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"My name is Mickey Zaveri, I am 38 years of age, and I am gay. This is my story." Read Mickey's story in the first person, as told by him.
“My name is Mickey Zaveri, I am 38 years of age, and I am gay. This is my story.” Read Mickey’s story in the first person, as told by him.
There are two types of courage in this world. One demands we jump into action with our armour on. The other demands that we strip ourselves bare-naked and surrender. Bravery is a curious thing!
The first time I came out to my parents I was around 24 years old and the reason I came out to my parents was because of my ex-boyfriend.
We were in love and he wanted me to be truthful to my family. I wouldn’t say that he forced me, but he requested me to come out because he didn’t want my sexuality to be hidden from my parents.
Looking back I think that was the best decision I made. I remember the moment I embraced my truth I felt a sigh of relief. I felt like a burden was off my chest. It was something that I wanted to do for a very long time; I had finally done it and I was finished with it. I didn’t want to lie to myself anymore and I didn’t want my parents to have unrealistic expectations from me.
All hell broke loose when my parents found out. This was the last thing they expected. They wanted me to be ‘absolutely normal’ and they tried their best to ‘change me’ and influence me.
I have had multiple sessions with the psychiatrist and had numerous trips to my family doctor. They even wanted to take me the so called Babas and Ojhas. I was pushed into chaos, but it was my life and I had to take charge. I told them, “Even if you take me to the world’s best Baba, nothing is going to change. This is my body, this is my life, and this is what I am, so sooner or later you have to accept it.”
Later I realized that they did all those things only to tame their own fears and insecurities, they were not doing it for me. They didn’t have the courage to face society. They were in denial and expected sympathy from society, they were not even thinking about me at that moment. All they talked about was, “How can our son be like this? Where did we go wrong? It’s a crime! It’s taboo! What will people say?”
But for me this was all very normal; I was at peace and I was finally my true self.
I am talking about those days when even saying the word ‘homosexuality’ was a taboo. Most people had no idea what it is actually being gay. There were many who were living hidden lives -married men, married women even teenagers. Many people had sex with people of the same sex supposedly “just to try something different and for pleasure” but deep down even they were unaware and scared to embrace their truth.
During those days there was little awareness and acceptance. The social media scene was not booming like now. That was one of the reasons people were not vocal about their sexuality and they had no idea where to go and ask for help.
Today’s generation is well aware as they have access to the internet and social media. Everyone today knows about the LGBTQ community.
I was born and raised in South Bombay and I had made up my mind to leave my house, my city, and the place I grew up. I decided to move in with my ex-boyfriend who lived in Hyderabad. My parents did not talk to me for 6 months but I had to embrace my reality and my love. After all it’s my life and I want to live it without regrets. You have one life; just one life! Live it up!
My younger years I struggled with my sexuality. I was always different and I knew it, but yet somehow I wanted to fake it all along. I said to myself that I am not different, I do like men but I also like women. I flirted with girls and wanted to hook up with them, but I felt as if there was something amiss. I did not feel comfortable with them when we were physically intimate; it wasn’t something that was organic. I thought I was cheating myself because that wasn’t me.
I was also abused at a tender age and it affected me; I was very disturbed and it took me a while to realize that it was abuse. But unlike what some people think, that is not the ‘reason’ I am gay today! I was always different and I knew it very early, but to face the world and to face society, it took time.
All the obstacles I faced made me stronger and made me the person I am today. I look back at them and they seem nothing. I left my house and started living in a new city and I found myself, a new me, a happy me. I had a sense of freedom which I didn’t have when I was living with my parents.
I can’t say the same for many of my gay friends though. Let’s face it –It’s not easy being different. Many of them had to face a lot of hurdles created by the society, but more from their parents and their near and dear ones.
My brother was the first person I shared my feelings with. He lives in Chicago and he was supportive of me coming out to my parents. We had this mock interview over Skype where I practiced with him, and then decided to confront my parents about my sexuality.
In reality, more than the society, I faced backlash from my parents. They created obstacles in my life and stopped me from following my truth. The so called society never bothers to interfere but family does.
I held my ground and was strong, I had confidence about my sexuality. I never looked back, I am proud of myself and nothing bothers me anymore. It was because of my strong will, determination, and confidence that I had the courage to face my family, the society and my truth. I definitely had this power in me which I was not aware of; I was outrageous and outspoken that this is me and take it or leave it. Accept it and deal with it in whatever way you can but I am coming out.
The LGBTQ community has struggled; people have been living double lives. The people who you think will support you are actually the ones who don’t. Families are in denial and use emotional blackmailing or force to pressurize and break you. You feel lot of distress and anger because you cant be yourself even if you wanted to be.
To tackle this we had to had these LGBTQ community gay parties. The Bombay gay party used to be organized by the Bombay gay group. It was an outlet for people, they could be anyone they wanted. They could wear whatever they wanted, and behave however they wanted.
Many of my of friends used to leave their house wearing normal jeans and a t-shirt and on reaching the venue, they used to go into the restroom and change into the most beautiful dresses, crop tops and tank tops. In the best transgender clothing, I would say there were alluring drag queens. They would love to wear red lipstick, nail polish, high heels, and they used silicon fake adhesive breasts on their chest. It was the only place where people were coming out and being themselves, in a hidden spot, and only in a gay party.
I am successful and happy today in my own right, I have made a niche for myself. I work in Public Relations. I started my work in Pune with small bars and clubs and later did some launch parties. I have also worked with some actors handling their PR. I have travelled to almost 38 countries across continents, and am a travel blogger.
I couldn’t have asked for a better life; I chose my path and crafted my destiny.
It’s a free world and you are allowed to whatever u want as long as u r not harming anyone so just go out there and live your life.
This is me.
This is my story.
I am Proud and Gay!
Author’s Note: This first person story is as told to me. You can follow Mickey Zaveri on Instagram and Facebook to know more about his life.
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