Sandeep Sharma

“I am gay” – the first time when I broke this news to my parents, we were gearing up for my elder brother’s marriage. It was last December. I still remember their reaction. Their way of thinking is orthodox. They were some sort of worried or disappointed on finding about my sexuality. No child would ever want to see the disappointment in their parents eyes because of him, but I just couldn’t hide it anymore.

Unlike my professional life, my personal life hasn’t been that easy. For a major part of my life, starting from college, I felt that I was stuck in a cocoon, not able to decide if I should break out or not. If I do, will I still fit in the society? I was more open in school, but during graduation I was not. And the same continued on when I joined the corporate world. I had to change my sentences while talking to my friends, like – if I dated a guy, I had to say it was a girl. I was not able to be myself, maybe because I had no friends from the community, or the fear that maybe they won’t accept me, because I was a little ‘different’

With time, looking at the awareness I started to feel comfortable. When I broke this fact about myself before my close colleague, I am glad that he showed empathy.  I have been questioned several times that “When did I find out about my sexuality?” Well, I answer them as humbly as possible. I question them back that “When did they discover their sexuality?”, like when did they know that they were attracted to girls? The inline thing is, this is completely natural and it was never a discovery. So far, I have been upfront about this; all the people, before whom, I have expressed myself, they accepted it gladly. Well, there are instances when my friends have informed that there were some who behaved differently behind my back, gossiped about me. I ignore. This never changed what I am and I am proud of myself.

Since childhood, my mother inspired me into teaching and mentoring others. I used to assist my mother while delivering the lessons in her institute while I was in class 10th. When I was in class 12th, I started providing tuitions to students in 9th and 10th grade.

Eventually I realized that I was more into the research and analysis. So, I had planned to do BSc. However, I had to choose B Tech under the circumstances. There was change in curriculum and I had to give in.

It was only after completing my under graduation, I stepped out of Delhi. Being from north India, I could have felt a little uncomfortable to go to south, but it turned out to be a very pleasant experience. In November 2017, I moved to Mysore to join my training. I was awestruck; though I had to face a little bit of stereotyping, eventually everything faded into nothingness. Even I had preconceived ideas about others from different cultures. I am glad, everyone got on well. I started interacting with people from different states. As a person, I thought I was an introvert. But after my stay over there, I realised I love to connect… I am an ambivert! Well, that’s not all. I am a little bit selective. Mostly, people rely on common topic to get on well. I only get on well if the vibes resonate with me. Otherwise I try to avoid an interaction.

In the office premises, I try to get everything on-schedule, try to stay updated. As most people claim to have experienced office politics, I haven’t faced any such catastrophe, touch wood. I want to continue like this. My experience in the industry is close to three years. I have been travelling from Mysore to Bangalore and back based on the requirement. Currently, I am looking after the development and guiding a team; I am sort of mentor in the production environment.

I am grateful to the organization I am working in. They conduct sessions regularly, to normalize homosexuality, and other types of sexuality, and not only that, they gave me an opportunity to speak in front of a huge audience. Because of awareness campaigns by Govt. and other NGO, society is now accepting LGBTQ community more than ever. Even the people from rural India are being more open and accepting. And I truly believe that, in future, more and more people understand, that we are not that “different”. Just like no two people look alike, orientations can be different as well.

As far as my parents are concerned, things have cooled down now. There was a time when they kept asking me about my marriage; today, they don’t ask me, rather they have given me freedom to decide when I want to settle down and proceed in my life.

I am enjoying my time. My passion still continues to be the guidance for those who need it. This passion of mine doesn’t have a particular shape, which I hope, I will find out some day. For now, I am walking with the flow.

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