Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I'm Gay because I'm Gay

Let me address my understanding of the myth/debate of child sexual abuse causing change in sexual orientation.

I had a lot of aversion towards the idea of sex. Though I used to get erections and night falls, I completely hated myself for thinking of a man. I associated it with abuse like the world is doing today. Sex for me was not pleasurable. And if sexuality was really a choice, I'd have chosen to be straight as I hated men and anything remotely masculine.

It took me a Gay Bombay film fest and a few sexual encounters with men to realise that I am really attracted to men. I had a relationship with a woman and sex with another. Both were just because I wanted to prove to myself that I am not gay. I often jokingly quote "it was a one night stand with the woman, but it just didn't stand". I do love women. Gunjan is the name of my first love and she will always be loved. But not all love needs to be of sexual nature. I continue to love her dearly.

I don't think I am gay because of anything. I am gay, just because I am gay. It's out of the closet that many girls who get abused by men, grow an aversion towards sex with men. But many (if not all) eventually, despite the scars and phobia, overcome/hide their fears get married to the opposite sex. They don't "turn lesbian" because of being abused by the opposite sex or because of the aversion towards men.

Similarly, I hated men. But I couldn't make love to  a woman just because I hated men. And even though I hated men, I secretly admired some of them. My natural leanings towards the same sex were so strong that I chose to not live a lie just to align myself with the heterosexual world. It took a lot of effort to accept that I love men. It took a lot of effort to look at men as people and not demons. It took a lot of self talk and anonymous browsing and interactions on yahoo chat.  It took a lot of effort for me to come out as a gay man than it did about my abuse. Because it was and is far difficult to face another challenge after having faced an ordeal of child sexual abuse for many years. The big challenge of answering questions about my sexuality. The world was insensitively calling me Gay just because I was abused by a man, even at a time when I was unsure about my sexuality. It took a lot of guts to come out and say - yes I am gay and my abuse has nothing to do with it. 

Did I enjoy a happy sex life?

Well, I don't intend to put down my bedroom details here. But yes, I did have my phobias when it came to penetrative sex. I just couldn't do it with someone,  what someone did with me. The memory was haunting. Eventually I did overcome. 

There is this notion mentioned by people in the several mails I received post the show that some children "enjoyed" the sex abuse by their neighbour/relative. I just told them that abuse and enjoyment are two contradictory terms. You don't "enjoy" if you get "abused". May be sex was not painful as it was for me or may be you were not threatened or beaten or been a victim of S and M, but that doesn't mean you had to go through it at that age. It leaves the mind violated even if you don't agree. Children are supposed to be children. They need to be taught about sex, but not experimented or shown porn and told that this is the way to have sex.

The classic debate that followed after the show was about aamir and I trying to hide my sexuality in the show. There is a slander mail floating around on facebook that intends to say that if I am gay and a survivor of child sexual abuse by a man, I must have enjoyed it. I just have to say that no child enjoys something shoved onto his anus or the red "cheeks" effect. And even if it was not painful, a child at that age deserved to play with friends, not foreplay with a lusty adult.

Sex abuse did not make me gay. I am gay because I am gay. And sex abuse doesn't make people straight either. Again since heterosexuality is more popular, let me cite an example, what if I was abused by a woman and was straight? Would we still debate that probably heterosexual abuse made me straight?

I'm no psychologist or psychiatrist but in my understanding, sexual habits and sexual orientation are two different things. Like sexual abuse may lead to sexual habits like if you are abused as a child and it is done in a "take candy as I massage you" way, one may grow up wanting that kind of touch and massage- sexual habit. But eventually hormones would play up towards your natural sexual orientation.

In my experience of speaking about the issue of child sexual abuse, I know of equal number of boys abused by men who are heterosexual as homosexual.

I am of the opinion, that it doesn't matter what one's sexuality is. All this research and theory should be left to intellectuals to debate.

