“My wife was crestfallen and I was shocked when my son told us he would never marry a girl. My 28-year old son said he is gay,” recalls the 57-year-old father who eventually came to terms with his son’s sexual preference but still feels “sad” about it.
A 62-year-old widow, who lives with her two sons, took it in her stride when her 35-year-old son working with an MNC disclosed he was gay. The mother says: “It is his life. What can I say?”
These are among other parents with gay children whose interviews have been recorded for the first time in Marathi in Manachiye Gunti (Samalingi Mulancha Palakancha Atmakatha), which is an account of parents of gay children. Published by Samapathik Trust, the book tells parents how to deal with their children’s sexuality.
Bindumadhav Khire, president of Samapathik Trust, a sexual health organisation working with gays, lesbians, transgenders and intersex community on their health and advocacy issues, says he decided to write the book in Marathi to assist parents in getting the correct medical and legal information.
“Parents have no support system when confronted with their child’s sexuality. They have a lot of questions but no one to talk to,” says Khire.
Dr Bhooshan Shukla, child and adolescent psychiatrist who has given his views in the book, says parents and society need to understand that homosexuality is a natural variant of sexuality.
“The international scientific community had accepted that it is not a disease that needs a cure,” says Shukla who has counselled several parents on how to accept their child’s sexuality.
“Finally, after several counselling sessions, I have to tell anxious parents that getting the boy married would be a case of outright cheating, lead to several complications between two families and eventually discredit their son. Parents finally understand this and try to respect their son or daughter’s wishes,” Shukla adds.