Homophobia & Mental Health: 5 Woke Discussions I've Had With My Desi Parents

Homophobia & Mental Health: 5 Woke  Discussions I've Had With My Desi Parents

Our parents are our first and greatest teachers. But as we grow, our equation with our parents start to change as well. In my case, from acting like a rebellious teen to feeling homesick after leaving my home for college, I went through all the phases at different points in my life. Talking about our current equation, I can safely say that I love my parents unconditionally but we frequently agree to disagree. 

In fact, most of our disagreements happen because we have different opinions on various aspects of life and whatever that's happening in our world. While they sometimes like to believe that I lack their worldly experience, I tend to think that they can be broader in their approach. And for that matter, I had some really interesting conversations with them in recent times that were quite woke to say the least. Want to know what they reacted? Read on to know more.

5 Woke Moments With My Parents & Their Honest Reaction

NGL, some of these conversations made me highly uncomfortable. In fact, I'm sure my parents too were quite baffled because they pretty much said so themselves. From explaining social norms that are toxic to re-introducing them to the LGBTQA+ community with the right facts and info, here are some of the woke moments I shared with my parents and their honest reactions.

Hey Dad, Our Political Views Don't Match!

I realised quite early that my father does not really have a problem with the fact that I have an opinion about everything, but he struggles to accept that my individual opinions do match with that of his. Yep, fathers have a hard time grasping that their little princesses are all grown up now and have political views of their own.

Moreover, my father had the tendency of believing EVERYTHING that the media channels and WhatsApp forwards said. It took me a while to explain to him that facts go beyond that. We had our fair share of arguments and while he was a little adamant at the beginning, he eventually came around. And now, I often find him using multiple mediums to stay in touch with unbiased facts. In fact, last night I made him follow some social media pages and journalists who tend to do their jobs in an honest manner.

Seriously, if my 60-something father can unlearn so much to stay updated with this new world, what's stopping others?

What Do You Mean By 'Shaadi Nahi Karni'?

I'm 27 and employed, and in my family, that means that I'm ready for marriage. Now, my parents asked me quite sincerely if I had a boyfriend and if I'd like to introduce him to them. While I appreciated the gesture, I'm not dating anyone. So the next step was, for them to find me a 'suitable guy' aka arranged marriage and that's where the problems began.

I explained to them that I don't want to marry for now as I'm not ready for such huge responsibilities. Moreover, I enjoy being single. I'm not going to lie, their reactions were not pleasant and I was even asked if I'm 'under the influence of addictive elements'. In short, after several attempts at decoding what 'I don't want to marry' means (there's no hidden meaning, for real!), we have reached an impasse. As a result, every now and then they come up with a good rishta that I turn down politely. The drama that follows later? Yep. Can't escape that.

Shedding Away Homophobia

"So you're saying that homosexuality is natural? It's not a western trend? It's not a 'problem'?"

Yes, there was a time when my parents were homophobic because they did not have the right information about the LGBTQA+ community. But, I'm glad I had a meaningful discussion with my parents that I believe I should have had long back.

I know my parents were quite uncomfortable when we first discussed the LGBTQA+ community but now, they are more than happy to ask me questions and work on their homophobia. In fact, I connected my mother with a friend of mine who recently came out and that helped a lot as well.

Honestly, before we start sharing stories on our social media pages, we really need to start having meaningful conversations at home. 

Sorry, I'm Not Gonna Ask My Future Husband For His 'Permission'

A few years ago, during a conversation, I heard some relatives say something about a cousin along the lines of 'she's lucky that her husband is so understanding and allows her to do late-night shifts'. My mother instantly replied that she hoped that I got a similar 'understanding' husband.

Okay, hold on now. That's when I made my mother explain that a) how is it 'lucky' to have someone who understands your career goals and b) what do you mean by 'allow'?

Turns out, my mother resented sexism and patriarchal culture as much as I did (obviously) but also worried that ache ladke jaldi milte kaha hai! Guess what mom? I'm in no hurry and also in no mood to feel 'lucky' to get a bare minimum from a guy. At the end of the end day, all women want equality, right?

Discussing My Mental Health

I was diagnosed with clinical anxiety a few years ago and have been struggling with it since a very young age. However, it was only recently that I opened up about my mental health to my mother. I always hesitated in doing so because I believed that no one would understand. How wrong I was!

Not only did my mother understand me, but she was also the first person to explain that it was okay for me to not be okay. In fact, she persuaded me to consult a therapist and even offered to accompany me to my sessions.

These woke moments with my parents really helped them understand me better. And it's brought us closer than ever! So learn how to have these discussions with your folks, they might surprise you!

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