My Schoolmates ACCEPTED me as Gay
People will say, "This guy uses such a simple experience for mileage." But hey, this is not about mileage. This is a milestone. A BIG milestone.
Imagine - You file your Income Tax Return for the year without understanding anything about money. You forget about it. Months later, you suddenly receive an SMS saying that your account has been credited with ₹ 45,000/- (Tax Refund from IT Dept.). How do you feel? That that money WAS YOURS, and it unexpectedly CAME BACK to you. It was yours all this time. It's finally back with you. That's exactly the feeling I got that day.
For the first time in 41 years, (I mean, since after I came out in 2012), I went into a Group, and did NOT feel discriminated by even 0.001%. They were all behaving EXACTLY the same as they did 25 years ago. Those talks, those styles of cracking jokes at each other, those giggles... I time-traveled back into May 1998 😍
They were neither feeling disgust, nor sympathy. They just knew that I'm (now) Gay, but I doubt they looked at me through that lens. I was just the sincere, study-loving, simple, (and hopefully sweet 😁) 'Sagar Sonker' for them.
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I've been into Gay Groups and have felt being discriminated for my Age and judged / labeled because of my Dances or my Soft Looks. My school-mates are the same age as me, and they have seen my dances, but I did not experience even a tinge of discomfort.
This 25-year Reunion was being planned for months, and guess what? I paid and confirmed on THE day itself. Reason? I'll be honest. I had the Question Mark in my Mind as to whether I'll be treated or looked at. I expected at least 50% of the people to behave 'differently' with me. This was based on my past experiences with my college-mates and colleagues. It was natural for me to feel like that. However, I didn't get even a whiff of homophobia.
I'm a '7 chya aat gharaat' (reach home before 7 pm) kind of a person, but that day - after years - I reached home at midnight. The best, genuine, REAL feeling that occurred to me was, "I don't need ACCEPTANCE / RECOGNITION from anybody else anymore." For a split second, I was about to delete my Instagram 😂 I wouldn't, but you get the point, right? That was a new, fresh, real feeling that I experienced. I'm so glad that I didn't avoid this Reunion.
Strangely, your school-mates are supposed to be people from OLDER times as compared to your college-mates or coworkers, isn't it? However, I've not experienced / felt the same amount of acceptance from my engineering-mates or my ex-coworkers. This shows how pure, respectful, and real the bond has been. And of course, these people always held a special place in my heart. Just that I was going through a roller coaster ride due to which I couldn't give my time / energy to anybody.
Even though I'm thanking my schoolmates here, this blog post is not for them at all. This post is a REAL evidence and example for all those young Gay Men in India. The the PROOF of how people from your past change and evolve with you - as long as you are CLEAR about yourself and your goals in life. These are the same people who I studied and grew up with and went to school with during the 90s.
This is also the PROOF that secure straight people do not get affected by your sexuality. Yes, if there's someone who has kept his one foot on Grindr... that's not what I'm talking about 😕
In fact, a few of them also said to me that they like the abandon and unapologetic-ness that I carry for being / doing what I am / want.
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