Tuesday, June 19, 2007

While you were out

I'm a gay guy from Bombay. Like most gay guys I am part of the scene. I chat online. I meet guys. I make friends. I have one night stands. This is what makes me the quintessential urban gay guy. Maybe I'm slightly bolder than the rest as far as my sexuality goes.

Despite all this, it will not come as a surprise to those who are familiar with the gay situation in India that I am still not out of the closet. There are many reasons for that. The most important being the homophobic attitude of the society I am part of. Sure, there are people who might be gay friendly, but on the whole my India is so much in the grips of the sexual taboo that it will be a while before guys like me would not find it hard to come out.

Eventually, I will probably come out to my parents but I can say with almost total conviction that I will not come out to the society at large unless a miracle happens that changes my India dramatically. In spite of all this, my mind keeps wandering into the realms of fantasy where I am out of the closet. I cannot help be think about the freedom I will have. I cannot help but think of being the person that I am without having to hide anything. What if? That's the question that keeps coming to my mind. I know quite a few guys who are totally out of the closet. They are the people who have had the courage to fight the norms of the society. They are the people who believe in making a change rather than waiting for them. They are the people who make me realize what a coward I am. I salute them for it.

If only I had the courage. If only I could do it. What if I was out. My mind has dwelt on this for so long now that I can come up with a thousand reasons why gay guys should come out of the closet. Forget about being an activist. Forget about the rights accorded to us. Forget about the good it will probably do to the "community". It is the smaller things that will make my life a happier one.

Like holding his hands in public.

Like kissing him on the lips as a greeting every time we meet.

Like the soft caress during the romantic scene in the movie without worrying about what others might think.

Like the whispered conversations with my boyfriend at the office party.

Like not having to use an alias when I chat with guys online.

Like not having to act like the macho guy that I'm not.

Like not getting embarrassed of the effeminate guy I met at the GB film fest.

Like wearing a T-shirt that says "I Love Guys" and flaunt it to the world.

Like having the option to be a hysterical queen and rationalize it down to my sexuality (even when I know it would be wrong!).

Like going to watch Brokeback Mountain and not having to hide it from my colleagues or friends.

Like confessing a crush on the hot guy at work (who knows, it might work out).

Like unabashedly eyeing that cute waiter at Brio.

Like going to the school reunion and telling Mr. D'souza, the English, teacher how you were attracted to him back then (and adding it was just a passing fad in case he warms up to the idea!).

Like hitting at the muscular bouncer at the club (and getting "bounced"!).

Like trying to act straight on your Mom's instructions when Aunt Geeta visits and deliberately failing spectacularly (and rejoicing at the thought she'll never visit again).

These are the stuff my dreams are made of. These are the things that make me want to come out. Almost. What are you dreaming of?


Akshay said...

well thats life and till such date things change, one should enjoy what you have
nice article though and u have captured the essence of gay life in mumbai

Kamal said...

I agree with akshay! Nice article indeed!
I think almost every Indian gay will easily identify himself with this article. I certainly did!

What am I dreaming of????? I'm yet to convince myself that some day I have to come out to my family. I'm a little preoccupied with contemplating the consequences of coming out. However, your article helped me realize that there are so many reasons why I should come out....... ;-)

gaykarma said...

For me most importantly coming out would mean that I stop living my life like a lie. At times it's one lie after another.

Mayan - well written. I look forward to reading your blog.