindled from her rejection of my sexuality and I really wish to rekindle it. I apologised for my behaviour and she was so relieved, she was so happy that I was speaking to her and wanting to show her love and affection (the Gay issue was sidelined, but I wanted her to be at ease so we continued along this path). We reminisced about my childhood and the good times. I told her I want that back, I want to have fun and jokes with you and I want our bond to be strengthened, “I’m here saying I want to show you love and be more in  you life”. She was happy, but the Gay issue hadn’t been dealt with.

She again tried to imply I should hang out more with straight people. I politely told her I have friends of all colours and sexualitites and I’m not a follower, I know who I am and what I am, no one is going to influence me, even if they did, being a Gay Sikh can be a difficult life, why would I choose it? I then proceeded to tell her about Science proving it’s not a choice and it’s genetic and also about how within Sikhism, we are told to show love and be open and honest with one another. I want to be a better Sikh and this is one step I’m taking. She was shocked, I don’t think she realised how much effort I’d gone to to understand my life as a Gay Sikh.  We spoke in depth about whom I’m come out to within the family and how Sikhism is helping me be more strong. She listened a lot, didn’t show any anger, showed interested instead. I felt as if I was educating my own mother.

We spoke about finding girls attractive which I found awkward! However, it had to be done, I had to tell her, I didn’t find women sexually attractive but instead men. She then told me to try being straight, which was pointless. I used the analogy about being born with blonde hair and wishing to be brown, you can cover it up, but you’ll always know deep down you’re blonde and that’s the REAL you. I don’t want a life of misery, I don’t want a marriage of convenience and I certainly don’t want a divorce! She began to understand.

We left with me saying I’ll answer all the questions she has and will be honest. However I didn’t want to push for her opinion straight away, instead told her to think about it and come back to me when she’s ready. A lot had been said and she needed time to process.

Since then, we’ve texted a lot more regularly and each text ends with a smiley, so things are looking good. She told me she doesn’t want to lose me, she won’t.

 

 

  • http://jaikalicharity.co.uk Guru , Ji , Singh

    In 20 years of seeing sangat , I have come across many people like your self in the end enjoyed life with each other . Having said that , I have encourged many parents to aceept it and move on .At 1st they were like your mother than after time they accepted the fact than things were back to normal .
    I deal with Sikh community quite a lot and have seen open Gay Sikh who have been trowed out the family’s house , * it’s very sad , NOT IN 2013 ,
    If any Gay Sikh need help and advice please point them in my direction , they will be HELPED . FREE
    I hope this will help many Gay Sikh’s
    If you or your followers wish to comment please blog me .
    Thanking for reading my input .
    Guru , Ji , Singh

  • http://jaikalicharity.co.uk Guru , Ji , Singh

    Any Gay Sikh or there parents can comment on my previous comments .
    Oh , Yes I am millenimun Baba , not B.C. 2000

  • http://www.sikher.com Jasdeep Hari Bhajan Singh Khalsa

    This is an absolutely beautiful, touching story. Thanks for sharing something so personal and so profound! This article will certainly help those who are gay to come to terms with it and also give them the courage to come out.

    Sikhs and the human race in general has a lot to learn and understand about how you can’t fit a person into any kind of box – that each person is an individual with different qualities, traits and preferences – including sexual preferences.

    As a society we shy away from being unique and have an idea of what is ‘normal’. Anything that veers away from that sense of ‘normality’ is shunned or marginalized.

    People think in small-minded, single-perspective terms using religion or culture or the status quo as ammunition to further their own corrupted belief systems and ideologies that have clearly not derived from religion or society but instead from their wounded experiences, wounded hearts and wounded sense of self. In basic terms, all these things derive from a lack of self acceptance.

    We must all work hard to undo our corrupted belief systems which we all suffer from. Ideas are powerful things, because we turn ideas into realities. We turn thoughts into actions. We turn emotions into decisions.

    In order to overcome our habits we must learn greater emotional control, we must learn to accept all parts of ourselves and we must learn to assert our true nature whilst at the same time remembering to be compassionate and understanding the other more than they understand themselves.

