“The internet was my best friend and cookies, my worst enemy”.
Hi, I am Dhruv and I am Gay.
Let me start from the beginning.
When I was a kid, I always knew there was something off about me. I never knew what, or never knew why I even thought this. But I was different.
Different from who?
I was different from my brother (my co-tripletee) and his friends. I wasn’t very popular. I couldn’t play any sports. I couldn’t even catch a ball. My best friends were girls and what I wanted more than anything was to play with dolls.
School was tough because bullying was the norm. I was always called ‘Chakka’ (Eunuch). I don’t remember a single day when I didn’t come home and cry. No one knew of my bullying because I was ashamed. That’s when I learned to start hiding the things I was ashamed off. And that’s when my secret life began.
I never knew what gay was until I was 11. And I never knew that I was gay until I was 11.
It all started rather surreptitiously. One day when I was 11, I was at a sleepover at my brother’s friend’s house (they were never my friends; always his friends), when they started discussing porn. The very next day I saw my first porno.
It was nothing great, but I remember being fascinated by the penises.
Soon I was addicted. Coming home early just to look at penises, worship them, want them. It was an amazing time. Enjoying myself without any shame. Without feeling different. Doing something my brother did too.
It was during this exploration of straight porn, that I came across gay porn. And after watching my first gay porno, I knew it. I AM GAY!!
But along with that came all the anti-gay articles on the internet, the homophobic attitudes of society, the homophobic taunts that suddenly made sense. And this too was added to my list of shame.
I was ashamed of myself.
The bullying continued and I pretended it didn’t happen. I was so good at pretending, that I don’t know when I started believing my fake feelings.
Finally, after so many years of pain, I shifted schools. The bullying stopped, and life was on auto-pilot. I remember not being sad. But I don’t remember being happy either. My secret life continued, unabashed.
The internet was my best friend and cookies, my worst enemy.
I was content and feeling-less. I was okay.
But then feelings have a way of catching up with you. All the guilt, shame and self-loathing reared its ugly head again. And when these feelings catch up with you, they have a tendency to be disguised.
For me, they came as suicidal tendencies and several ‘almost’ attempts. I was unhappy and I didn’t know why. I knew I didn’t want to die. But I didn’t know what else to do either. I was sent to a shrink, but that didn’t help either. I took anti-depressants.
Maybe that helped a bit?
There are some times when your neurotransmitters align correctly and you get an epiphany. It just hits you. And hit it did.
I was a 21 year old gay boy, who hadn’t met, spoken to or known another gay man as far as I knew. I was a 21 year old gay boy who had never been kissed. I was a 21 year old gay boy who felt lonely. So lonely.
This was the kick that I needed.
And I had a blast.
I really enjoyed myself. Not feeling any guilt or shame, meeting others like me and knowing how happy they are. I knew that even I could be happy.
That happiness could only come by self acceptance. By not lying and hiding anymore. By coming clean and putting an end to my secret life.
And so I came out.
I told my ex-girlfriend (yes, I tried to straight the gay away), my friends at college, my siblings and finally my parents.
Now I am a 22 year old gay man (more of a man-child) with friends. Gay and straight. I have been kissed (and much more :P). And I am a little less lonely than before.
Now, for the first time in a long time, I can say that I am happy.
Coming out, saved my life.