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My friend says he's gay – does it change things?

Ask Auntyji Anything
Auntyji, one of my friends in college recently confessed that he is gay. Ever since then, everyone has been ignoring him. I am also a bit awkward and shocked. How does it change anything? Ajay (25), Mumbai.

Auntyji says… Well said puttar, nothing changes but people do beta. That’s the problem.

No win-win

Betaji, if homosexual, asexual, bisexual or trans people come out, they often get stigmatised. If they don’t come out, they still get stigmatised via assumptions. Dasso! What do people want aakhir?

Whatever happened to the age-old jeeyo aur jeeno do principle! Bluntly speaking, Ajay, you too are perpetuating the stigma and discrimination your friend is facing; you know how? By doing nothing.

Beta a silent bystander is of no use to anyone. You are feeling bad but you do nothing about it – how does that help anyone? If you are so shocked and upset, get up and fix it .

You and he were pals after all. So why have you let things change between you beta? Zara socho puttar... Is it because you too have changed a little bit yourself? Is that fair beta?

All things equal

Bring back your old good times with you pal. Your old fun and bond. Why should his coming out bother or interfere with your relationship? I agree it can come across as a tough job. Suddenly you don’t know what to do or say.

No Problem! Prepare yourself. Read a bit. There is so much out there on LGBT issues, check it out and seek advice on how you can be a better support system. Best of all – ask him.

Embrace him – both literally and metaphorically – and go back to what you were around him.

Remember beta, people of diverse gender identities and sexual orientations are human beings first. They deserve to be treated as such – just like how you’d like to be treated by others.

Don’t judge him for his orientation. Let your friends know that he is beyond that. He might be a great pal, a singer, an athlete, a stamp collector, an amazing colleague, a sharp analyst, someone’s brother and someone’s son too. The list is endless.

If he is gay and wants to embrace his identity, how does that change everything else he is? Imagine how let down he must be feeling – now that you are behaving just like the others – surely we expect better from our friends, right?

Candle in the wind

I am not saying it is easy for you either, beta Ajay. We live in a society where you reach out to him and there may start a rumour on you. 'Kahin yeh bhi woh toh nahin?'

These are the type of comments you have to trash. Stop letting yourself get affected by what will the society say or think. Please be ready Ajay – to address these comments and to educate these so called very progressive people.

We have to honour and respect people’s choices and way of being. When someone raises a finger on us about our own identity – of class, caste, religion, status – we get very touchy and feel bad – then why do we dole out what we would hate to be judged for?

Lead from the front

Come on Ajay, don’t let the common babble silence down your feelings of dissent. It takes a lot of courage to stand up against the tide. Your friend has done it, imagine his guts.

Be the wind beneath his sails, be the friend you always were and let your peers know that having a pal who is gay is okay. They are not atomic substances in your pocket. They are like that warm brownie with ice-cream, just like real friends are.

Enjoy the coming week with your old and new friend. I am sure he must be missing you too! Ho jaye phir aaj vada pav, cutting chai aur nashta?

 

To protect the privacy of the author, the person in the picture is a model.

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