I went for an LGBT walk in Mumbai. Being a straight guy, it never really, occurred to me – That a courteous conversation can be had with these beings. I met this interesting person, who came for the walk. Lora Dona is a fashion student, who works as a part time waiter at a cafe in Mumbai. She & I have a conversation about opening up on being gay, and standing with the LGBT.
When did you actually – really realize that your sexuality is different compared to the people around you? Was coming out at that time fearing and dangerous for you?
Well, coming out as gay when I was 15. I was terrified. My family and life – I thought it could be lost in a minute. Plus, AIDS was and is, till today, something that’s to think about though it’s associated (inaccurately) with men, who were gay. I realized it was always there. Because men never really meant that much to me. I tried to have a man and keep an open mind. But the things I did at that time weren’t doing me any good.
Who knew first? Why did you confess to her or him?
It was a close – female friend. I was encouraged by her to share the truth with our immediate circle (friends) as they’d all been discussing it anyway!
How did you come out to the family? How did they take it or what was there reaction? Were there any thoughts when it came to acceptance?
The Elder Brother! He is one thing I regret doing. I told him the truth and trusted him. You know… thinking he is smart and could or would help me. I made a request to him in private. Not to tell anyone until I can accept it or speak on the issue. I needed time to figure out things. But that did not go so well. I came to know the next day, my mother was told by my brother and that she was upset. In fact, whatever she was told. Like he made it see, that it’s wrong to be gay. I was disappointed by him.
My next task was to inform my father about my little secret, which at that time, felt weird. But things went well.
Are your parents supportive about your sexuality?
Are or Aren’t? Well, the parents that I have got will never really be supportive. I mean, I can’t really blame them. Knowing things, each parent expects their child to grow up well. Be straight, have children and become grand. But to a family, whose name can be carried to the next generation. But the family, they aren’t supportive. In fact, I think it’s safe to say, that brother definitely, is not supportive of me being gay. At times, the mother threatens to disown me. However, every now and then, we have fought. But she is trying to be smart about the situation.
The Mother! The Brother! The word MY isn’t there. Why?
Darling! I would have said MY. But they don’t deserve it with the words they give me.
What does your dad have to say about it?
What does my father have to say about this? He never really bothered that much about me being gay. I think he was one person, who never got me to hate him. It’s one reason as to why I listen to him, though we never speak that much.
The Situation – How hard did it get when it came to accepting things that were happening around you?
The Situation – It was difficult for me! I cried for days and days! My brother always would try to break me. In the front, there would be a face that’s strong and not scared. However, there were tears of pain and non – acceptance running at the back. It was after a year that I made the decision to bother and help others, which did help me to forget things and have a life I liked.
So, everyone came to know that you were gay?
Of Course, people knew I was gay. And I was a lady too. Not a Gypsy! LOL
Who all have you met in the community?
Once I got to know some Trans – Women in real life. I had then realized that being gay. It was like I had more in common with them than my gay brothers. There was this thought that came to mind – I allowed my emerging sexuality to confuse me about my gender earlier. The LGBT community, it was from there on-wards, things began to change.
What do you see in the words GAY & LESBIAN?
I see Gays as males and Lesbians as females. Though we use GAY for both sides! People like us don’t really, like the word. But over time, we’ve accepted that it’s a word. Not the way we are. We consider ourselves as human beings, who live like others.
How can you help the LGBT community?
To be honest, there are times, where I feel that the Trans in LGBT don’t get to speak much. I mean, about the issues or how they feel. I see that Gays as males and Lesbians as females. Though we use the word GAY for both sides! Bisexuals, there are another gender that needs to be figured. But the Trans, I feel that they are still stuck somewhere in the middle of things. They seem to still be treated badly, worse than gays and lesbians. But still, I think we should not be a community, just humanity. I mean, we all are humans. Why can’t we get along with each other? Who cares that we’re different? Why do they feel like accepting us is like a frightening expedition? Why can’t we leave our so called PRIDE & EGO? I know these aren’t everyone’s questions. But is it so difficult to do so little?
How can you help those who do not accept the LGBT community?
Explain to People – What is LGBTQ+? What do people like us feel? How must the situation be addressed? What would happen if you were in our shoes? What would you do? I ask people to think about these things and then make a decision? To accept us for whom we are. I never really force like others. I tell them that I am human like them. But the preference is a bit different, which then leads to acceptance.
Is there any message for the public?
I have a message. It is for both the sides. That’s straight guys and women. I request the ego to be left at home and take time to get to know us and the LGBT community. I request the LGBT not to create much a deal about things. Because we are all humans and we have to live on one planet earth. Not another next six or seven.