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Meet Sonu and Nikesh, the First ‘Married’ Gay Couple from Kerala

Meet Sonu and Nikesh, the First ‘Married’ Gay Couple from Kerala

From coming out of the closet to convincing families and getting accepted in public, the couple who met on a dating app, have come a long way. ‘All is well’ Nikesh would say when asked.

Thiruvananthapuram: Sonu is out for work on a late night shift. Until he is back, Nikesh, his partner, is preparing his to-do list for the next day. On off days, they often venture out together meeting friends and visiting places. Meet Kerala's first ‘married’ gay couple who, batting all odds, are leading a life of fulfillment.

Two men — Nikesh Usha Pushkaran, a businessman and Sonu MS, a techie — were technically ‘married’ on 4 July 2018 after exchanging rings at a temple in Kerala. Hoping to surpass legal hurdles, they are looking forward for the day they will be called a ‘married couple’ in official records as well.

From coming out of the closet to convincing families and getting accepted in public, the couple who met on a dating app, have come a long way. ‘All is well’ Nikesh would say when asked.

“Before we made it public, our families had accepted our relation. Yet, they were not convinced about saying it out loud. That is a unanimous decision Sonu and I have taken together to make the world a better place for people of our kind. We know many gay, lesbian couples who keep things hush-hush, fearing what others would say. They stay together in rented places. For the outside world, they are just friends,” Nikesh says.

Nikesh recalls June 29, 2019, the day the duo ‘came out’ on their Facebook page. “Sonu turned a little apprehensive before leaving for workplace, he was tensed. I boosted his confidence saying that a class of educated and sensible people would react well. To his surprise, they greeted him with hugs and handshakes. He returned happily from work,” he says. Nikesh thinks they were lucky at their residence as well. The neighbours were quick to add them to the fold.

Nikesh feels despite decriminalizing of Section 377, gay rights are limited to the freedom to have sex. He thinks their rights will come to full circle only with the nod to get married and adopt kids.

“Society is less aware of homosexuality. Many people think that to be a choice. Actually, a person’s sexual orientation is defined by birth and the realisation occurs by adolescence. It is quite natural,” he says.

Being a gay couple comes with its own advantages. “We don’t find ourselves or the straight couple any different. One advantage we have is treating each other equal. A dominating partner is absent. Even preparing a meal is not a must. Since I spend a lot of time online, there are days we prefer ordering home cooked food from outside,” Nikesh says.

Asked about Sonu, Nikesh says “he is a bit shy before others, but never hesitates in talking to me”. Nikesh expresses his gratitude towards their moms, for all things which are ‘bright and beautiful. “Both mothers were quite understanding of their children. I have two elder sisters and Sonu has a younger brother.”

The couple says their next step next is to find like-minded couple and take the highroad towards legal validation of gay marriage and adoption.
first published:August 23, 2019, 22:31 IST