    • Veer

      So inspiring comment. Thank you mate.

  • Virginia

    In my studies of Guru Nanak, I feel certain that if he was with us today, he would welcome all people, just as they are.

  • Jonathan

    This is a very touching story. Soon your mother will read your blog and be proud. And when she comes to this blog entry, she will cry for the hurt you went though and all the difficulty you faced because of ignorance. But after this your relationship will be stronger than ever before.

  • http://idonthaveone.com Inspired Gay Indian

    keep on keepin on, friend. Your story is inspiring at the least. I wish you happiness and prosperity today and always!

    • Gay Sikh

      That’s very nice, thank you :-)

  • Anonymous

    I have finally somewhat accepted that I am gay. But when I bring the topic up about people being gay, my parents address it as a problem and how it’s not right. My mom is a bit more understanding of gay people but my parents will be so disappointed with me if I tell them. I don’t know what to do. I am only 16.

    • Gay Sikh

      Hi there

      The first step is knowing you are doing nothing wrong and you aren’t a disappointment to anyone! You have taken the first steps of being honest to yourself and in time everyone around you will see that. Don’t feel as if you need to come out to your parents, do it when it feels right but never lie to them. If you feel your mother is more accepting maybe speak to her about it first. If this isn’t possible, is there anyone in your extended family you can rely on?

  • Anonymous

    Hi there! I’ve read your blog a bit and it’s refreshing to see that there are other gay Sikhs out there too, we sadly have virtually NO representation or role models and it was starting to get tough for me.

    I’m a bi-sexual eighteen year old turban wearing Sikh guy who’s currently in his first year of university, and I’m living at home with my parents. For my second year, I want to move out and I’ve been allowed to do so – to get that authentic university experience. I was reflecting upon decisions I’ve made in my life thus far and what I am and who I am and I have realized I am not living true to myself.

    I’ve never truly wanted to follow any religion – I’ve just gone along with it because it was the ‘right’ thing to do and my father’s grandfather was the village saint and my whole family is naturally viewed as super-religious and amazing and perfect etc. But I never signed up for this! I don’t want to follow a religion – period. I’ve never liked the idea of it, but I’m not saying I don’t appreciate the people that DO follow it.

    I just want to break free and live my own life and moving out is a crucial part in that. But here’s the catch. I cut my hair a year ago because I was facing serious mental health stress and didn’t know what to do and no one was listening to me. However, in order to “protect the honour” of the family, my parents forced me to continue tying a turban everyday and not revealing the foolish mistake I had made. But it WASN’T a mistake, I seriously do not want to follow a religion or do anything that I don’t believe in. And I’m not here to get a lecture on Sikhism, I just want to know how I can move out, cut my hair again, come out and be my own person without ruining the lives of so many people that look up to me and regard me as this super-lovable religious guy. But that’s not me, I’ve been playing a role for the past eighteen years of my life and enough is enough.

    I love my parents and they do so much for me, but they honestly need to let me go and do my own thing! I feel like I’m going crazy and no one really understands me. Please get me some advice, I don’t even know who to turn to anymore.

    • Gay Sikh

      Hey Anon,

      Thanks so much for taking the time to read my blog and post a comment, I can imagine seeking help can be difficult so I genuinely appreciate you reaching out in the form of your comment.

      I think moving out for university has it’s pro’s and con’s. The pros are obvious (freedom etc), but the cons not so much. Some people can completely go off the tracks, especially if they have been leading a sheltered life.

      Following a religion is a personal matter, no one should ever tell anyone what they should or should not do. Whilst I am saddened to hear you don’t believe in religion, it’s important for you to know ultimately, your parents want your happiness. Do you think you know enough about Sikhism to reject it? When I was younger, I felt similarly to you in the way that I wanted to fit in and I didn’t want a turban. When exploring my sexuality, Sikhism helped me immensely, showing homophobia SHOULDN’T exist and I have done nothing wrong.

