A digital magazine on sexuality, based in the Global South: We are working towards cultivating safe, inclusive, and self-affirming spaces in which all individuals can express themselves without fear, judgement or shame
a gay man's daughter: silhouette of a man holding up his daughter
CategoriesHuman Rights and SexualityThe I Column

A Gay Man’s Daughter

Before talking about the topic, I myself want to understand sexuality. Is it only sexual orientation? Growing up, we are conditioned to think that girls are only supposed to be in relationships with boys and vice versa. But a conflict occurred in my life when I saw a contradiction at home: I saw a very close relative of mine involved in sexual activity with a person of the same sex. I was in shock; it was traumatic for me.  Days passed, years passed, and I kept witnessing this. I could not share this with anyone, as the relative was none other than my father. I never saw him being intimate with my mother. My sister was too young to understand this. I was stuck between the real and the fake. My mother knew about my father and it affected their relationship. My mother sometimes told me,“I am in this relationship just because of you children.”

Was it my father’s fault? Initially, I thought it was, but then I started understanding that he was helpless in such a situation. How difficult it was to survive in a world where he had to fake a relationship with his wife, though he respected her a lot, and to fulfill his sexual desires elsewhere, at the same time. He was a victim sometimes, when his male partners took huge amounts of money in return for promising to satisfy his desire, and never turned up.

Growing up, I developed an interest in knowing more about this topic. Were there more people like my father? Was it legal? I read about sexual diversity and how people of all sexual orientations should have the same rights[1], the LGBT community, and so on, and what the law says about them. Though the picture is not a completely happy one, a lot of work is going on in this area and there is still hope for the future.

My father is no more, but he is still the one who gives me the strength to cope with difficult situations, just as he had done throughout his life. He had always encouraged my mother’s freedom to make choices, as somewhere, he felt guilty about marrying her against his own wishes and succumbing to societal pressure. But one thing that I know, that cannot be denied,is that he loved her. For me, this was and will always be the most special thing to remember.

 

[1]Under international human rights law, all persons have the right to control and decide freely on matters related to their sexuality; to be free from violence, coercion, or intimidation in their sexual lives; to have access to sexual and reproductive health care information, education, and services; and to be protected from discrimination based on the exercise of their sexuality. From: https://sexualrightsinitiative.com/sexual-rights

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Cover Image: Public Domain

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