If you are comfortable being a certain way, and you are not harming anyone by being so, I see no reason for you to not be that way. We should just not get into a skin we are not comfortable in. I am gay, and I don't care for what reason, and I don't feel anyone else needs to whack their brains to find a reason to find the reason for my sexuality. The truth is that I'm extremely happy as a homosexual man. And there is no debate at that. Homosexuality is not a choice. Being out about being a homosexual definitely is.

It's not often that I edit or update a post after I have published it, but this one is important, so including some reactions from friends in the body of this post itself. 

My Doctor friend Anand Philip tweeted this in response. 

" children can experience pleasure during abuse, and this can lead to confusions later on,  but sexual abuse is not marked by pleasure or lack of it but the power and choice dynamics of the encounters. 

i posted this article on facebook and psychologist Deepak Kashyap sent me this article  CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE with this note.  

"The above two link give a detailed scientific account that there is no relation between being molested by a same-sex person in childhood and homosexuality/bisexuality. They also deal with why people believe that the there could be a connection. Read on." 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Deluge of Emails post satyamev jayate

its humanely impossible to reply to 6000+ emails personally in 2 days. 
read around a thousand, most of them by survivors of child sexual abuse who have chosen to confide their deepest harshest secret to me, and i am the only one in the whole world who knows about it, even though i am practically a stranger. 

i am overwhelmed. let me share some of the responses. 

Q) i think i have invited abuse on myself. 

my response : 

"it is not your fault if you were abused. you have the right to freedom, and the first freedom you need to work towards is freedom from guilt. "

Q) i am trapped in my past. 

my response : 

"you cant go back and change your past, but you can put the past in the past and let it rest there. look at it in flashback baby, not in fast forward"

Q) i dont feel i have the ability to love. 

my response: 

"you have all the right to love. you have all the ability to make love. sex is never a bad thing. the act is not sin. the incidence was sin. and you are not the sinner if you have been sinned upon"

Q) I feel dirty. i feel i look dirty

my response: 

" your body is not disfigured. you are sexy. and sexy as hell. make love to your mind. and then someone can make love to your body"

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Satyamev Jayate manages to democratise viewership

DD is a poor mans gully cricket while satellite is like the IPL. I guess, now my TV is not even tuned for  Doordarshan. Looking back, there was a time when TV meant DD. They were like synonyms in India. From there till here, where now, even star is just one in the constellation. At this high pitched competitive market it takes more than just starpower to cause the marriage between DD and Star. And Uday Shankar of Star and Aamir just happen to manage it like makhaan.

I was hearing Aamir on Jeeturaj 's show on Radio Mirchi where he was speaking about Satyamev Jayate, and I thought that may be, Aamir and Team should also explore taking the show on radio - simulcast in Radio Mirchi and All India Radio... How cool will that be?

Monday, May 07, 2012

I'm scared of something... even I don't know about!

I'm scared
Of being bare
With no emotions of mine
Just the truth of nakedness that shines

I am scared
Of all knowing of what I had not yet shared
Hidden secrets of mine
Secure under the carpets of time

I'm scared
For I alone bear the weight of so many who confide
For I need to be have strength by the side
I don't have the liberty to be scared to hide

I'm scared
Of prying eyes, of emotional lightnings
I want to run away 
To somewhere I know not anyone
I feel like a child again
I wish to be born.

I'm scared,
Of being placed in a pedestal
For I never wanted to be god
I want to sin like others
I want to be lost in the crow

I'm scared,
That I stand alone
With a heart so cold
With eyes to watch
But no hand to hold

I'm scared
Scared that I can't be weak
Some think I'm holier than thou
God in me they seek

I'm not like this all the time
May be it is just now that I feel so
But why does the wind cry today
Why do I sweat in the snow

I am tired of running
Open your arms
I'm tired of calming people
Touch my face make me calm.

Hold my palm. Hold my palm. Hold my palm. 

