ABSTRACTThis study attempts to track and unravel the inherent dichotomy between a feminized male, his sexual preferences and the inevitability of leading a fractured life, replete with multiple identities. It outlines and identifies different levels of inter-personal communication and cuts across the lifespan of a feminized male. The study is contextual to their relationships and the culture of Lucknow, the capital of the state of Uttar Pradesh in India, long considered the gay capital of India. Kothis, a community of self-identified feminized males, assume the role of passive partners in a homosexual relationship. With pre-conceived notions about the moral and behavioral reasons for their feminized mannerisms and choice of male partners, the larger heterosexual community has no place for any heart-to-heart communication, thus invoking distrust, shame, guilt, self-condemnation and self-abuse.
IntroductionIndia is a land of varied cultures, diversified values and multiple dialects, but the cultural contrast does not change the identity of a male in India. The ‘Man’ is assigned the role of bread-winner, in charge of the family who would carry the family name further. A person's position in a joint and extended family, marriage and children, are central to social definition and personal identity. Family, social and cultural pressures for marriage and children are intense. In that sense "procreative heterosexuality" can be seen as a social compulsion and as a familial and community duty. Where there may be men who would prefer to form sexual relationships and partnerships with other men they would still feel obliged to marry and produce children to honor family and community obligations. Such men will look outside the marriage for sexual and emotional fulfilment. Khan, S. (June 1996) Feminized behavior in men is a taboo and is considered a curse, More often than not, visible feminine qualities in men and interest of a male in another male, is ignominy for a lifetime. This leads to maintaining double or multiple identities in feminized males and involves complex inter-personal communication with conscious efforts. This is an interview-based study on various levels of communication, across the lifespan of a feminized male. The study is contextual to their relationships and the culture of Lucknow, the capital of the state of Uttar Pradesh in India. According to a report published in Outlookindia.com, Lucknow scores the highest, in the acceptance and prevalence of homosexuality. Outlook (September 1996). For many men who desire other men, where their sense of self is based on their sexual or gender orientation, the family and community demand for marriage places enormous emotional and psychological pressures on them. Do they disobey their parents and relatives demands, and if so what are the personal and social consequences for them? In a society where there is no social welfare system, the individual is strongly reliant on family support for educational, economic and social support; these pressures can override any sense of personal desire and sensibility even to that of ignoring the needs and issues of the prospective wife. Children, lineage, obedience, support for elders, economic survival, all take precedence. Khan, S. (August 2009) In a study conducted in Lucknow in 1998 by NFI and Bharosa amongst low-income men who have sex with other men, the finding of which are eye-openers. Marital status • Married: Frequency- 121, % of respondents- 30.25% • Unmarried: Frequency- 279, % of respondents- 69.75% • Intending to get married: Frequency- 247, % of respondents- 88.53% Khan, S. (August 2009) None of the married men in the NFI/Bharosa survey had informed their wives about their extra-marital behavior with other males. In the main, many believed that all they needed to do is to function adequately as husbands is in terms of economic support for their wives and engaging in sexual intercourse in order to have children. Marriage after all is considered a duty, sex as a means to have children. Khan, S. (August 2009) The wife is often seen as the bearer of children, not as a friend and lover. Most marriages are usually not seen as companionate and egalitarian. Khan, S. (August 2009) Kothis (sic) are biological males who engage in sexual relations with other men they call panthis (sic). Panthis (sic) can be one-night stands or life long partners for kothis (sic). Nagar, I. (July 2009) Kothis (sic) switch their identities between heterosexual males and kothis (sic) and this switch is most clearly manifest in their language choices. The two linguistic features that kothis (sic) use are Farasi and feminine gender markings. Kothis (sic) use a code language which they call Farasi, which is a mixture of Hindi grammar and vocabulary of an unknown source. Kothis (sic) also use feminine gender markings in their role as kothis (sic), when they assume their more feminine personae; the use of feminine gender marks them as different from other sexual identities. Nagar, I. (2008) The Socio-Cultural Context The background information from the NAZ Foundation suggests that Lucknow upholds a gendered framework with following characteristics – o This framework has jenanas/ kothis as men who perceive themselves as the female partners i.e. the “penetrated” and those who penetrate as panthis/ giriyas or the “real men” as perceived by kothis. o In this context these kothis/ zenanas are usually the visible MSM in a range of public environments and neighbourhoods, but panthis/ giriyas are not, for they could potentially be any “manly” male. o These “real” men do not see themselves as homosexuals or less masculine because of their sexual involvement with kothis/ zenanas. They penetrate kothis/ zenanas who are not “real men” – they are kothis/ zenanas. o Kothis/ zenanas see any male that is sexually penetrated as another kothi/ zenana, whether they identify as gay, bisexual or whatever. To kothi/ zenana-identified males such identities represent a form of “closetness”. o In other words there is a spectrum of masculinities. Khan, S. (April 2002) The in-depth interviews with 15 members from the kothi community further support the above. The interviews bring out their life history and also reveal the position of this community in the social and cultural fabric of Lucknow.
