Dear Ammu and Abbu,
I love you both dearly and I’ve always tried my level best to make you guys proud. I know you both expected me to turn out a certain way; you always wanted me to receive a good education, have a successful career, marry a great man and give you grandchildren.
While I have made it my life’s mission to give you a PhD (among other academic degrees) you can proudly display on your wall and thrive in my field of profession (so that you can tell our relatives and acquaintances about how well you raised me), I am sorry to say that I cannot, in good conscience, give you a son in law. I know you’ve always dreamt about throwing me a big South Asian/Desi wedding with lots of fanfare and guests but, I am sorry to say that you won’t be able to.
Don’t get me wrong, I would love to get married one day. In fact, I’m looking forward to spending the rest of my life with that special someone. Unfortunately for you and the culture/society/traditions we come from, that person is going to be a woman.
I’m not sorry that I am gay. It took me a long time to come to terms with my sexuality and I am finally at a place of being okay with it. I am sorry that circumstances will prevent you from celebrating my female partner the way you would have if I were straight. I’m sorry that one day, you’ll have to choose between me and everything you are familiar with (our culture, heritage and, traditions). Despite not having made that choice yet, I have an intuition as to what that choice is going to be.
I realize that it’s not fair of me to ask you to give up your community/traditions for my sake. I chose to give up my roots and community based on the fact that someone like me will never ever be accepted. But it would destroy me if I had to give you up too (I realize that I will have to eventually). I keep thinking about ways we could compromise but the sad truth is, there is none. I know that you won’t be able to live without the community you hold so dear and I won’t be able to live without knowing what being in love (and having that love reciprocated) feels like.
There will come a day when I meet that special someone and fall head over heels in love with her. It’s a day I equally look forward to and fear. I’ve always seen you two prioritize each other over everyone else, it’s a lesson in love I’ve learned from watching you. When I meet the woman I’ll spend the rest of my life with; she will become my first priority, my everything. I love you both very much and I wish you found it in your hearts to accept me as I am however, accepting me and my partner would mean giving up traditions you value the most. As much as I would love for you to welcome my future partner into our family (Desi style of course) and introduce her to our culture and traditions, I know for a fact that you won’t.
I’ve decided, for now, to enjoy and cherish the time we have left together. There will come a day when I will walk out of your lives and you’ll have the unfortunate responsibility of telling our family/relatives/friends why you had to disown me. I know that they will applaud you for doing the ‘right’ thing and will offer you comfort while you mourn the loss of your only daughter. I wish we weren’t so deeply ingrained in our beliefs (you in yours to uphold traditions and me in my pursuit of happiness). I wish we came from a society where we could all be one big happy family.
I’m sorry you ended up with a daughter like me. Other parents have the luxury of participating in the lives of their children, it’s not fair that you won’t. If I were selfless, I would design my life in a way that would make you happy. I would build a life deemed acceptable in the eyes of our community.
I’m sorry for a lot of things. I am not however, sorry for being selfish in my quest to find love.
Your daughter (for now)