Coming Out to My Father

Here’s the letter I wrote to my father just before my 26th birthday to tick off a key item from my “25 for 25” list.

Hi Baba,

I wanted to have this conversation in person as I have been waiting for this moment for a long time now, and it seemed like only the right thing to do. However, after staying with you and Ma for the past few days, I am not sure if having this talk face-to-face will be the best idea. I think you will agree.

Anyway, the matter is that I am gay or homosexual, which means I am not attracted to women romantically or sexually. I am a man who is interested in men. I respect women and look up to them, but only out of admiration. I have been like this since I was born, though self-discovery came much later.

It is no big deal as around 10% of the population is born LGBT+ – lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. I am not sure about the science of it. I think it goes back to the time when a fetus develops in the womb. There is a lot of literature on the topic. You can read up if you are interested.

I am hoping you are at least a little bit aware of the matter, given there is so much about it on TV, newspapers, and magazines as you refuse to use the internet. Gay rights are a matter of human rights these days, even in the most conservative societies. I expect you will take some pain to inquire about the issue.

Why am I telling you this now? Because I am 25 and I believe it is about time my parents knew some vital details about my life. Also, getting to know that I am gay should at most be a surprise, if not a confirmation of a pre-existing doubt. You really should not be shocked as you were around when I was growing up.

I am lousy at pretending and have never kept secrets from you two, with some necessary exceptions. So cooking up stories about why I do not have a girlfriend or why I do not want to marry a girl gets tiring beyond a point. And of course, you two need to know the truth about me.

Now I understand you might not be open to the idea easily, if not for anything else, then for my well-being. But you should know that there is nothing that I can do to change the situation. If I could, I would have. After all, the idea of life is to make it simpler. Why would I voluntarily complicate my life?!

Homosexuality is not a lifestyle I chose for the kicks of it. Neither is it a rebellion against you. I was born this way. There is nothing you did that caused it either. I am also aware life will be tough. It already is and has been since I came out to myself when I was 16. But being honest to oneself and the ones around makes life a bit easier.

All my friends, colleagues, professors, and college mates from Bangalore and Calcutta know about this. They do not seem to care much. I have been lucky that way. In the family, Bhai (brother), Di, and Boni (cousins) know.

So, think about it, do some research, and ask me if you have any questions. But before that, take your time, as much you want. I understand it is unfair to fling the gay bomb on you like this since it took me a long time to come to terms with it myself. But I could not think of a better way, and you know I am not elegant at drama.

Honestly, I do not know what or who the future has in store for me, but I will be fine.

Sincerely,
Shubho

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