The recent Orlando attack against the LGBT people shook the entire world. The hate crime against gay people seems to increasing day by day all over the globe. In a country like India which already has its roots ingrained with its paradoxical opinions on such sensitive issues, dealing with homosexuality seems to be a big deal in the households. One of the prime reasons for such adjustment difficulties is that the LGBT community here continues to face legal restrictions in coming out with their sexuality boldly.
So what should you do if you find out that one of your family members, be it your brother, sister or probably a cousin is homosexual? How should you react? Should you just become impulsive and pound your anger upon them? Or should you relax and stay composed? All these questions can be confusing as homosexuality is not yet in acceptance inside a typical Indian upbringing. But you need to ask what is actually right and wrong and not just simply abide by what the government or your orthodox culture teaches you.
Here we are to help you by telling you how you should react when you find out that someone in your family is gay.
Before we begin, we want you to know that HOMOSEXUALITY IS NOT A CRIME. Also, that sexuality is one’s own personal choice. The way one wishes to love is a human experience and it cannot be enforced in someone, it happens naturally.
Here we go…..
Asking is one of the foremost important things to do. The first thing you should do on finding out a gay member inside your home is to ask them all the questions very openly but calmly. Ask them the following questions:
When did you realize that you are gay?
Who all know about this?
Has it been tough to keep the secret?
How can I help you?
DO NOT OBSESS OVER FINDING ALL THE ANSWERS
Yes! You do no need to find all the answers like how did your brother or sister become gay and why does he/she has such a big hurdle to cross etc. Just relax your nerves and tell yourself that homosexuality is okay and by supporting them you aren’t doing them a favor, instead you are just being a decent human being. This way you will not have to be watchful of your behavior around your sibling all the time and love, care and support will come naturally.
SUPPORT THEM IN PUBLIC
Society and its norms are a real test for homosexuals and a person who has just revealed his homosexuality is prone to receive countless and abundant degrading statements from his/her surroundings. At such point in time, you must stand up for them and defend them. You should never be aggressive or impulsive though. If a person makes an unsupportive statement you should take efforts in explaining to them that their statements are hurtful. Tell them that such offending statements are not what your sibling deserves and he/she must be treated equally no matter what their sexuality is.
TRY TO UNDERSTAND THE LGBT COMMUNITY
Your job as a responsible family member does not end with being their support system. You must also try to understand the problems of other people in the same community as your siblings can also face them. Once you get to know the LGBT community closely, you will unveil various aspects of their personalities and the reasons behind them which you didn’t know before. Accompany your family member to gay gatherings as you will get insights into their world and help you understand them better and ably.
So these were few ways in which you can be a great source of support for your gay sibling and help them live their life on their own terms. It is important to tell the world that homophobic statements shall not be tolerated and that changes have to be made. And, in order to make big changes, we will have to start with these small steps!
Ashwathi is an enthusiastic traveller and dancer with a passion for movies and music. Hailing from an Army background, she considers herself fortunate enough to have experienced the diverse cultures that India boasts of. She is a graduate in Journalism and Mass Communications and has worked in print, radio and television.