Childhood: Relationship with parents and siblingsAll kothis we interviewed were a part of a large family with three - four siblings. Their conversation with father was generally restricted, while most of them were close to their mothers. They enjoyed the socially assigned feminine chores like cooking, playing with dolls, female dressing and shared most of their time with sisters or mother. Such behavior was dismissed by parents as frivolous. As children they had no inkling of their sexuality, and also do not remember much intervention on the issue. Apart from verbal abuse and comments on mannerisms and behavior sporadic incidents of physical and sexual abuse were faintly etched in their memories.
Adolescence: Relationship with peers, siblings, parents and extended family & neighbourhoodAll kothis we interviewed discovered themselves to be different from their brothers and male friends between the ages of 12 – 15 years. They also experienced their first sexual encounter during this period which varied from exploitation from distant relatives or neighbours or strangers to innocent experiences with cousins and peers. Faheem (name changed) shared the shocking experience of rape by seniors in school at the age of 12. The impact was so severe that he was hospitalized for one month and had a tough time rejoining school. The memories are still painful but buried deep inside, as the parents were too busy sweeping it under the carpet to avoid harassment. For the vast majority of people, living with their parents there is no personal space. One or two room households, holding parents and several siblings are common. And within these household, there will be a male space and a female space, boundaries for sleeping. What privacy here? What confidentiality here? These crammed conditions of sharing male space in a culture with high levels of homosociability often create conditions of masti as a release of body tensions, these quick and furtive sexual gropings are maintained as invisible behaviors, behaviors of the dark, behaviors under the blanket and therefore not real. Khan, S. (September 1997) All-male settings are common in India and in its neighboring countries and include hostels, guest-houses, teashops, and sleeping quarters. Migrant men in cities frequently live in hostels or with other migrant men, and this provides the opportunity for sexual relations to occur. In addition, women are discouraged from visiting certain public places, including bars, in India, which effectively renders them all-male. Therefore, the issue raised here is not about sexual relations, but the very distinct social context in which men find themselves. Sexual relations between men in India need to be understood within this more general context of homosocial relations. Pappas, G., Khan, O., Taylor, W.J., Khan. S., Kumaramangalam, L., and O’Neill, J. Communication with parents during this period has the potential to shape an individual’s identity and personality as well. During this period all interviewees reported of noticing changes in their sexuality and interest in males, in contrast to their peers and brothers, who got attracted to females. By this time many had tried the clothes and cosmetics of their mothers or sisters, albeit secretively. As what was termed innocuous child’s behavior earlier, was now looked down upon by their parents and everyone around. Cross dressing is a shameful behavior in the Indian cultural context, and so are feminine mannerisms. By this age, a male is expected to behave in a certain manner, which is tough and ‘macho’. Strong punishments for behaving in a feminized way, evokes an immense feeling of guilt and shame for a lifetime, resulting in withdrawal from sharing any such feelings with anyone. Thus starts a journey of suffocation, guilt and self-condemnation, which takes several queer turns shaping interpersonal relationships in future. Adolescence is more of realization and confusion about the homosexual identity. The homosexual adolescent discovers sexual preferences and is shameful to admit or share the same with parents, peers, siblings or for that matter, anyone else. On the one hand peers make fun of the now visible feminized mannerisms and lack of interest in males, while parents and elders on the other hand are reproachful, thus strengthening the feelings of guilt and shame. The inability to conceal identity at this point results in exploitation from relatives, neighbours and strangers too. Such exploitations not only engrave bitter memories for a lifetime, but also tend to be a great blow to the self-esteem of the individual, and establish the need to conceal identity in order to live a dignified life. More often than not, the life of a homosexual in India is an everyday struggle to escape comments, harassments and humiliation from family, peers and society alike.
