“Never ever do anything which will bring disgrace to the family.” “What?? Don’t roll your eyes on me, Shweta. You know we live in a society and we are answerable to people.”---spoke Mrs. Kapoor, while packing Shweta’s belongings. Shweta was leaving for her new abode the very same day.
Within a few months she loved her work and enjoyed it more. The new workplace environment, her new colleagues, regular office parties were a few things she looked forward to. On various occasions she showcased her skills; remained on toes and left no stone unturned to please the client(s).
Soon Shweta was chosen master of the ceremony. Her boss was super excited to see the young bud so enthusiastically involved the whole evening. The party was merely a platform to make new connections. Shweta too didn’t let go of the opportunity.
“When can we meet next?”—Shweta asked her partner with a coquettish grin. She was in love with a girl and realized her sexual orientation lately. “I never felt such an excitement in life until now. With her around me I feel great, complete as an individual”—confronted Shweta to herself.
And one fine day she told her mother about her sexual orientation. Her mother didn’t understand it first and thought it to be a joke.
She was petrified to know about it and couldn’t accept the harsh reality. Shweta tried every possible way to tell her mother that it was the way she wanted to live life and would not change her individuality for the sake of society. Since that day her mother insisted her to seek clinical assistance to get rid of the “issue.”
Her mother didn’t let go of any chance to humiliate her. She tried to get her engaged with a guy with an intention that initiating things with him will make Shweta ignore her sexual orientation. Soon a cold wave hit mother-daughter relationship.
Shweta tried to persuade her mother not to ignore the matter but to talk about it. Although she knew that her mother wouldn’t readily accept her sexual orientation however, she didn’t lose hope. Her deliberate ignorance of her daughter’s sexuality and insistence to seek clinical assistance for treatment was the sole cause of Shweta’s mental distress which eventually started affecting her day-to-day life activities.
Shweta is not alone in this fight against the society. There are many who have kept their sexuality under the wrap with a consistent fear that the society may outcaste them anytime the truth comes out. But is this fear justified?? Why is the acceptance of an individual’s sexual orientation in our society a big deal??
People need to understand that sexual orientation, just like other developmental process, can be understood best by the psychological theory of nature vs. nurture. The reasons for one’s sexual preference can be genetic or environmental. It’s high time we, as a society should understand that Homosexuality is no disease; Being a gay or not is totally an individual’s choice. In 1994, the APA (American Psychological Association) stated that homosexuality is neither a mental illness nor a moral depravity. It is the way a portion of the population expresses human love and sexuality.
We, as a society, should have a non-judgmental attitude towards homosexuals; should provide a platform to them so that they can freely “come-out” and live their lives in peace.
It’s a matter of grave concern to understand the psychological status of a person, who doesn’t have a freedom to express his/her sexual choice. People expect full family support in such situations. But in majority of cases minimal or zero family-support remains the key factor in their enhanced distress.
People should understand that sexual orientation doesn’t define one’s character or abilities to excel in life. Sexual preference of an individual is as normal as his preference of other earthly matters namely, clothing, food, education, etc.
Shweta’s mother should have provided her an assertive and supportive platform to discuss the matter rather than tagging her sexual orientation a clinical problem.
As a society we should stop judging people’s sexual preferences; exams are enough to do so...!