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I Column: I Can See Clearly Now

A photo of a landscape, with a river floating by and mountains in the background. The clouds overhead are clear against the blue sky, and a flock of birds are seen flying, one of them ducking down close to the water.

I knew that I was gay since time knows when. The society made me know. Be it my friend’s snarky remarks or my family’s excessive ‘concern.’ Everyone had their own way of amplifying my ambiguity. Being born and brought up in the city of Delhi, had its pros but cons as well. It wasn’t until I turned 23 that I decided it wasn’t going to go away, and I needed to start accepting who I was. I was really scared, depressed, angry, and felt alone during the initial phase of accepting myself.

I always wanted to be a designer but my family had their own notions of using the word designer interchangeably with the term ‘gay’. This always acted as a deterrent for me and kept me from  fulfilling my dreams. I ended up following the norms and being as ‘normal’ as I could be. I did my graduation, followed by a post-graduation, then got a job with a multinational corporation. However, my soul was detached from all that I did. In the beginning, I was petrified. Trying to figure out what I wanted from life was like looking for a needle in a haystack. I was sure that I was not the person I always dreamed of being.

The discontent in me built up so much that I needed to do something about it. I remember one day a friend of mine took me to a house party where I met many gay people and moreover, many gay couples. This was the day that I could breathe properly. I could finally see clearly. Something of that sort had never happened to me. Being surrounded by straight people made me scared of who I am and who I want to be. An eye opener. So, that day indeed  came in as a revolution for me. It validated everything inside and outside of me. I was more confident and ready to face the snide remarks from people around me. Their words could no more harm me. I started meeting more people of my kind to feel more comfortable and enjoy my life. I confronted my straight friends as well and told them about myself. They had their prejudices but they accepted me. And more importantly, I accepted myself.

Not being true to myself was suffocating but today it’s a different me. I feel comfortable in my own skin. I feel like a free bird, ready to face the world and soar to great heights.

These words summarize my experience: ‘Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free‘. – John viii. 32

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