An argument, out of the gazillion other arguments, that one encounters while defending 'gay rights' (read: human rights) is, "Your parents fed you and raised you so you could be gay? They will be heartbroken when you come out to them."
And true, coming out to the parents about your sexuality has got to be one of the hardest things there is.
It's the most vulnerable, most private, and a life-changing moment in a queer person's life. They want their parents to know about their real selves but are afraid, even frightened, of the consequences. What if their parents don't understand them? What if their parents condemn them and their very existence? Such thoughts often force many, if not all, LGBTQ individuals to remain inside the closets because they would rather pretend to be someone that they're not than even take the chance of having to suffer from the angst of the post-coming out consequences.
But there is hope. Making history with its momentous judgement, the Supreme Court decriminalised Section 377 on Thursday, giving the LGBTQ community a bright ray of hope for a rainbow future and a chance to be their true selves.
As expected, some LGBT individuals have already started to come out to their parents, friends, and on social media.
In a now viral Facebook post, Arnab Nandy, a resident of Mumbai, shared his heartwarming coming out story where he talked about the happiness of no longer being labelled a criminal.
"Sexuality is a part of your identity and not your identity. Everyone takes their own time to accept themselves thereafter its a journey of self-awareness and owning your personality traits," he said in the post.
Until two years ago Arnab lived a life of a caged bird, unsure of who he was. "Then I started my journey of self-exploration by socializing with folks from the community and their life values and experiences helped me deal with this battle in my head."
After first coming out to his best friend, Arnab felt like a "butterfly coming out of a cocoon". But he was still afraid of coming out to his parents. They lived in a conservative surrounding and "I didn’t want them to get hurt/taunted by other because of my sexuality."
Of course, it hurt Arnab to keep such an important part of himself from them, but not wanting to be selfish he said he took time, and when the time was right he got the courage to let his parents know.
Thankfully, their reaction was not negative, and for that, Arnab feels privileged. But his parents needed time and so he waited to not come out in public to protect them.
On Thursday, the day Section 377 was decriminalised, when Arnab entered his house, he was immediately welcomed with a tight hug from his parents.
Arnab cried tears of joy, and later learnt that his mother had been sensitising people around her, and his father, a government employee, said that "this law was holding him back to fight for me in the fear of what such laws create in the mind of our parents."
Arnab's parents are ecstatic and want their son to “Now go and broadcast it”, cheekily adding that “Acha hai abhi koi ladhki ka rishta leke nahi aayega (Good, now we won't get marriage proposals of girls for you)."
Arnab is, of course, proud of his parents, who have come so far in this journey with him -- from not knowing anything about LGBT to becoming parents who sensitise about the community.
The post along with a picture of Arnab sitting with his parents, holding a placard that reads, "My son is not a criminal anymore" has been liked over 12,000 times and shared more than 4,800 times.
If you are not moved by this picture, I wish I had your heart. pic.twitter.com/TyxkGAo90q
— Arnab Ray (@greatbong) September 6, 2018
Living in a day where it is legal for anyone to love anyone, it is crucial that parents learn to wholeheartedly accept their children. While it is understandable that the notion of "Log kya kahenge?" throws the maata-pitas into instant panic mode because parents do want the best for their children and would not want them to face the casually cruel taunts of the society.
Now it is for parents to register that gay or straight, cis or trans, it does not matter. The child only needs their parents' acceptance and support.
Children can wage their battles with the society if they have their parents by their side. But not if the parents drown in their own ignorance and bigotry. Mary Griffith famously said, "Before you echo 'Amen' in your home or place of worship, think and remember...a child is listening."