Saturday, March 28, 2009

Opening That Closet Door

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[Image] Crazy Sam's Bloginess: Closet door

As you all know, last week I came out to my mother. I and my mother are fine now. My mother may have a long way to go, to finally be comfortable with all this, but I for one have stopped feeling guilty. I wish to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your heartfelt responses and support. And especially to Nick for this sweet gesture. The following is a clubbing of dialogues that happened between my mother and I over the past few days.

She was in the kitchen.

"Ma, can you come to my room now? I need to tell you something."

"Yes, what is so secret about it that you want me to come to your room?"

"You will understand. I don't want father to know. Come fast!"

Also I figured, kitchen could be quite hazardous for what I was about to do. Once we got it into my room, I closed the door. She found it strange that I'm behaving unusual and was giving a half laugh.

"Ma, you may not like what I'm going to say now."

"Is it about your job?"

"No.. something personal."

"A love affair?"

"No Ma. I'm afraid when you hear it, you may even cry. But don't make a big scene and let father know."

Those smiles faded away. "Yes tell me, I won't cry."

"I know you will, but even then I have to say this to you. But before that let me ask you, are you stiff on wanting grandchildren?"

"Well.. There is no tenacity that I want grandchildren."

"Then what about my marriage?"

"Yes, on that I'm. You need to get married."

"Well.. that's the problem. I don't want to get married.. I'm gay."

She drew back in shock. I could see from her face that she didn't expect this at all. But then she found words to say, "You could be just feeling that. It must be nothing."

"No ma, this is not just a feeling. This is not something I'm doing on an impulse. I've been thinking about how to tell this to you for a long time."

"So what are you? A man or a woman?"

"I'm still a man. But it's that I don't feel attraction towards gals. I feel that only to guys."

"Is it because of watching all those Friends and Will & Grace?"

"No ma. I had known about this, way before watching those."

"When did you start to feel like this?"

"Well.. way before my teenage. But that time, I used to think that I could be the only one having this kind of feeling. But when I got internet, I realized that I'm not the only one and that I'm called gay."

"So is there someone?"

"No." (I didn't think it was good to reveal to her that I've slept with some men.)

"Are you sure marriage is not at all an option?"

"Ma even if I do marry a gal, I will not be able to fulfill all her desires. And that is just unfair to her, don't you think so? Since Indians are not open to talk about homosexuality, many guys will be afraid to tell to their parents. So they agree for the marriage and then without the knowledge of their wives, they continue sleeping with men. I don't want to betray someone like that. I can never imagine doing that to a person knowingly. There are many instances of failed marriages because of this. Not getting married is much better than ending up in divorce, right?"

"Yeah, that's true."

"You must be remembering that scene from Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd. where the husband confesses to his wife that he is gay."

She couldn't recollect and so I showed her the video that I posted here.

I wanted her to know that this i-am-so-cool-about-being-gay was not something that I achieved overnight. "I have always shared everything with you and Pa. But this is something I couldn't, even though I wanted to. When I began to feel attraction towards men, I was first confused. I didn't want to feel that way at all. I couldn't understand what was wrong with me because my friends were crazy about gals and I wasn't. There were times when I had been in serious depression. You and Pa must not have noticed it. But it took me several years to finally accept the fact that what I'm feeling is completely natural."

I then asked, "Did you ever feel even the slightest of indication that I could be gay?"

"No.. but when your that friend visited... "

"Who?"

"Jay."

"Yeah.. what happened when he visited."

"Well.. I thought he could be one."

"Haha! Jay? Not at all!! He even has a girlfriend. But he knows." (I guess his metrosexual appearance misled her. He is that same friend I was talking about in this post whose coin-slot I got to see. :P)

There was a pause. "Ma, how do you feel?"

"I don't know. But these people are always affected with AIDS."

"That is just a misconception. Not every gay person could be carrying AIDS. Then what about those who appear straight and married, but continue sleeping with men?"

"But how will you deal with our society?"

"Ma I'm not going on telling everyone that I'm gay. In fact, only very few friends know about this. But don't let Pa know."

"Then?"

"Next year, may be."

Her eyes began to fill up.

"I told you, you will cry. What were you thinking now?"

"Nothing."

"Tell me. I need to know."

"I was thinking about you becoming this way."

"Ma, it is not bad being gay. This is not some disease. It's very similar to some people being left-handed." I continued, "Anyways, my worst fears didn't come true. I thought I could be kicked out of the house, in which case I was planning to take refuge at Phoebe's place."

"Oh, I would not be doing all that!"

"Hmm.. I will show you another clip where an Indian guy film himself coming out to his mother."

And I put the video that I posted here.

My mother then asks me, "Do you get attracted to every man?"

"No Ma, let me put it this way. Did you feel attraction to every guy when you were young? No, right? And did you wake up one morning and decide to get attracted to men? No, coz it happened naturally for you. It is the same in my case too, I didn't choose to be attracted to men."

"Then what about your madness for actresses like Aishwarya, Preity?"

"I like their beauty, that's all. But straight guys will feel some other thoughts too."

I had read from one website that during the coming out session, the roles of the child and the parent gets reversed and it really did happen here. By the way, I came across the following video during my Orkut-surfing and I thought it would be great to feature this here. I should probably show this video too to my mother, which enlightens the viewers that being gay is as normal as being straight.

The following video is available in HQ (press HQ button to enable) which means, you can put it full-screen (press Full-Screen button) without losing much clarity!

I'm sorry this is in Hindi. For the non-Indian readers, let me give you an outline of what was happening in the video. The first guy, Manish Sharma, came out to the world during an earlier episode of this show, which is called Salaam Zindagi (Hello Life). He says a lot of gays contacted him after that, and he counseled a number of people who were not willing to have a proper life due to family and societal pressures. Manish's family was very supportive. Prior to his coming out, his aunt used to force him for marriage. But when she saw the show, she came to him, gave him a hug and very affectionately told him that she was proud of him for his courage and for not choosing to get entangled in relationships which he would not be able to carry forward.

