THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A 24-year-old homosexual man from North Kerala, who was almost under ‘house arrest’, spoke to DC, hours after the verdict on IPC 377 was out. He decided to speak aware that he was the representative voice of many others who are locked at home. “My situation is not as bad as the others. A young man who reached out to me over social media shared how he lost his teeth after his family assaulted him. He had only sneaked out from home to spend some time with a male friend. We talk over phone at times. He seems to chuckle, when he narrates his terrifying story,” he said.
Our young man has completed MSc. His parents have not barred him from taking up a job or pursuing higher studies. He is “allowed” to go out too, but after a volley of questions.
“I cannot tell them I am meeting a new friend, let alone anyone from the sexual minorities movement. I will be under complete house arrest if they know I am talking about this to a reporter. I hate lying. So, I wait till there is a reason that is valid in their eye, to go out. I had to visit the doctor in July. During that visit I could meet friends. I even went for an exhibition related to homosexuality then,” he revealed. He counted five such outings in all, in June and July.
It was in 2017 that he had revealed his identity to his parents. However, even after several conversations, sometimes bordering on altercations, the family has refused to believe. On Thursday, they heard the news about IPC 377 on the radio. His father pretended he heard nothing. “They say I am pretending to be gay. They are in denial,” he says.
Years of mental agony preceded his realisation that he was a homosexual. He was always trying to convince himself that he was attracted to women. In fact, he gave a love letter to a girl in school and boasted about it at home. “I wanted to prove that I was like everyone else,” he says.
But at one point he became exhausted of having to live up to the expectations of the world. He is still recovering from the stress and anxiety of those times. He was asked if he felt hopeful after Thursday. “I am not sure if a verdict alone will make a difference,” he said. (It was because he was a stickler for truth that we could not find him an alternative name.)