      You sound very frustrated with how your parents have been treating you. Try and see it from their point of view, they only want what’s best for you. They are trying their hardest to give you a good successful life and they believe it’s by enforcing Sikhism in your daily life. If wearing a turban doesn’t suit you, then you must speak up. Explain to them how you feel, they cannot force you to feel a certain way. So many look up to you because you are a good person who seems to have good values. You care about your parents, you don’t want to cause any grief. Unfortunately running away is not a solution, if you leave, others WILL get upset, it will cause lots of harm and you will end up feeling guilty. It might sound like an easy escape now, but long term can be damaging.

      I would recommend you to speak from the heart with your parents about your state of mind, reason with them and tell them what you want to do.

      You are not alone, so many kids have super strict parents. This is not your parents fault, they don’t know any better. In my opinion, giving your child a little bit of freedom is healthy.

      Please think about it, and feel free to email me personally admin@gaysikh.com if you don’t wish to reply publicly :)

      • Anonymous

        Hey there again, thanks so much for replying so quickly!

        As far as it goes for Sikhism, I know more than enough and it’s a wonderful religion and it’s taught me a lot about acceptance and love, but I just don’t want to have the physical aspect of it. I don’t want a turban or beard, even if our ancestors fought for these rights. In my opinion, we don’t need to stand out physically, and should only be judged basically on our actions. I’m one who won’t ever smoke, drink, or eat meat, and all I want is to live my life freely without having to look a certain way.

        My mother once told me that the turban is to stand out in the crowd, but I’ve often thought about how I DON’T want to stand out! I have a boyfriend at the moment and keeping my sexuality a secret and living my life in someone else’s “character” is not making me feel great. I have no say as to what I want to do, even if my parents wish the best for me.

        They’ve allowed me to move out, which is great. I’ll definitely stay true to my morals and values and won’t ever do something sinful, but all I ask is that I shouldn’t be forced to live my life in their way. Is that a lot to ask? Am I being selfish?

        Life is seriously way too short, so why can’t I be allowed to live it my way?

  • http://lianghh.blogspot.com Ahuv

    Hi Anonymous, I followed your conversation and I have been very moved by your story. I hope that soon, you will feel free and happy. I have two different thoughts for you:
    Having a child growing into an adult, every parent will have to accept at some point that your grown up kids will make their own decisions based on their own personal experiences and understanding. You are an adult now, so do share your views with your parents just like you have shared them in this comment with us. Your parents should not dismiss you as an unknowing child. Maybe you will make them see things from a different perspective. I know there are many Sikhs who choose to cut their hair but still live by the values of Sikhism. There are also people who choose not to label their ethics and believes (i.e. not to follow a certain religion) and still are good human beings.
    I know that when one grows up to become adult, it feels very liberating to stand up against the perceived oppression of others, especially your parents. Teenagers are known to be rebels! I am now 26, so I kinda grew out of that. I would advise you not to act too quickly. Perhaps having this conversation with your parents, other Sikhs or friend might make you see other reasons or perspectives of wearing a distinguishable symbol of your faith. Life is a non-stop journey for learning. I don’t know in which country you live but be sure that you don’t abandon your family’s tradition only because you want to fit in with the wider society. Children in school are often are pressured to fit in. I myself was the same. In university I shifted to an understanding that having a unique identity to be proud of can be a huge blessing. If everyone was the same, how boring would the world be? I am not Sikh but having talked to Sikh people about their faith, I think that Sikhism is a beautiful religion with so many great ethics and if you have been brought up with these values, you can be proud of it and show it off to the world. Every religion and culture is contributing to the beautiful heritage of humankind. I am sure that in your life time, you will enrich others peoples’ life with your understanding and views. Perhaps, some of these views are the product of you being brought up as Sikh. So wearing a symbol of your faith could help you to attract another persons interest in asking about these values?

    Just two thoughts of mine. Whatever way you go, may you be blessed.