Adulthood: Education, career, social status and interaction within the communityOn reaching adulthood, lack of social acceptance to homosexuality and the need to maintain double or multiple identities is clear. The success in maintaining these identities is a matter of individual capacity. It is more difficult for those having visible feminized behaviour and mannerisms to conceal their identity. More often than not they are forced to live a marginalized life. They often turn to be school drop-outs and cannot find any suitable job to survive; a dignified life is a distant dream. The need for money often leads to involvement in sex trade which further results in diminished self-esteem. Adulthood brings clarity in self-recognition and it is time when an individual decides as to how to deal with self and the society. Name is the first element of identity that undergoes a change. Barring one, all interviewees but one had two or more names, one given by their parents and others for their male partners and community friends. Either of the two ways of life is their fait accompli. 1. Clear double identities: This is the easy way out for those who do not have any visible feminine qualities. They complete their education, go for jobs, succumb to family and social pressures for marriage, have children and still have pronounced sexual preferences for men. They don a different mask and claim their sexuality in the kothi community. Some have regular male partners, whom they call panthi/ giriya. While some have many short-term relationships, they still carry out their responsibilities towards their family, wife and children but lack interest in this social set up. These are mere responsibilities while their innate nature brings them in regular contact with giriyas. Any kind of emotional bonding and sharing with the wife is missing. Children seem to be the basis of keeping the marriage alive. Feuds for not giving proper attention to the family are common. The fear of disclosure is dominant, and any kind of social outing with the family is avoided. Problems arise when they are committed to one giriya and are torn between their family and their love. As Amit (name changed) puts it, he was committed to one partner for three years, who got married recently. Amit had neglected his family for the three years that the relationship lasted. After considerable emotional investment, he has “nothing left” as neither the relationship exists, nor the support of the family. Other married kothis suffer from a predominant sense of guilt for cheating their wives, as they cannot curb their desire for a male partner, and do go out to fulfill their emotional and sexual needs. However, they want to unburden themselves but refrain from doing so since they do not wish to give a cultural shock to their wives and disturb the family equilibrium. 2. Multiple Identities: Life is more difficult for those with prominent feminine mannerisms and qualities. From school drop-outs to denial for jobs, survival is difficult. They try their best to look masculine in public to avoid harassment and humiliation. Even in the family there is no relationship as such where they can open up. In fact it is a necessity to avoid relatives, as otherwise it would be very difficult to hide their kothi identity. Within the Kothi community, they address each other as sister, mother or other feminine relationships, to the extent that they practice rituals prevalent among the females of this part of the country. One such ritual is fasting which is commonly known as kothi pinni among this community. Here females observe the fast for their husband’s long life, and Kothis adopt the same for their male partners (giriyas). Their relationship with other kothis involves some sharing, but it is every Kothi’s perception that none of them is reliable and trustworthy most likely because of the feelings of envy and insecurity that are preponderant. Parents and siblings might discover their traits on their own, but something like sharing is out of question. However, one interviewee had a very different version to share. Rajat (name changed) has very supportive parents and a very affectionate younger brother. Rajat has personal space for himself and the acceptance from his family members. He has always been his parent’s favourite child probably because of the identity problems he faced while growing up which was not in his control. He is from a well-to-do educated family. All his needs are always taken care of by his parents. Another story of family support reveals that life is easier with the acceptance from family, whether it is visible or tacit. Ajay (name changed) has visible feminine mannerisms and habits, still his parents do not harass him for such behavior. Though other family members in the joint family may make some comments, still he braves them with ease. Even the caustic comments from the roadside can be easily brushed aside, considering his strong parental stand. Interestingly, the support is passive and there are no discussions on the issue. Willingly or unwillingly, in an effort to keep their identity under wraps, Kothis give ample opportunity to policemen, people in power and others to exploit them sexually and hand over money in return. Thus starts a vicious circle of self-abuse and self-condemnation. This aspect of their lives is hidden from family, relatives and immediate neighbours, adding to their pressure of maintaining several identities. One of the reasons for getting into the sex trade is competition with other kothis. They feel that the more wanted they are, the more beautiful and ladylike they could feel, which they yearn for throughout their lives. Being penetrated by men gives them a feeling of accomplishment. At times they get into this trade for survival as they fail to secure a job either due to their identity or due to lack of educational qualification which is also a result of their identity that compels them to drop out from school in order to avoid harassment or exploitation. Transgender community identified as Hijras in Lucknow, live in secluded accommodations at the periphery known as ‘Dera’. Lucknow’s cultural context has a special place for Hijras, who cough up money from people in the name of ‘Badhai’ (a ritual to congratulate people by singing and dancing on the occasions of childbirth and marriages). Many a time when Kothis need money, they approach these Deras and join the Hijras temporarily. Such acts also expose them to the pressures of joining the Hijra community permanently, at the cost of castration.
