Homosexuality, is an identity of individuals who are romantically and sexually attracted to members of their own sex. “Hush, I hope nobody heard you mention it! My heart skipped a beat!!”, why do you think such a statement follows the definition of homosexuality?……. Unfortunately, it is a forbidden element of our society, which sad to some, is in actuality an identity of numerous teens and adolescents in India. Families abandon their children just for the fact that they identify as Gay, Lesbian and/or Bisexual; Societies which tend to be focused on community participation and do not believe in one individual or self but a whole, are the ones severely affected by the raging inferno of heteronormativity (is the belief of participation and lifestyles of individuals is only considered normal when it abides by the norms set by heterosexuals) and homophobia (fear or disgust towards individuals who are attracted towards the members of their own sex, either romantically and/or sexually). “I hate myself, why am I not normal like the others?”, “God? I need to change myself! What sin have I committed for being born this way?”; accompanying this are the baddies of town, Anxiety, Depression, Trauma, Self-loathing, Lower Self-esteem, Fear of ostracization and other emotional psychopathologies.
Developmental Psychology is really based around the development of the child’s mental, physical and emotional occupancies. Family dynamics really play a magnanimous role here, the emotional relationship of the child with their parents acts as a make a deal or break a deal. In theory the closer the proximity of the child with their parents, the easier it is for them to be open to them, right? No! In fact, some children who’re very close to their parents find it more difficult to come out fearing the embarrassment that their parents’ and might fear the family dynamic taking a 180* turn and them losing the relationship they have with their parents. On the other hand, children with parents who aren’t close to them have a very severe and pertinent fear of being abused and abandoned by their family without any financial or emotional support when they’re just 14 or 16 years of age. My father tends to ask me very often about my dating life, not that I have any! I wonder if he will stay the same if I tell him one day that I’ve a boyfriend and not a girlfriend as he assumes, I must have one as my friends, well majority of them are females. This particular act of heteronormativity of guessing culture is the rotting apple in the basket of a healthy mindset! The better way of approaching this momentum could be him asking “Are you in any relationship?” or “are you dating somebody?” rather than just guessing that since my sex is male, I’d be only attracted to females.
One day, a close friend of mine asked this to her mum, “Mum, what if one day I tell you that I’m not straight?” to which her mum replied “I’d accept”. This brought tears to my eyes. This wonderment comes from the fact this is rare. One thing Indian parents fail to understand is that their child’s overall development comes from the very fact of “trust and faith”, which is melodiously misunderstood for their children not doing something that isn’t lawful.
Yes, this is a requirement but emotions are asked to be buried deep especially if the child is the future bread-earner of the family and/or if the child is a male child as when heteronormativity is concerned a family line is only considered successful if the man marries a woman and produces an heir who will then carry on the family lineage. This particular thought process is what gives birth to homophobia, because if the current heir to the family marries a member of their own sex, they won’t be able to produce an heir unless they adopt or go through surrogacy. I know for one thing that may disturb my parents is that their family name will end with my last breath since I’ll not be marrying to a woman, ever.
Conclusively, the sooner we respond to emotions with fragility and eradicate this mindset of homosexuality= disgust and shame, the sooner the mental health of millions in this country will flourish.