Priyanjul Johari

So they asked,” Priyanjul, when did you come out?” I told them that I came out only once – from my mother’s womb; never again after that! They then asked me again, “ But when did you realize you were different?” I said,” OMG! I was never different. But it was the world who thought I was different.” So I knew it, the problem is with the world, NOT me!

Born and raised in a middle-class family in Budaun, Uttar Pradesh, I grew up like any other boy from the same social background. Supportive parents, a loving brother, excellence in academics and extra-curricular activities, and some great friends sum up my amazing childhood. During my teenage years, my friends discussed girls and their fantasies, and I only sat to listen to them. Until then, I was oblivious of my sexuality but knew that I was different. The attraction to men only grew stronger with age, but the lack of any visibility for the LGBT community made me think that it was just a phase and that it would all be normal. I even believed that just like my friends, even I would grow up to marry girls, and have children.

After completing school in 2014, I joined college to pursue my B. Tech at Solan, and like any other guy, I was determined to enjoy those 4 years of my life. While all my friends were giving their best to find a girlfriend, I was lost in the dreams of “my one-sided college crush.” There he was, oblivious of my existence! During my Holi vacation in 2017, when I was hanging out with my friend Harshdeep, I told him about a girl who was interested in me. Being childhood friends, I trusted him a lot. Ignoring my gut feeling, I approached the girl. Many trials later, I realized that it just didn’t click with her. I got worried. Hence, one evening, I told him about how I feel while I am around the girl. My friend looked at me calmly and asked me, ” what if you are not interested in girls at all, but the boys?” This came as a huge shocker to me! Coming from a place where the mindset was that a boy will always get attracted to girls only, this idea of liking boys shook me up. I was in such denial that I just got up and went home.
I stood on my balcony, looked back to all the years of my life, and suddenly I felt an invisible force telling me to be ME. It told me to stop my pretense of the societal norms of a ‘normal person. With the sight of a full moon and the cold breeze touching my face, for the first time in my life, I said, “I am gay”. I never knew coming out could be so exhilarating or so ridiculously refreshing, but I felt this giant burst of adrenaline rush. Once I was able to embrace my sexuality, and fall in love with the real me, I decided to tell my friend about it. Despite the questions, I finally came out to Harshdeep in April 2017. since then, there is no turning back!
Three years later, cold sweating profusely, I told my mother. She had questions, but they were concerns, not doubts. I never expected her to be so understanding but “MAA to MAA hoti hai”. Once I shared with my mom, my life became easier. Over the next few years, I slowly began to learn more about myself, and how I have been forced to present myself a certain way due to society.

On 17th June 2018, I met “HIM”. It was surely love at first sight because the moment I saw Agni, violins were planning in the background, the wind started blowing, flowers started kissing and I knew that he was my soul mate, my forever. Finally, on the 1st of July, 2018, Agni and I officially got committed and became a couple, full of trust and love. But God had some other plans for us and after staying together in the same city for barely 3 months, I had to move for a better job opportunity. It was a tough decision, but our love gave us the courage to have a long-distance relationship for almost 3 years. Soon, I gathered all my courage and came out to my father. Although he doesn’t talk about it much, I can see that his love for me hasn’t changed one bit. If it was not for Agni, I could not have handled everything so bravely. There hasn’t been a single day that we didn’t talk or share our thoughts and feelings for each other and finally, on 17th April 2021, we were back together. Ever since we have come out proudly to the world in June 2021, we are looking to a bright future together and like wine, our relationship is getting better with each passing day.

“Shaurya, do you like ice tea,” asked Agni, pointing to the cup of cold tea I was holding in my hand. I came out of my dream world and looked at him with surprise.
Just like any couple, he started teasing me about being lost in my dreams, and before I could even express my desire to have a cup of tea, my savior was back with 2 cups of hot masala tea. With each sip of the tea, I was again lost into my dreamland where Agni and I will be happily married forever,#Shauryangi.

Total Work Experience : 3 Years (United Bank Of Switzerland)

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