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Coming out as homosexual in India carries with it the very real risk of being stigmatised. People like Himanshu Singh are therefore the path-breakers.
Himanshu Singh recently wrote a post on coming out as a homosexual, that went viral, and came out with a very powerful message – that no one deserves to spend his life in a closet. Being different is something the world doesn’t make us feel comfortable about.
Whenever we fear unacceptability we are driven into a closet where one might sit, suffer and suffocate, but is at least saved from the apparent stigma of being different.
We don different roles in our lifetime. We have goals which we aspire to work towards and reach. However, anything which makes us prone to vulnerability, we hide. Even if it is a very essential part of our being.
A message like the one posted by Himanshu definitely made him vulnerable; susceptible to reactions, whether good, bad or worse from the ones close to him. However at times, respect is a lot more important than support. And accepting one’s beliefs, one’s identity is core to earning self-respect!
Quoting from his post – “My sexuality is not a phase, it never was. It is not a disease, it is not a mental disability, it is not a choice, and definitely not a disgrace. I was born this way.”
“Right now my brain is going 2 million miles per hour. From internal turmoil to acceptance. Describing them in words is not easy. This is the strongest decision of my life. My hands are little cold but the heart is confident.”
Our differences are not a disease.
In a society tightly bound by caste, if two people of different backgrounds fall in love, they get stuck in a closet.
If we love someone and fear it won’t be reciprocated we dump our feelings in the closet.
A mother with a child who is not normal by worldly standards – a child in the autism spectrum, or a dyslexic child is driven into a closet of embarrassment.
If a teenager does not like the books his peers read or does not enjoy the sports his friends play, he chooses the closet to coming out with his own unique choices.
If a married woman does not fit the norms set by the world around her, she is forced into a closet.
The courage to accept and voice our differences is huge. However it is a step which one needs to take to avoid living a life which is not us.
And as Himanshu says, “I was born this way”. Hence, if nature chooses something for us why should we ever be ashamed about it?
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Top image via Himanshu’s Facebook