Life Ahead: Dreams, Desires, Plans And RealitiesWe could not contact kothis in the autumn of their lives, so it is difficult to explain this last leg of life. “What happens to the kothis involved in sex trade when age is on the downslide?” is a question that lurks in the mind. Their only source of income is petty cash that they receive, which is not enough to save for old age. Socially excluded and marginalized homosexuals find it hard to plan their future life. Their reactions are particularly distressing when they are asked about their own future plans. “There is nothing left in living such a life, it is much better to commit suicide than live such a life; life can never be normal for us”. Low future prospects and pressure for survival leads some of the Kothis to join the Hijra community permanently. Many of them see themselves marrying and settling down with kids in the near future, but with a dual identity again, as they cannot imagine revealing their true identity to their wives, and at the same time can not even think about curbing their inclination and desire for men as their sexuality is not a behavioral problem, but is something that comes from within.
ConclusionLife of a feminized male is much of an ordeal in a society that pushes them to become a marginalized sect. With pre-conceived notions about the moral and behavioral reasons for their feminized mannerisms and choice for male partners, the larger heterosexual community has no environment for any heart-to-heart communication, thus invoking distrust, shame, guilt, self-condemnation and self-abuse. This perhaps is the cause of tarnished relationships throughout their lifespan. However, during the study we have also noticed that a few of the kothis are fortunate enough to have some support from their parents, which eventually becomes their greatest strength. They tend to become path -breakers and torch-bearers for the inclusion of the diaspora of homosexuals into the mainstream of life.
AcknowledgementWe are sincerely grateful to Bharosa and Naz Foundation International for their unstinted support. Writing this research paper would not have been possible without the valuable inputs from Bharosa and Naz Foundation International, Lucknow staff. We are heartily thankful to our Head of the Department Mr. Sanjay Mohan Johri, whose encouragement, guidance and support from the initial to the final level enabled us to come up with this study.
Case 1Siddhartha is a feminized male, all of 28. Since childhood he felt attracted to boys. He always liked wearing female clothes. At the age of 11, he had a partner who was his father’s friend. Siddhartha was much attached to this man & felt so grieved that he tried to commit suicide when he was extricated from his partner since his father came to know about this relationship. After sometime he had another boyfriend who abandoned him for his girl friend. Now again he has a stable partner and he feels good about having someone who cares. He has learnt from his experiences that partnerships are ephemeral and that no one will stay with him throughout his life due to social factors. He has now accepted the fact that one day his new boyfriend will also leave him. He just wants him to be honest and not to get involved with somebody else till the time they are in a relationship. He expects his boyfriend to tell him clearly when he wants to quit so that he does not feel cheated and betrayed. He is mentally prepared to let him go and live his life. He is very attached with his family especially with his father. His marriage with a girl is fixed for next year and despite his feminine attributes and attraction for other men, he cannot deny marriage as he is afraid that his father might suffer a heart-attack if he denies marriage. He is in a dilemma because he does not want to deceive an innocent girl. At times he himself wants to get married to have his wife to take care of his father and at the same time he wants to reveal his identity to the girl before getting married. He feels that he will not be able to deal with the situation when his wife will come to know about his identity after marriage. People started commenting on him after he was featured in an article that appeared in a magazine. He feels very agitated with his state after listening to comments from people around and from his relatives. The only way he deals with his situation is by crying in solitude. While he feels that he will give maximum time to his family & his wife after marriage but knows well that he’ll keep a male partner too. He thinks that he’ll tell his wife about his sexual preference after assessing the situation at home. He lives a dual life much like the proverbial Dr Jekyll & Mr. Hide. He behaves in a socially acceptable manner when with the larger society and acts spontaneously when he is with the other Kothis or at the drop-in centre (DIC). He gets a sense of freedom at Bharosa as he can be himself at the DIC and does not have to wear a mask to conceal his identity. He hates the society and does not want to disclose his identity in front of them as he does not want to bring shame to his family. He avoids meeting people around his locality where he lives because of fear of exposure. Siddhartha maintains partners far from his place and judges people before revealing his identity. He also feels that people who know his real identity would try to exploit him. His father’s other friends also wanted to exploit him and even offered to pay for sexual intercourse when they came to know about him. Though he sleeps with men for money he has made a conscious decision to not indulge in his father’s friends in order to save him the hurt & humiliation that he will have to go through in case he comes to know about these sexual transgressions.