The second guy is Deepak Kashyap. He is a gay rights activist from India. He quotes the words of Swami Dayanand Ji, "If any matter begins to trouble you, then it means that you don't know completely about it or you know the truth, but do not wish to accept it." Deepak says he used to go to temples and churches and scream to God that it was all God's fault. But later he realized that we cannot blame anyone for being gay when he knew that homosexuality was not a medical disorder and that 10 percent population of animal kingdom goes "the gay way" and there is nothing much you can do about it. So he personally believes that he found the truth and accepted it. His both parents too have accepted this truth. His father had told him earlier that, if one is not causing any harm to the environment, to oneself and to others, then we all have the full right to live the life, the way we want. Deepak reveals the saddening fact that 85 percent of Indian gays are married and in that 85 percent, 90 percent are still actively gay even after the marriage. He also feels lucky to find that each and every friend of his had no qualms in accepting him and his sexuality didn't matter to any of them at all.

Check out these related posts too!
And I Came Out To My Mother
The Safe First Step I Took To Come Out To My Mother
Gays And Mothers

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

And I Came Out To My Mother

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[Image] Crazy Sam's Bloginess: Mother kissing baby

Why did I do it now? I don't know. But I knew I had to do it some time. And what if that becomes too late or if I didn't get a chance later? It's been quite a while I felt that I have the strength to uncover this truth to my mother. I was aware that she will be hurt, but then my inner voice told me that I should tell her. And that is what happened yesterday.

But why do I feel now that it was better if hadn't told her? I can see that she is completely devastated. She is slowly recovering from the numbness and now that everything is beginning to sink in to her and feeling the blow of the situation, she no longer can hide her tears from me. No matter what I say or how hard I try to console her, I know I'm not being helpful. She now has to deal with the harsh reality that the son she knew of, is no more. I asked her whether she thought it was better if I hadn't told her the truth and she nodded 'yes' amongst the tears. She doesn't think of me as a pervert or that I'm sick. In the end, she wants me to be happy with my life. But she is distressed that I would not have a marriage and about the reasons to come up with to handle our relatives when they start pushing proposals. What worries her most is that I may end up being alone and no one would be there to take care of me during my old age. Even though I see that as a probability, I didn't want to make her feel that I agree on that. It kills me to see that I have brought such infliction on her and I see myself going back to that phase when I used to feel guilty of being gay.

A word of advice to all who anticipate of coming out to your folks at some point - dare to take that road only when you are perfectly comfortable of your homosexuality. I thought I was, but now I'm starting to have doubts on that.

Check out these related posts too!
The Safe First Step I Took To Come Out To My Mother
Gays And Mothers
You Are Gay!

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Saturday, March 14, 2009

When Music Wins You Over

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Many a times, I have found myself awed by certain background scores that not only enhance the effect of the scenes, but also makes you go through the emotions felt by the characters. In Mani Ratnam’s Guru, when Shyam proposes to Meenu, a beautiful song whispers by and you feel Meenu's hapless situation being a victim of multiple sclerosis and the true love Shyam has for Meenu. We can hear this song again in the movie during Meenu’s passing. But sadly, Guru's audio CDs didn’t have this soulful track and the web pages that time talked about a beautiful song sung by Soumya Rao and another one, failing to get released to the public. Why? Because Mani and Rahman decided not to include them in the CDs. (FYI, they did a similar thing with Alai Payuthey’s catchy number, "Enrendrum Punnagai" and it's slower version, "Mangalyam" in 2000. I hope they don't play this kinda game again in their upcoming Raavana.)

Now I know Soumya’s song is called "Shauk Hai", thanks to Jo. It seems, "Shauk Hai" was later released in an another album, "Greatest Hits Of A.R.Rahman."

[Image] Crazy Sam's Bloginess: Shyam proposing to Meenu

Shauk Hai:

Press the play button to listen to this gem. (If you are reading this post from your inbox or feed reader, please access the site.)

Lyrics and translation can be found here.

Also, following are some Indian musical sites that you might want to try out:

For all Rahman fans out there, Serjas' Rahmanism, a blog (I can't believe that it is built from Blogger!) which features nearly anything and everything that Rahman has composed so far (even jingles for ads), will surely satisfy your appetite.

Suresh Kumar’s musical blog, Background Score is one of a kind where he gives an in-depth analysis on background tracks from Indian movies. He also maintains another musical blog, Yours Musically.

And at Songs Of Jo, our Jo, who is a blogger, singer, composer and podcaster, does covers for popular songs and comes up with his own creations.

PS: By the way, can anyone recognize this superb track?

If you can, please send me the details (title, album and composer) coz I'm absolutely in love with this one from the moment I heard it at a fashion show in our college five years ago and since then I’m trying to get its complete version. Thanks in advance.

Check out these related posts too!
The Crazy Sam Musical

To take part in the poll regarding gays and virginity, click here.

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Monday, March 2, 2009

CSB Poll: Losing Virginity In Gay Terms

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[Image] Crazy Sam's Bloginess: Guys being intimate

I know, associating guys to virginity sounds so high school and fem. But even then I wonder what you guys think of losing virginity. So what made you feel that you are not virgin anymore.. or to put it in macho-terms, what do you consider as your first sex?



If you feel like bragging about your first time, the comment section is all yours!


Update - Thursday, April 2, 2009:
The poll is closed. The results will be out soon!

Update - Sunday, April 5, 2009:
The poll results are unveiled.

Image source: Exterface

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