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What Being Gay Means To An 18 Year Old From Kalamboli, Mumbai

What Being Gay Means To An 18 Year Old From Kalamboli, Mumbai

Hello, all. I’m Shreedhar Sawant. Currently, I am pursuing my 12th from Commerce stream and I reside in Kalamboli, Navi Mumbai. I would say that I am an introvert. And I am also a very cute and caring person. I like to spread love and positivity amongst all and I also like to take a stand wherever needed and raise my voice against illogicality or obsolete prevalent ideologies. And being gay has not changed any of that.

My Childhood was a box of golden memories.

Picture of shreedhar and his father/being gay

My childhood is a box of golden memories. I had everything I wanted. And I was sort of a pampered kid. I got all the love and affection from my parents.

Once, I just asked my dad that I want a horse for myself, then the very next day, he had literally purchased two horses for me. Later on, I even got my sweet little sister, she played an important role in my childhood. Our fights, love, plays, everything is way too mesmerizing. So, all in all, my childhood was awesome. And for this, I am really grateful to my parents to give me one of my best memories in my life of my childhood.

Unfortunately, three years back, we lost dad. At that moment, I felt that everything in my life is over. But, my Mom never made us feel his absence. She still gives us the same love and care as he would have.

Being gay in India.

Picture of Shreedhar/being gay

What does being Gay mean?

It is not merely just sleeping with the same sex, it is a life of its own. Living life the way you want, loving someone you want and love. It is beyond desire and lust of the same-sex.

Talking of India, there isn’t much of a gay culture. Gays in India, according to me are subjugated in many aspects of life. People from our community in India are in a real sense truly good; they are helpful, cooperative and most are well educated. There are many parties and events organized by many NGOs like Yaariyan, etc. According to me, the homophobic people think gay culture only means wearing a women’s attire and roaming on the streets.

Actually, if you try to explain homophobic people about what being homosexual is, they may change their perspective. Obviously not in the first shot, but in some time, surely.

Meeting new people.

Picture of shreedhar/ being gay

 

Until now the people I have met people from our community through dating apps and their friends of friends. I have never yet encountered anyone on streets and neither from any social media sites. Rather, I am not on social media. It is not quintessential to be on social media. I use my time reading articles or news columns. And thanks to you guys at FSOG for that, I really appreciate your initiative about publishing news materials.
It actually is risky to meet people online. But I make sure, that the person I meet is not a hoax or fake. So, in this case, I’m good at it.

Coming out as gay to the family.

Actually, I am not yet open to my family or friends. I have tried telling my mom but, she is a single parent and she is scared to accept the fact and just refused to talk on this topic.

I personally haven’t experienced how it is to be openly gay. But once I am financially able, I surely will come out to everyone. Being openly gay would be a better thing to do, because, you won’t have to go through the fear and trauma on a daily basis. For me, I think we should take the courage and say with pride that ‘Yes I am Gay ‘.I know it is not as easy at it sounds . All parents are not the same. People are of different ideologies

Let us talk more about the community.

About the community, if you would ask, roughly two years ago, I was going through some news articles. There I saw a headline named ‘LGBT+ Community ‘. Out of curiosity, I did some research on what it actually meant. I read what it does, it’s activities, management, and everything. To be honest, I didn’t believe that such a community even exists in a country like ours, who take gender stereotypes in their own senses. When I went to college I met one of my seniors, he introduced me to his friends. Since then I started knowing more of the community and how it is trying helping all of us out.

My contribution to the community.

shreedhar and his friends/being gay

One thing I have always wanted to do for the community is to build a kind of a home for people of our community, who have been told to leave their houses just for being gay.

I have always had that fear if my mother doesn’t accept me for being gay, where will I go. So, I want to make a kind of a home for all of us. Not only this, I even want to spread awareness amongst all. More importantly, parents. You should be lucky to have a kid who is gay. Break all the societal gender stereotypes and make equal opportunities in India.

India has many gay youths who are in colleges and feel scared to come out to their friends. For those, I want to create a body or council in every college which deals with the problems of gay students. Where one can be free to themselves.

Gay people get more depressed as compared to straight people. On the contrary, here I would want to make a place or a call service where people can talk to someone if they are feeling low and not getting anyone to talk to. Here they can share their feelings and get themselves calmed down.

Education helps majorly.

Education plays a major role in the uplifting of our community. If you see, people who are educated and well known about stuff are not homophobic or discriminative. Not only straight people should be educated but for our betterment, even gays should be educated. Hence they can fight for their rights. Our community faces issues that are caused by people who are not well-known of the fact what a gay is. If we are educated and try to explain and make them understand what we are, I surely think one day we will have achieved it all.

Well, some people or rather most people think that it is better to stay in foreign countries if they are being gay. Eventually, even I used to think before about it, but later on, I gave it a thought. And that thought is that this is my country and I have to fight for my rights and existence and acceptance.

It’s all in our hands, what we sow, so shall we reap. And never feel ashamed of the thought that you are gay . Being gay should make you feel special. Shine out amongst all and spread love and positivity to everybody. Be safe and smile out to all.

Next read: Voice Of The Community: A Transgender Woman Reaching Out To Thailand

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