Pradeep Gade / India
“Only I knew the reason behind moving to a new country, where I or my family knew no one. Dec 2014 – I got my visa to Canada. I will be leaving my homeland(India), Mom&Dad, many cousins, Aunts&Uncle’s and all my friends in two weeks. They all thought I was moving to pursue higher education, But there’s something else, which, only I knew.
It was Around 9:30pm, went up to the rooftop of my house, cried more than ever in my life. All I know was that I have to go. I always had feelings for men, for long enough that I needed to explore. 40 people came to the airport to say goodbye.
I came out to my large Indian family and close friends in early 2016. I received many phone calls and messages like no other day of my life. It didn’t go well.. lot of unhappy conversations and emotional moments. I still had hope.
I still felt caged. Time passed. I haven’t visited India after coming out.
In early 2018, I STARTED SHARING MY STORY ALONG WITH A Series of artwork. I RECEIVED PRESSURE FROM MY FAMILY, EXTENDED FAMILY AND COUSINS TO STOP SHARING IT BECAUSE THEY ALL FELT SHAMEFUL. AND I STOPPED SHARING IT! UNFORTUNATELY. HOWEVER, IT DIDN’T STOP THERE, I WAS ASKED SO MANY TIMES TO SAY YES TO GO TO A DOCTOR, WHO(THEY ALL THINK) COULD MAKE ME A STRAIGHT MAN. I WAS SUGGESTED TO KEEP PRAYING TO GOD(I COME FROM A CATHOLIC BACKGROUND). They didn’t know that I’ve prayed for years before Taking a chance to starting to accept my own self. FROM CHILDHOOD I Shared STRONG BONDING AND GOOD RELATIONSHIP WITH MY Large FAMILY. NOW IT’S NOT THE SAME! I HAD SO MANY CONVERSATIONS EXPLAINING, TRIED A COUNTLESS NUMBER OF TIMES TO MAKE THEM UNDERSTAND THAT IT IS NORMAL AND NATURAL AND IT ISN’T A CHOICE. I NEVER WON. YET!
IT’S BEEN ALMOST THREE YEARS THAT I Hugged MY MOM and visited my family and friends in India.
I HAVE BEEEEEEEN WAITING FOR THINGS TO GET BETTER SO I COULD HAVE A HAPPY VISIT. BUT THEY ALL, INSTEAD HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR MY VISIT TO STILL CONVINCE ME TO GO TO A DOCTOR AND CHURCHES TO CHANGE ME.
AT TIMES I GET ANGRY AND FEEL LIKE SAYING FUCK YOU ALL, BUT I FUCKING MISS THEM AND THEY DON’T HAVE ANY KNOWLEDGE ABOUT THIS SUBJECT AND KNOW ANYONE(WHO IS GAY) OTHER THAN ME, YET.
I THINK I DID MY BEST AND CAN’T SPEND ANYMORE TIME ON IT.
I nEVER ASKed my cousins and friends WHY They LIKED/LOVED WHO They LOVED. Never tried suggesting them about who they should HAVE SEX WITH OR SHARE their LIFE WITH. They were never ASKED and FORCED TO EXPLAIN WHO They ARE, NOT ONCE OR TWICE BUT MANY TIMES by many people. I always wondered why they don’t realize that. they asked me questions and tried to force their ideas upon me many times and I bet they would never like to be treated that way.
I answered! EXPLAINED! Many times To many of them.
Said, I Am tired And I’m not doing it anymore. ACCEPT ME AS WHO I AM! Or ____________ But, I still love you!