Our society has come a long way in accepting homosexuality but somehow, it still feels like a very tiny fraction of the bigger picture. Only someone who has been through the whole journey of discovering their true identity can tell you how easy or difficult it is and the rest of us should lend a helping hand.
Gautam Hegde's story is inspiring and at the same time, it educates you about how difficult it is to figure out life while not being sure of your own self.
With no siblings to share his doubts with and the constant bullying at school, Hegde resorted to keeping things to himself.
And if the teenage years weren't messy enough, his college years just added on to that tension.
However, once he discovered his love for writing, things eased out a little for him. But the absence of his true identity led him to go through a dark phase of depression and the ignorance of his parents just added on to the whole crisis.
But things changed when he turned 30. He finally gave in and went for a movie with a man he wasn't sure was gay. But life had thrown enough at him and he decided to finally go for what he really wants.
This eventually led him to have his first kiss at 30 and this gave him a sense of liberation at last -- something he had yearned for ever since he was an adolescent. Even though their love story didn't last for too long, Hegde never let go of the fact that this one moment defines the rest of his life as a gay man in this country.
He wants to help and spread his message across to anyone who is even mildly going through the same thing. He wants society to reach a point where every month is pride month and gays aren't the subjects of homophobia in the name of humour anymore.
You can read his post here.
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“My first kiss was when I turned 30. Before that, I hadn’t really ventured out of the closet -- I was scared and unsure. But it all changed when this one time I decided to go for a movie, with a man I had a huge crush on! I didn’t know whether he was gay or even if I liked him -- but I just went for it. From the minute we sat next to each other, I could feel the vibe. At one point, out of nowhere, he put his head on my shoulder. That literally sent a current through my body -- I felt so warm. We just sat like that throughout and didn’t move. Once the movie was over, we got into an auto and left. I was still nervous because of the uncertainty, so I turned and told him, ‘You know I swing the other way right?’, and he replied, ‘Of course I know’. That’s when he held my hand and kissed me. We kissed for 20 minutes straight and it was the best feeling ever. I felt so liberated in that moment, like a lifetime of suppression had just come out. But where there is love, there is also heartbreak. We were together for a brief period, before we broke up. I still wasn’t fully confident to come out of the closet and he didn’t want to be with someone like that… which I understood. It’s been a few years but I’ve come a long way -- my parents went from taking me to doctors to ‘cure’ me, to finally accepting me for who I am. My mother now even teases me to settle down with a good man. I’m single now and looking for the man of my dreams, someone who can make me feel the exact same way I felt that day, in the rickshaw -- unashamed, alive and just, completely myself.” #FearlesslyQueer