(Trigger Warning: Some questions could make you feel agitated. Reader discretion is advised.)
Sexolve is equal rights activist Harish Iyer’s Q&A space on FIT.
If you have any queries regarding sex, sexuality or your relationship, and need some advice, answers or just someone to hear you out – write in to Harish Iyer, and he’ll try and ‘sexolve’ it for you. Drop in a mail to email@example.com.
This week’s Q&As below:
'My Parents Found Out I Am Lesbian'
I am a 28 year old girl who was living in Mumbai. My parents are extremely orthodox Tams. I have been living with my girlfriend in Mumbai, but am with my parents in Chennai ever since the lockdown. Yesterday, they found out that I was living with a roommate who was a girl. They always thought that I was living by myself. They got curious about why I would hide that I was living with a girl. They always have told me to get a room-mate, but I refused saying “I love my independence”. Later, they discovered some of my love notes to her and a photograph of us smooching each other. Mom was furious. She wants to take me to a therapist. What should I do? Should I come out to her? As of now I just shrugged it all off as a friendly kiss. Mom could say that it was more than that. Dad was cool on the outside but looks like he is planning something once the lockdown eases out completely. I just hope they don’t do anything wrong with me. What do I need to do in times of crisis? I feel so guilty…
Dear Girl, Thank you so much for writing in. I know these lockdown times are quite challenging. I also understand that this is not quite the coming out that you had envisioned for yourself. However, these are trying times and we should ensure that things don’t get more volatile than what they already are.
I want you to understand a one thing:
YOU ARE NOT AT FAULT.
You are not at fault for loving. You are not at fault for being loved. And you are not at fault for loving someone from the same gender.
Yes, things could have been different. Parents could have been more supportive. But sometimes, we also need to look at parents from their point of view. They have for long lived in a heteronormative world. For them to understand where you are coming from, would involve some learning and a lot of unlearning of the fact that there are sexualities and genders more than one. And all kinds of love are valid.
Imagine, queer people sometimes take months and years to confront their own feelings and understand who they really are. Parents will have to process what’s not happening with them but their loved ones. That definitely takes more time, most times ( if not all times).
Don’t question your sexuality. Don’t think it is your fault. Don’t hurry up your parents into accepting who you are. Give them time. Let them walk from shock to disbelief to belief to understanding to acceptance. If they want to speak to a parent, please feel free to call The Jimme Foundation on +919833100340 and we will put you in touch with a parent who could speak to your parents. I am tam too, so my mom can speak to your folks in Tamil.
Remember, you are an adult and you cannot be forced to take any medicines or therapy without your consent. And your consent has to be absolute and continuous. For now, I wouldn’t recommend you to fan the flames anymore. Let it flow smoothly till the lockdown. Post lockdown, you may move back to Mumbai. However, if things get a little challenging, please feel free to get in touch with the Tamil Nadu police on 100. There is no law that allows parents or anyone to detain or be violent with children. Secondly, you are free to love anyone in this country. Always remember that.
Keep the faith. Things get better.
P.S. Do not hesitate to call.
'I Am Desperate to Have My Partner's Baby'
I have been having a tough time even telling you this. I know it would sound stupid and silly to some. However, I have to tell you this. I have been always a firm believer of god and miracles. I have been wanting to have a child since the time I fell in love. I wanted to have my partners child and I believe in God and that God will fulfil my wishes. It is my immense faith in God that has led me to a life of fulfilment. Who in today’s world can boast of a 5-year-old relationship which is full of love and compassion. My husband loves me so much that he would keep me as the apple of his eyes. Since marriage was not legal in India, we settled in South Africa with our pet cat. We are truly blessed. Everything I thought would happen with my life, has happened already. There’s one wish that is still waiting. I know god will bless me with that too. I want to be a mother. I don’t want to have a sex change. My husband and I have great sex. However, I prayed to god that I become a father and God told me that I should drink a magic potion of my husband. I have always been swallowing my husband’s sperm and since the past 4 months I have developed a stomach. I have a child inside me. When I went to the doctor and told them that I may need a C section for my baby, they laughed. Now my husband also thinks that I am crazy, though he is very loving towards me. He told me last night that I cannot get pregnant. He broke down crying. I don’t know if you will laugh at me and think I am totally crazy, but I want to tell you that I am pregnant. My child will be born soon. Miracles happen in the world. I am a miracle. God made a mistake by making me a man, but gave me the seed to blossom. I have the seed, I will bear fruit. I am blessed. I just don’t know how to convince everyone else around me. How do I tell them that I am pregnant and I am not speaking in a metaphoric sense, I am bearing a child. A real child. Thank you for listening to me. Please take care.
Dear Blessed Man,
Thank you for writing in.. At the outset, let me assure you that I will not label you as stupid. Thank you for sharing and trusting in me.
I am so happy to read that you have found an endearing husband, with whom you experience abundant love and compassion. Much love to your kitty cat too. That’s such a lovely family and it reinstates my faith in universal fact that love is beyond frontiers of sexuality and gender.
I do understand that you have an undying desire to get pregnant. I also understand that you believe in the possibility of miracles.
Who am I to judge you? Don’t most of us hope at some point of our lives, that our faith gives birth to miracles.
I should tell you a little about science though. When someone drinks the sperm of their partner, it will get digested in the stomach and go through the processes that any food that you ingest would.
Also, to bear a child, one would need sperm to unite with an Ova and one would need a fallopian tube and uterus to hold the foetus. Men whose sex assigned at birth is male don’t have a fallopian tube or uterus or an ova or a vagina to receive the penis and for the sperm to be deposited in.
Sometimes, we would need to re-evaluate what we feel with the realities of what’s possible and what’s not. Sometimes, when things get so intense and our desires are so strong, we would need the help of an external expert to help us manage our expectations in tandem with our reality. So, I would very strongly recommend, that you seek the assistance of a mental health professional to help you navigate through this. Because I do understand that your desire to have a child is strong, the mental health professional would help you and your partner understand ways of making this possible. It may be the route of adoption or surrogacy.
P.S. Therapy can help you compose your thoughts and possibly see the realisation of the same desire, albeit, a different route.
'I Masturbate Too Many Times'
I have a problem with sex. I feel like masturbating all day. This lockdown is eating me up. How can I control. This is irritating.
Dear Worried Boy,
While masturbation in general is not harmful, the truth is also that any habit that takes an obsessive spell is something that we need to control. You could divert your mind to many other things. Watch movies, do what you loved doing the most but didn’t find time. Meditation also helps. If none of these work, please visit a counsellor or your doctor to seek assistance.
P.S. Visit a counsellor
(Harish Iyer is an equal rights activist working for the rights of the LGBT community, women, children and animals.)
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