“My first ‘sexual’ encounter was with a boy, when I was 4. But growing up, I realised that boys couldn’t like boys & that my feelings were wrong. Soon, I went into denial & whenever I'd like a man, I’d dismiss my feelings.
When my friends would talk about girls, I’d never contribute -- I couldn’t feel the way they felt about women.
I’d never even dated anyone until I was 22. But when I started working in Mumbai, I met a woman -- who I finally felt attracted too... or so I thought.
We dated for 5 years & decided to get married. It felt like I was ‘in love’. But I still thought about other men.
So one day, I told her that I had bisexual tendencies. She said that the fact that I’d chosen her, was all the assurance she needed!
Soon we got married -- but right from our honeymoon I didn’t feel turned on at all. I couldn’t even hug her properly. I blamed it on stress, but not the possibility that I was ‘gay’.
This went on for 2 years, until one day she told me that maybe I couldn’t give my all because I was suppressing my sexuality. She suggested that we have an ‘open marriage’. That’s when I started exploring with men & felt like an animal let out of it’s cage. I became confident & happy.
Both my sister & my wife kept asking me if I was gay. But I’d get defensive, for me being gay was ‘abnormal’.
My wife would send me articles about coming out. And one day I saw an article -- about a priest, who came out, 11 years into a marriage & with 2 kids. That was my lightbulb moment. I stayed awake the whole night; I finally realised that I was gay.
Just two days after that, there was a pride parade & my wife insisted that we go. Going to that parade, made me feel like I’d finally found my place in the world.
I came out to my wife & my family. Soon I got divorced & started seeing men. I realised that living life isn’t about following the norms, being who you’re expected to be & doing what you’re ‘allowed’ to do -- living life is about doing what comes naturally to you, loving who you want to & being unafraid. Because the world will always tell you what’s right & wrong, but it’s for you to decide what’s worth more -- being right, or being unconditionally & unabashedly happy.”