Case 2Twenty-five-year-old Rajat is a sensitive and affable young man. He has supportive parents and a very affectionate younger brother. His elder brother is not very supportive but does not interfere much in his life. After a few times he tried to create problems for Rajat and tried to physically assault him but since his parents are quite protective, the elder brother was instructed to stay out his life. Rajat has personal space for himself and the acceptance from his family members. He has always been his parent’s favorite child probably because of the identity problems he faced while growing up which was not in his control. He is from a well to do educated family. All his needs were always taken care of by his parents. Despite all kind of emotional, psychological and moral support from the family, Rajat faced a lot of problems from the larger society. He was not treated well by his class mates, seniors & teachers in the school. He was always teased for mingling with girls and for his feminized behavior. He was made to sit in the last bench by the teachers and was given the most difficult task by the teachers to perform failing which he was punished and made to stand out of the classroom. This continued and Rajat decided to quit studies in order to avoid this mental harassment after completing his high school. Rajat had an innate talent for music & dance which was nurtured by his parents. He was sent to a dance school for learning Kathak dance where he completed his masters. He also faced harassment by relatives and friends. His servant sexually harassed him at the age of 8 because of his discernible feminized attributes. This was followed by sexual harassment by his elder brother’s friends and many more. His was not spared by his maternal grandfather (In relation) also. He was raped by his chacha (paternal uncle) and nana (maternal grandfather) at the age of 12 when he was studying in 6th standard. He was exploited by his friend’s (girl) acquaintance once when he was learning dance. He feels that most of the people around try to take advantage of the Kothi’s therefore he detests going to his relatives except for one or two who understand him and protect him from those who try to take advantage of his vulnerability. Rajat feels that Kothi’s are meant only for use and throw. Rajat had 8 years of stable relationship with his ex-boyfriend, who was accepted by Rajat’s family and who stayed with him in his parental house. But their relationship could not go further as the boyfriend was not loyal to him and had relationship with female sex workers and other women. Rajat never thought twice before doing things for his boy friend which were against Rajat’s values but in return what he got was only betrayal and allegations. Rajat decided to broke off as he was not able to take any more. The boyfriend got married and now has a girl child and Rajat is still trying to cope with his feeling of insecurity and loneliness. Though Rajat has a new boyfriend now who is quite loving and understanding and very patient with him but Rajat is everyday dealing with the feeling of insecurity. Despite of a very strong relationship with his new boyfriend Rajat knows that one day this will also come to an end as his boy friend will have to succumb to the social pressures and get married and he will again be left alone. He has come to terms with the fact that none of the boy friend’s can support him throughout life. He feels that he can only become a source of their entertainment or a small part of their lives but can never become the most important part of their lives or family. He believes that there are things which are beyond our control and we cannot do anything about it but there are things which are in our control and one of those things is the decision to get married. Rajat has decided never to get married as he does not want to ruin somebody’s life and dreams. He does not want the girl to face all the problems and harassment that he has faced throughout his life. If he ever marries, Rajat would never want his children to be like him. He has experienced the pain & the stigma attached to the kothi identity and he feels that this life has no worth. He perceives his life to be a burden and he also feels miserable for his parents for going through so much so pain and mental trauma because of him. Rajat is one of those very few feminized men who are accepted and treated well by their families and have the freedom to express themselves in whatever way they want to. He always had a support system and also personal space for himself. Despite being lucky among the unlucky lot, Rajat is not happy. He is living a life which is bereft of self-respect and always carries his feelings of guilt and self condemnation on his frail shoulders.
Case 3Manoj has left home and has been on his own for the past five years. Since childhood he was aware of his sexual preferences and had attraction for boys. He got into a stable relationship at the age of 18 and his parents knew about it. His family started mounting pressure on him to get married but he has a very clear stand on this. He wants to stay with his three friends as a family under the same roof. He feels content within this male group and has maintained this for the past four years. More importantly, all four partners want to live together after retirement as all of them have their own business or job. His reprieve is because of the fact that his behavior is not feminized and therefore he is saved from harassment. He does not believe in having physical relation without emotional bonding. For him, an intimate relationship is more of an emotional union rather than a physical interaction. Though all four of them are staying in different cities but the bonding is very strong. They are always there for each other and act as buffers and lend as much support for each other. He has no attachment with his parents and siblings and has always loved to stay alone, even when he was with his parents. Manoj has very strained relations with his parents and the interpersonal communication within the family had been very weak. Manoj now lives inside a shell which he feels protects him from the outside world. He does not trust anybody and choose to live in his own world. He does not care for what people think about him or what the society thinks about him because he has wilfully abstained from dealing with the outside world.
