(As told to Sourish Samanta)
I support the gay community but I’m not very social
I have always been an ally of the queer community, I have friends who are from the community and I ardently support them. I’m also an outspoken feminist who has worked closely with queer activists and I am still working for the queer rights movement. Even though it has nothing to do with my story altogether, I thought it would be great to make things obvious to the readers.
It all started with the freshers party where I met Rohan for the first time. I had no intention of attending my college freshers at all, but I did anyway because my hostel mates threatened to lock me out if I didn’t go with them. I am not a social kind of person. It was hard to even think about attending something as cringeworthy as my freshers. But I wasn’t the only soul who shared the same feeling. Rohan and I found each other.
Related reading: How a gay friend helped her accept herself as a lesbian
He seemed so perfect that I fell in love
He was tall and had dreamy kind of eyes. It was hard to not fall for him. We started talking and soon we realised that we had a lot of things in common. I always had a hard time talking to my college mates, but it felt so easy and real with Rohan.
I always had a hard time talking to my college mates, but it felt so easy and real with Rohan.
Everything felt so right for me and this led to us dating. We had an amazing time together. But there was a lack of physical intimacy which I craved. I thought that he was anxious and he wouldn’t even let me touch him. I loved him and I was worried. He didn’t have many friends from his batch and we sort of became like best friends too.
Even though we were in a relationship, it always felt like I was the one felt more passionate. It was me who tried and it was slowly tiring me out. After a few weeks of little to no interaction, Rohan started avoiding me. He wouldn’t return my calls or texts. I even mailed him out of sheer desperation. I truly loved that boy and he was my best friend. Being a definite non-conformist, I never assumed that Rohan could be homosexual. Even though I had a sharp gaydar, Rohan managed to fly under the gaydar.
Then the secret came out
A few weeks later I confronted him inside our cafeteria. He still avoided talking but I reassured him that whatever he said wouldn’t affect our friendship. He finally came out to me and burst into tears. As stupid as it sounds, he dated me just to prove his family that he is not gay anymore.
As stupid as it sounds, he dated me just to prove his family that he is not gay anymore.
His family somehow got to find out about his sexuality and he managed to convince his parents that he is straight and dating girls exclusively.
I realised how awful it must have been and is the kind of vocal person I am, I started giving him advice to battle the homophobia he faces at his home. He never could tell his parents anything, but he definitely found hope and courage to come out to his close friends. Our group greeted him with open arms and made it a point to find someone for him. Rohan was free, at least from me, but it wasn’t black and white.
Related reading: I am gay, married and I seek equality, not approval from society
It wasn’t easy for me, but I survived
During this whole process, I lost my sanity and I developed severe anxiety issues. I would have panic attacks in the middle of sleep and it was getting worse. I still loved Rohan, romantically, and it was unnerving for me to even see him with someone else. It was traumatic but I was still happy for him. I decided to talk a long and healthy break from Rohan which was helpful since I took therapy during the break. Rohan was still trying to help me out and he used to send me huge apology texts over mail and other platforms. I kept on reassuring him that it was all going fine. I recovered after a month and we reconnected easily.
We are still best friends and he was the one who set me up with my current boyfriend. I could have just blamed Rohan, but instead, I took care of him and understood the sensitivity of the issue. Rohan was after all a victim of our society.