“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
Living by these words, Sanket Sveronic – a cosmetologist & a blogger – has worked hard to emerge stronger than ever, currently a part of the core organizing committee of Gay World India, and has managed to have a very optimistic outlook on his past.
“The time when I realized that I am always attracted to men instead of women, I was just 18. I was not sure what was happening to me. I was not even aware about the LGBT community.”
It always serves to be very difficult if one tries to confide in the ones they love the information which might harm their relationship. Post extensive research about his sexual identity, he decided to overcome his reluctance and share his identity with his family members.
“I came out to my best friend first and she wasn’t surprised. Her acceptance of my identity gave me a bit of confidence and I embarked on sharing the same with mother. Indirectly at first, gradually I started dropping bigger hints that I would not be marrying a girl. My mother, being a bit conservative, took it as a joke. I never wanted to drop the bomb directly. Yet, after many days of sharing the indirect anecdotes I shared with her that I was attracted to guys.”
The careful consistent approach had all gone in vain when it led to an upheaval
“Emotional drama had knocked our doors. My family tried to explain to me how it was a just a phase. Meanwhile, our extended family started taunting my parents. I decided to leave my house. I can only talk to my mother, sister and brother in law from my family.”
As far as his peers were concerned, he states
“I was bullied and harassed. Our society bends us to follow certain conventions. I failed to comply to them since school days itself. I was “feminine” for them. Name calling -such as “Bayma”, “Goud” etc. – was a routine. I was depressed and some days I would cry out loud. Nobody stood by me.”
He had earlier shared an unfortunate account from his schools days where he entrusted his secret to a close classmate. Later betrayed by the same person, he was subjected to intense bullying. He later was sexually assaulted by five of his peers. Verbal abuse took a physical toll; Sanket was kicked punched, slapped and forced to perform oral sex- which he refused. Lying down in his abject state, he was left bloodied and naked on the floor.
Though, it becomes difficult to believe how savage some people can act towards others. Sanket clearly believes that this sort of apathy is the repercussion of ignorance. To this, Sanket agrees and says
“People need to understand that some of them are unable to live our life the way we want and the people have to struggle and fight for their identity, and basic Human Rights. It is imperative for Sex education to be provided in schools. Educating everyone about LGBT is the only to find acceptance and equality for all. We are in the 21st century and have access to everything possible. The mindset has still managed to not change”
Sanket shares his message to everyone
“The struggle for acceptance is slow for the LGBT community. The only message I have for people currently is to be let go of their inhibitions and focus on succeeding in life. Once they do that, they either have support or they don’t. I pretty much walked alone. Successful or powerful people tend to be accepted just the way they are. It is difficult for one to come out. At the end of the day, acceptance comes from success.”