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Born in a conservative Brahmin family, as soon as I turned 25, everybody started asking about when I was planning on getting married. It was easy to avoid the questions at first, but soon they became serious. One day my parents came to me with a proposal from a family friend. Unlike my usual diplomatic tone, I curtly refused. They didn’t persist. However, the next day my father asked me to accompany him to go pick up groceries. I knew what was coming - trapping me in a moving car has been my parents go-to confrontation strategy for years.
DAD: What happened Sanjay? Is there any particular reason why you were so short yesterday?
ME: I’m sorry, I’ve been meaning to apologize for that.
DAD: That’s okay, but I want to know why you’re so against meeting the girl?
ME: Dad…I’m gay.
ME: I’m really sorry to just let it out like this. But I didn’t think there would ever be a perfect time and place to tell you. Hope you understand now why I don’t want to get married to a girl. I know this must be a shock, but I can’t change the way I feel even if I tried.
DAD: Okay...since when have you known this?
ME (in a small voice): Around the time I turned thirteen.
Dad drove silently till we reached home (the groceries were forgotten about). Later the conversation continued.
DAD: Sanjay, I’m really sorry that I wasn’t there for you in your formative years. I’m sure it must’ve been an emotional turmoil. I wish that we’d been more open and I wish you’d thought that you could come to me for advice earlier. I just want to say that now that I know, I’m there for you.
My dad then hugged me and I couldn’t stop sobbing, it was now time to tell my mom.
ME: Hi Ma, I need to talk to you.
MOM: What happened?
ME: Um, no, nothing happened. It’s just that I’ve been meaning to speak to you about something for a while now and I don’t think I’ve figured out how to say it.
MOM: Okay...I’m listening.
ME: No...okay I’m just going to say it. I’m gay.
MOM: I know, Sanjay.
ME: Dad told you?
MOM: No, I’ve known since a while. I spent the night before both of you had ‘The Conversation’, prepping and sweet-talking your father how to go about it.
So they had an idea all along! Mine is definitely a success story amongst many. In fact, my parents shocked me by accepting me the way I am. Even my younger brother, who had found my stash of gay porn years ago, was waiting for me to take my time and come out. The only rule is that no one outside the four of us needs to know about this. Perfect as they may be, they are scared about how relatives and friends would react. But I couldn’t care less, as long as the people I love the most know and still love me, I feel no need to raise a rainbow flag in front of my house...at least not right now.
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