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Satyamev Jayate Promos Featuring Me

I have been inundated with phone calls and emails since morning about my appearance in satyamev jayate. I am bound by a contract and a promise I have made to Aamir Khan and the sexy team of the production house, so can't reveal much about the show. But I can definitely state the obvious - yes yes yes, it is me in the show. And it is neither Vikram Phadnis, nor is the guy Rahul Dravid. And for havens sake, it is not Karan Johar, I know they look a bit like me. But no - it is me only.

I'm overwhelmed by the response the show has been getting for the first show. And love the fact that it brings social issues, least discussed to the fore. I am however a little upset that it is at the same time as my favoritest show on hindi television - Zindigi Live. But well, I was appalled by the way Rajdeep and the programming team took the decision to give step motherly treatment to this superb show by the lovely richa by cancelling the programme for anna hazare and other issues. But the good side of having a show parallel to Satyamev Jayate is that one has an option of watching the issue that they *heart*, its just a channel switch away.

This brings me to the big question people are asking "does aamir khan think he could bring about social change" . The answer is NO. He or my other pals Richa Anirudha or Barkha Dutt can only bring the issue to the fore. Their production team can put stories together, package them together. But they can in the end only ignite the thought, to walk on it or not, is your prerogative.

I see half of Bhadralok in my timeline on facebook analysing aamir's PR strategy and looking at it with utmost cynisism. Well, he did decide to take a plunge and bring a well packaged and wonderfully strategised show to us. Its a huge risk for him too. Imagine, him in a gibberish TV show. It will certainly screw his image even in films. The whole star value would be at a toss. But at his level this is the best activity he could do. To expect him to become a shabana azmi or nandita das is like expecting too much. And the whole drama over "male oprah"... Well, it is just good copy. I'm sure there is no comparison. And even if there is, I guess we should be happy about it. What's with you cynics yaar? When was the last time you stood up for something without questioning the intent?


when you see an oppurtunity to do something good, DO GOOD. i f you have a chance to see something good. SEE GOOD. your bloody dissection, doesn't lead anyone anywhere. 

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Forgive When People Repent

Most would know. Since I have ranted about this on national television in utmost attention-hugging glory of video cameras. - I was bullied in college about my sexuality. Much that even I wasn't sure about my sexuality then. I attempted suicide. Now, years later, 15 years to be precise, he called me, he apologised. This is what I replied.


"Your sin, you say, is the fact that you maligned my name. 
Pushed me down. 
Bullied me. 
Made a sham. 
 Made me a shame. 

You say you gave me sleepless nights. 
And dark days."

"Yes, I am upset with you. 
I seek revenge. 
So I forgive you. 
I will wait with my arms wide open to hug you. 
Believe me, this hug would be the tightest, loveliest and most personal. 

And then, I will be sporting a quirky smile. 
Because if your conscience then pricks you, you are transformed. 
And if it doesn't, you were never humane, so I have no reason to hate another species that has no instinct to love. "

"Hate destroys the hater. 
And why do you think I will destroy myself for you. 
I don't love you so much too. "

Yes, you heard it right, I forgive you your sins, as I forgive myself for believing in you then. 
It's been 15 years my friend that you started a hate campaign against me in college. 
And beyond philosophy, I have no hate for you. J
ust open arms to hug you.


It feels nice to know that some people follow me like how fanatics follow religion. But that puts the onus on me, to be responsible and besides my quirky- stupid posts I also share some milestones in my life. And some anecdotes that inspire me. I have always been my own inspiration. And I have had no shame in admitting that even at the risk of sounding pompous. I know that this could lead to people thinking I am too proud and insane. Well, you have the right to your opinion. And your observation is not false. Just that I see no wrong in being proud of what you are and what you have achieved if your intent is just to share and in the process ignite a thought wave for transformation. Imagine, if no one shared stories of transformation, the world would will be full of fallacy and pain and murderous blunders. Hai naa?

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