Naina is a 22-year-old MBA student living in Mumbai.
Thanks to my family, I grew up having a condescending attitude towards anything that didn’t seem “normal.” And being gay would probably be on top of the list. I was 15 when my aunt had come over to stay with us for a wedding. She was changing when I accidently walked into her room. Looking at her half naked, beautifully symmetrical body I let out a gasp of admiration. I quickly checked myself, mumbled an apology and ran out.
I should have been embarrassed or at least sorry for invading her privacy but I smiled fondly, remembering the curves of her body. I had this urge to kiss her, touch her, but then this overwhelming feeling of shame and disgust came over me almost immediately. How could I feel this way? Maybe I was mentally sick or was being influenced by my liberal-minded friends.
After two years I started dating a boy, Sarthak, who all my friends found attractive and he was really nice. I mean I liked him but the kissing, fondling and eventually sex did nothing for me. We went on for two years. I had become so good at pretending to enjoy myself during sex with him that I had convinced myself I was straight. I would look down on homosexuals and always had a joke ready to demean them.
Then I went for a trip to Goa with some girlfriends. I met Cynthia, a stunner from Ukraine at a party and we hit it off. She invited me back to her room and after a lot of drinking we started kissing and soon we were naked and she was making me feel sensations I never knew existed. So that’s what good sex felt like!
When I got up in the morning I hated every bone in my body and I ran out of her hotel room and never met her again. When I came back home I broke it off with Sarthak and I was so sick with myself that I took a razor and cut my inner thigh. The prick, the rush of blood made me feel clean again. Every time I had a thought about another woman or the urge to act upon my “twisted” feelings, I’d cut myself with a blade. It was my punishment for these seemingly “unholy” feelings.
Alive, happy and gay
Over the next two years my thighs had so many cuts, you couldn’t see what my actual skin colour anymore! One night after an encounter with a truly awesome woman, I came home to punish myself and cut too deep and almost instantly the bathroom floor was covered in my blood. I managed to get the door opened and shouted for my mom.
I was taken to a hospital where I regained consciousness after hours. The police were there questioning my parents and after I told them that it was my fault they left. I came clean to my parents and as mortified as they were, they decided to have a daughter who is alive, happy and gay.
I joined therapy with my parents and learnt that being gay was not my fault or wasn’t some disease. In time they’ve started to accept me and I’m learning to like and hopefully love myself for what I am. I still have so much to go and I haven’t come out publicly either. But I’m optimistic that I’ll find that special someone to love, cherish and share my life with – guilt and damage free!
Ashamed of being gay? Do you know anyone who is gay and hurting themselves? How would you help them? Share your views with us by leaving a comment below or on Facebook.