Recently I was sent an invite to participate in a Gay Parade being
organized by Gay and Lesbian Organizations for the gay community to
come together to express their demand for freedom from Victorian Laws
like IPC 377 in the Indian Judiciary that are anti-gay in nature.
Impulsively & wholeheartedly I wanted to participate right away.
However there is a problem.
I have been bewildered by the attachment that has developed between my
students and me. They express their affection for me openly, and I
feel a strong tenderness within my heart for them.
There are times when the friendliness that I encourage in the quality
of relationship between us, helps them to approach me with things that
It could be a simple ego problem with a friend, it could be something
that has been weighing on their mind, or just a simple friendly elder
person that they seek to connect with.
There are times when I go out of my way to shower my care. And I feel
quite paternal about it, kind of a Catholic priest taking care of his
students in a convent.
I spent a few nights sleeping in anticipation of the grand event, my
first participation in an open Gay parade, a grand Expression of what
I am, as I see it, a kind of coming out to tell Society that this is
what I am and believe in and damn whether they like it or not.
It is a kind of coming to terms with my own self, throwing away the
dual hypocrite mask, walking shoulder to shoulder with people who lead
lives similar to mine, gay and unmarried, all coming together to
participate in an event meant for each one of us to come out together
finally and say – I AM WHAT I AM, AND I DON’T CARE WHAT YOU SAY ABOUT IT.
However as the initial euphoria passed away, the realization that I
would be in an open parade wherein there could be a lot of media
cameras around, seemed to put me in a dilemma.
Would my students be able to accept me as I am if they were to spot me
in the parade? Would they ever be able to trust a friendly touch from
me? Would they consider me an outsider, an outcaste? Would I lose
However on the other hand, if I don’t participate in the parade, I
would be suppressing something within me – a kind of expression that
seems totally to be so relevant to being true to myself, even an
obligation on my part to a cause that will only lead to more
acceptance of gay people in the society!
The organizers have emphasized that there would be feather masks etc.
to disguise ourselves however, if I would be there I would be there to
unmask myself, to tell the world that this is how I am and I am not a
And the consequences, if any?
And now I understand that this is the responsibility that comes with
the opportunity given to each one of us i.e. to make one’s own choices
in life- whether to live for a cause or sacrifice what one is for the
love of ones who won’t understand you.
Either way, I can lose.
Either way, I win.