Case 4Lucknow-based Nishant completed his masters in ancient history but decided to work as a peer educator in a National Aids Control Organization (NACO) funded project for HIV prevention among high risk groups. He was afraid that if he opts to work somewhere else, his identity will be exposed and he will be subjected to immense humiliation from both his employer and colleagues. Delving into his past once again, it turned that at the tender age of 11 he realized that he is different from other boys his age. Very close to his mother and sister, he shares that his parents have some idea about his sexual preferences because of the kind of friends-circle he moved in. Time and again, he was made aware of his gay leanings and was constantly reprimanded for his feminine mannerisms. His mother too tried to reason out things to him so that he could conform to prevalent social norms & values. She believed that he behaved in this fashion because of the kind of company he kept. Deep inside he continued to suffer from guilt pangs for having overtly feminine traits. After a short time gap, he was introduced to other men having similar feelings & attributes by his friends and he joined them as he felt accepted in their company. He feels that once you identify yourself as kothi and become a part of this community, there is no going back. He confessed that because of this leaning he became completely detached from the mainstream. He feels that DIC is a hospice where he can come, relax, vent his feelings and be himself without the fear of exposure, mortification or abuse. He constantly feels this burden when he interacts with the larger society and systems. He still feels the pain and the trauma that was inflicted upon him by his peers and seniors in school after his identity was unveiled. As a result, he made extra efforts to conceal his identity and withdrew himself from social interactions. As of now his interaction with the outside world is very limited. He had a lot of pressure from his family to get married but he does not want a dual life. He knows that he’ll never be emotionally attached to his wife and therefore he doesn’t want to ruin a girl’s life who will come to his house with a lot of hope and expectations. He had a relationship with a man which could not continue for long. Today, he is of the view that it is difficult to maintain a long term relationship with a man (Giriya) because of lack of social acceptance and accountability. He feels that he might have to succumb to family pressure in order to save them from humiliation & shame because of his identity and sexual preferences.
Case 5A sensitive young man aged 25, Ajay lives in a joint family setup and has four brothers and two sisters. Being the eldest in his generation, since childhood, he was deeply attached to his mother and helped her in her daily chores as also while cooking. He loved dressing up like a female and loved to put make-up on his face since childhood. His parents have always been supportive, even though other family members in the joint family do make snide comments sometimes; still he braves them with ease. Earlier, there were restrictions imposed on him; for example, he was not allowed to keep late hours or come home late in the night. However, ever since the time he started earning for the family, there were no more restrictions imposed on him and interestingly other family members too have stopped commenting. What worsened matters was the fact that he was sexually exploited in 10th standard. This was his first sexual encounter and it was at this time that his identity was revealed as a result of which he had to face a lot of problems in school. Soon after, his seniors’ gang-raped him in a goods train and he was hospitalized for over a month. In order to avoid further exploitation in school, Ajay sought admission in another college and consciously tried to conceal his identity but all his efforts went in vain. It was at this time that he got interested and attracted towards boys and struck a ‘meaningful’ friendship with another young man who had overt feminized behavior. It so transpired that Ajay had already shared a four-year live-in relationship with his tuition teacher who later got involved with a girl and could not continue the relationship. Further, Ajay had another relationship which only lasted nine months. Then, one year ago luck smiled on him as it were, and has a boyfriend to boot. Ajay now harbors desires to have a long-term relationship with him. At the same time, he is acutely aware of the fact that he might have to succumb to family pressures to get married to a girl but he intends to continue his relationship with his current boyfriend even after marriage. He confesses that at times he wants to share with his mother that he is a gay and will not be able to live with a female partner. But somewhere deep inside he also knows that his boyfriend will not be able to support him for life and there will be a time when his partner will not have this kind of time for him and will be willy-nilly be absorbed in his family life. He does not want to live a lonely life and therefore is confused & indecisive. But he is sure that he’ll disclose his identity to his wife gradually as he’ll not be able to bear the burden throughout his life.
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