What’s wrong if my friend is a gay?

Kategorilenmemiş 13 Haziran 2007
Henüz Küçük Resim Eklenmemiş

Not all are sexually oriented the way the world sees normal. Those who differ, are often seen as deviants and this creates psychological problems for them. But the good thing is that the views are changing and people are becoming more accommodating.

ONE OF MY friends is a gay. When he first told me about his sexual orientation during the intermission of a movie, my immediate reaction was: “So what!” My friend was happy that I did not view it as a deviant behaviour. He said, “Nothing. Just felt like confiding in you.” And, there he left the matter to rest.

But, he did not know that I could not concentrate on the second half of the movie. I was like: Gaawd, how will he manage to live his life openly and fully in a society that is to a large extent still homophobic? Can he manage to get a partner of his choice — or at least someone who comes closer to his idea of a good partner — in a society where people with a different sexual orientation are expected to conceal their orientation in their closets (so to speak)? Did he tell me about his sexual preferences with something in mind? Did he need my help?

A few days later, when I got a chance to be alone with him, I broached the topic.

“Were you serious when you told me about your sexual preferences the other day at the theatre?” I casually asked.

He looked straight into my eyes, “I was.”

“Well, are you sure about this… . I mean, homoerotic thoughts may occur even to straight guys.”

He smiled at me. “I have asked myself a thousand questions. I have tested where my interests and preferences lie in many different ways. And, I’m sure this is what I want.”

“Are you confident that you will be able to get a life-partner of your choice? See, you may have to do everything on the sly.” I wondered how I could put it.

“I guess I will get someone, someone I like and can trust.”

“Honestly you think so?”

He did not respond to my question immediately. He was staring out of the window. Then he turned to look at me. He paused for a while, and then said:

“You know, it is just a wish, a desire, a hope. After all, even straight guys do not know what they are getting into when they enter into a relationship with a woman of their choice or their parents’ choice.”

“Come on! The cases are totally different. Remember, the laws, customs, the social norms are heavily loaded against you,” I persisted.

“I know,” he said.

There was sadness in his voice, which made me wonder what I was trying to prove to him. That being a gay is not an easy thing in a society which still refuses to come out in support of differently-wired people?

“I am not trying to prove anything that you do not know about our society.” And, I added reassuringly, “I am not even asking you to make efforts to change your orientation.”

“Thanks for that,” he smiled.

“All that I am afraid of is that you should not end up wasting the prime of your life in running after a shadow that may not be there,” I said generally.

“Gaawd, don’t speak metaphorically. Could you put it straight, man?”

We both burst out laughing at the pun that was unintended.

“Ok, let’s get this straight,” I stretched the pun. “You may never get a chance to enter into a meaningful relationship with another man in your lifetime. I mean, you may never get a life-partner at all. And, you may have to be satisfied with chance encounters and one-night stands. You can’t expect commitment and a long-standing relationship. This may sometimes leave you emotionally drained and depressed.”

“You are right,” he concurred sadly.

And then, as an afterthought, he asked me, “Do you advise me to take steps to change my sexual preferences?”

“Not at all. I have made it clear to you already. If you are quite sure that you are wired in a particular way, and find yourself sexually attracted to some men, you can’t do much about it. Or, at least, that’s what I understood from sources that I have gone through. I just wanted you to know what you are getting into,” I said.

“I have thought about it. But, that’s not the problem. You know, my parents have started talking about my marriage. My mother keeps asking me whether I have got any girl in mind.” And then he added, “Whenever they talk about horoscopes, alliances and so on, I feel guilty. I silently admonish God why He made me the way I am. I could have been born a heterosexual just like any other son.”

“You could not work up the courage to tell your parents about this?” I asked.

“Of course. I am afraid what my father would think of me. How can I look at my mother’s face? I can’t bring myself to think of that.”

Then he said, “Can you do it for me? I’m sure you can. Actually, I chose to confide in you that day regarding my sexual orientation because I felt that you could help me.”

I did not expect this. I had expected that he would seek my counsel about some of his predilections. But, I never thought that he would ask me to reveal the truth about his sexual orientation to his parents.

“Please, don’t say no. I can’t think of anyone else doing this. Besides, my father and mother hold you in high esteem.” he added encouragingly.

I thought for a while, and then said that I would fix a meeting with his father the very next day.

Hours that led to the dawn of the next day seemed to move interminably. A night that I spent half-asleep and half-awake had left my mind in a miasma of self-doubts and fears. I thought I would not be able to do it, but went to meet his father anyway.

Perched on the edge of a park bench, I said what I had rehearsed and re-rehearsed the previous night. “Well, uncle, I told you that I wanted to talk about your son….” I began. After revealing the truth about his son’s (my friend’s) sexual preferences, I quickly added what I had learnt about homosexuality, the medical and psychological facts about the same, the awareness about the same in western societies, the lack of awareness about the same in our society, the support groups in western countries, the legalisation of same-sex marriages in many western countries, the renowned personalities and celebrities who were/are gay, and so on and so forth. I told him how we, his son’s friends, did not have any problem with his sexual preferences.

My friend’s father remained motionless. I knew his ears were taking in everything that I was telling him. This gave me the encouragement to analyze all possible scenarios, and explain how his son could be helped.

I told him all that I wanted to tell, and then paused for his response. He looked at me for a while.

“Well, we won’t compel him to marry…anyone…a woman.” There was an awkward pause.

I heaved a sigh of relief. “And, uncle, you have to inform his mother about this. I feel only you can put it across to her in a better way. That’s why, I wanted to meet you alone on this,” I said.

He thought for a while. “I’ll. I’m sure she also can understand. It will of course take a few days for the whole thing to sink in. But, I guess we can manage,” he spoke decisively.

“Bye then, uncle. I’ll meet you next weekend,” I said in a voice that could scarcely hide its relief.

“Thank you, boy,” he paused. Then he added, “I hope you and your friends would always correct my son if and when he goes wrong.”

“We are always there for him, uncle,” I said reassuringly.

He got up to go. Before taking his leave, he smiled at me and said, “My son is lucky to have good friends like you.”

“And, he is luckier to have got an understanding father like you,” I replied. And, I meant it.

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