  • sikh.dons

    Listen ahuv i dont no what you r but it def ain sikh. Sikhism rejects gays and 99 percent of sikhs now this hardly any of us support gay sikh he is a joke . I live in canada and we have a proper community here and we know being gay is agaonst sikhism i mean why else do you think we dont allow gay marriages in the gurdwara

    • Gay Sikh

      Hi there, Sikhism doesn’t reject gays. It’s an all inclusive religion. Your remarks are very anti sikh. What proof have you got (besides being culturally affected) that 99% of Sikhs reject homosexuality? I think you may be severely mistaken.

  • Gianfranco

    Hi! I’m from Italy. I’m native italian, not sikh, but today I took part at Vaisakhi parade in an italian town. It was wonderful: so many colours, foods, songs, smiles. I was invited by an indian who lives in Italy. During the parade, he told me that a man has to marry (a woman). So, me too, I have to marry. I didn’t tell him about my sexuality, but I asked myself: what colud be his reaction, if I tell him I’m gay? Please, can you answer this question, considering that he’s a traditional sikh?
    Thanks

    • Gay Sikh

      Hi Gianfranco,

      Really happy to hear you joined the Vaisakhi parade and even more importantly that you enjoyed it! Sikhism is all about equality and inclusivity, so it’s really good to hear you were invited :) Obviously I would disagree with your friend in that a Sikh must get married to a member of the opposite sex. How did the conversation of marrying come up? Did you ask or do you think he may know about your sexuality and was thereby hinting?

      The idealist in me would say he wouldn’t find it a problem, but alas, as you know there are many homophobes in this world. If he is a very religious person, he would know that everyone is equal and no one should be judged (it’s the reason we have the same surnames and also sit on the floor when in the Gurdwara). So in that respect it shouldn’t matter to him. If he believes that Sikhs cannot be Gay, even then he shouldn’t have a problem with your sexuality as you aren’t a Sikh.

      From the negative responses I get from this blog, I would say about 80% say they don’t judge being Gay, but don’t think it fits in with Sikhism. So I would like to think it wouldn’t make a difference to him, and if it does and you are close, you may need to either 1) understand where the homophobia is coming from, or 2) realise that he may not be a true friend.

      I hope this helps!

  • NS

    Hello!

    I just wanted to let you know that as a gay sikh myself, your blog has helped me find comfort and support within myself and be proud of my identity. I recently came out to my parents this past thanksgiving and I know its going to be a battle but educating them day by day, with the help of your blog, and allowing open communication I feel are critical. As you mentioned, LGBT topics are not discussed in the South-Asian community so by talking about them on a daily basis can really help defeat the stigma within the family household. Also one of the main concerns my parents had was the ability to have children and I reassured them that with modern technology, that will not be an issue. I feel lucky to have somewhat supportive parents even though they are still in denial, but I just wanted to thank you for this blog!

    Love from the US!

    • Veer

      Hey Mate,
      Kudos to your parents for understanding and willing to take a step towards acceptance. Things must have changed for better by now I am sure.
      Cheers

  • David

    Thank you from the USA. <3

    • Gay Sikh

      :-)

  • BKQ

    Hi, I am Sikh gay 31 year old in marriage for 8 years. I wish our society more accepting. It is so crazy to be in relationship you don’t want to be in. I am not out but I feel so heavy every day feel like I can’t live like this for rest of my life. FEEL FRUSTRATED. Good to read all the comments in support of gay people.

    • Veer

      Hey Mate, sending good vibes your way. Life is tough but so are you.
      Cheers

      • Manni

        Hii

    • David Boling Jr.

      I am wondering how you are going six months later. I hope better. I do wish that you could be honest and live out your life according to your true self. I am sending as much peace so can to you and love and an unexpected joy, my friend. You are forced into a situation that makes you feel awful but close your eyes and know that you are beautiful and in the eyes of God you are perfect. My heart to your heart, David

  • nirmal

    Id rather accept a gay sikh than one who romances western women! Im straight but i find gay people more respectful of others. Ur haters got issues so they can eat tatti. U rock n i hope u find a great guy! If u already have one im sure ur an adorable couple!