My coming out story was pretty uneventful in the end. There were bumps, of course, but they were all smoothed out eventually. I’ve mostly been accepted, and the only people who denounced me were those I didn’t really care about. So, I can easily be called a privileged gay.
But it doesn’t make me feel better. It should, in some way, because it means I don’t have to deal with all the trauma that many of my queer peers go through. And yet, that is exactly why I can’t feel happy about it because I know that gay people still deal with that trauma.
I don’t know what it’s like to see the people closest to you turn away. Avoid you at all costs because you are gay. I will never know how it feels when a parent denounces you as their child, simply because you love who you love. And, harshest of all, I will never know the bitter confusion over my own sexuality.
I knew who I was by the age of 12. Before that, it wasn’t in my peripheral. From 12 years of age, I experimented with two guys. And, cluey as I was then, I just accepted that I like men.
Sure, I dated women. It was almost a custom considering everyone else was doing it, but even then I knew it wasn’t my thing. And by the ripe young age of 18, it was already part of me. Like an innate trait. As if I’ve been doing it all along.
Of course, by then, everyone knew. My friends knew, my siblings knew, hell, even my parents. When I told them I had something to say, they already knew. I will never understand the fear of coming out.
And yet, privileged as I am, it’s not comforting. It almost feels like I’ve cheated in life. Because I know that not everyone is as privileged as me. There are kids, even today, getting kicked out of home for being gay. Gay people are getting bashed for being who they are. And far too many of my peers are on the verge of ending their life. And I want to tell them it gets better, but I just don’t know what it’s like to be in that situation.
All I can say is that being gay is not a crime. Your sexuality is not a fault that you need to apologise for. It just is. It’s not like you did something bad and are being punished for it. All that happened is your brain decided to like the same sex. Just like your brain decides your favourite food. You can’t explain why you like certain things. You can allude to the attributes, but not everyone likes the same attributes.
We are gay because we are born this way. And if people don’t like it, that is their problem and their problem alone.
Feature image: Mercedes Mehling on Unsplash