Saturday, 29 March 2014

Loss of innocence (Part 4) - The First Kiss


Continuation of Part 3 - Metamorphosis

Love is short and forgetting is so long - Pablo Neruda


He knew that. His lean figure, sexy pout, attractive eyes, reticence and introversion could make him a fairly decent commodity in the “gay market”. He had some encounters in the past, especially during the travels via buses and train. He was never interested in strangers or casual encounters as he was well aware of the sexually transmitted diseases and other complications. Moreover he was never serious about getting laid, although he wished for a companion with whom he can share everything. He had many friends. Close friends indeed. His timid nature would never allow him to cross the boundaries with any of his friends. There were many handsome friendly faces (and of course bodies) he drooled over, the usual friendly physical intimacy existed with them but it never breached the mutual trust. During friendly discussions, the topics of homosexuality at times surface and no one really cared about it.

There were occasional gossiping where his friends used to assess the “homosexual quotient” of some of their friends under the gay cloud/gaydar as sometimes those persons were seen in compromising positions! The prying eyes!! No suspicions against him and so he ignored it. But then he had fallen for a guy, a twist in the story!

As there are two persons in the story now, I am going to address him as “our boy” and his lover as “X”. The following is a true experience our boy had during his hostel days. Mr. X was a total hunk, well built, average height, thick mustache, hairy, masculine hoarse voice, piercing eyes and a glib talker. Our boy was a good friend of Mr. X, though not a close friend. They used to exchange pleasantries and used to associate each other with many tasks during college routines. He definitely enjoyed X’s company, but as told earlier, never seen him in a salacious way. Occasionally, They used to get together and talk in either of their rooms. During one Sunday, X came to our boy’s room, he was suffering from sprain of his leg muscle (X plays football regularly). Our boy gave him some pain balm and they started talking about random things. He could feel Mr. X’s eyes scanning him more than usual. Then X unusually asked him to rub the balm onto his leg. He didn’t bother, it was just a friendly gesture. Moreover he loved X’s presence and a chance to “touch and bond”, how could he miss that? He started applying the balm onto his legs. X was wearing a tee and shorts. He could see the naked thighs of X and his heart beats gone soaring. He was starting to get some kind of a sexual feel, X was watching closely.

Somehow our boy managed to control the urge to go beyond and he finished the “balm application”. They were alone in the room, the room was not closed. X had no intentions to leave and he started broaching into another subject, the talk eventually landed in the forbidden land of “gay encounters”. X revealed that he had some experiences with men, in his childhood. He had kissed another boy of his class. Our boy initially did not believe that X kissed another boy; is it possible for a boy to kiss another boy, he acted like he was ignorant of the whole gay thing, he was pretty good at acting innocent. All of a sudden, X had risen from the bed and kissed our boy on the lips. Our boy was caught completely unaware and was shell shocked although he immediately regained the poise and detached from X. They did not speak for a while and then X asked our boy whether he now believes about what he had told about kissing.

It was the first ever kiss of our boy, he was stunned, but he liked it and did not admit that to X. But X knew it. X was quite adept in reading our boy’s thoughts. On that day, X did not go any further than just a kiss, he was gentle and very tactful as he was aware that the boy in front of him was “delicate” or “too naive” and anything further would have ruined the relationship. There is no telling how our boy could have reacted, if anything more than a kiss. Haste was definitely not the rule of that day, patience was. X left with a sweet all understanding smile and a “wild“ glimmer of hope in his eyes.

That kiss was a big jolt. Our boy just could not imagine himself indulging in such an act which was totally against his morals, he was worried about his own degradation to such an extent. X initiated it, but he allowed it. So he is also equally culpable. He vowed himself that such incidents will not happen again. But deep inside, he cherished that moment; the warm touch of X’s lips, a passionate embrace and as in Paulo Coelho novels, the unison of two souls, the union of two soul mates. He recollected the awe and beauty of great French sculptor Auguste Rodin's creation, “The Kiss”, a marble statue of an embracing male-female couple, their bodies deeply entwined to each other and completely lost in that divine pleasure of union. He relived that moment in his thoughts. He needed a few days to get composed again. He was in a huge dilemma, a battle was being fought by his own moral self which he tried to preserve until that day and his sexual instincts, now totally unshackled and made reckless by that single kiss. Who was winning? For the time being, he chose brain over heart. Yes, he decided to avoid X until he gets stabilized. X on the other hand held a watchful eye. X never forced anything on our boy. They remained good friends, talked as usual, no more misdemeanors and everything had been normal for some time. But the seed was already planted. It only needed time and care.

I will tell more about our boys in the next part.

Continued in Part 5 - Parting Glances

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Gay Scene - Some Reflections



we are more than this!!


Being a gay man, I have some reservations about the gay scene in India and all over the world. First thing is why we gays need to be so campy and flashy all the time. The gay stereotype is all about flamboyance and fabulousness which probably stems out from the extreme depression and frustration of the community. We want to be visible. We want to be taken into consideration. We don’t want to be taken for granted. This show business comes from the subconscious mind which is more like an attention seeking behaviour and this exhibition weirdly instills confidence in gay people; we celebrate our difference. Society tries to ignore this whole hullabaloo with a tin ear for dialogue. In societal dictionary, ignoring is same as tolerance; the fact remains that tolerance is never true acceptance. True acceptance is always feared, as society fear that more and more people will "turn gay" which will eventually tear the moral fabric, the fabric of family set up and finally we will be staring at the bizarre extinction of human race. God will have to start it all again. There is not even a miniscule of logic in such a thought. But that is what majority thinks. That is the popular thought. 

          This “glamboyance” will create false impressions in the societal mind that gay men are only about sex, without any morals and without any purpose; an allegation permanently conferred upon us. “Purpose of life” - no kids, no strings attached, no obligations, only sex and sex only - Are the heterosexual people envious? May be, may be not!! The principal reason of objection is the gay lifestyle which is labeled as promiscuous, immoral and dirty. There is some logic in that allegation though. Homosexual people in general follow a more liberal lifestyle, “more sexual” and “less committed”. Heterosexual people (especially males) also have a proclivity for multiple partners but they are bound to their children and repercussions of such an approach over the children and an established family set up greatly serve as deterrents.  Gay people don’t have any of these and so nothing to be afraid off. Gay scene is like an iceberg - only tip is in the visible domain, rest is submerged. But without given a chance for legitimate relationships (approved by society) how can the society assess the commitment capability of gay people and their ability to lead a stable life. There are many gay couples irrespective of countries who take their relationships very seriously and even adopt/raise children. They are in no way different from heterosexual couples. As per scientific evidences, the kids they raise are in no way inferior to the kids of heterosexual couples (link).  I still remember in a channel discussion which I used to follow, there was fierce criticism to gay lifestyle and gay sex, one woman from the audience passionately told that “why the discussions on gay people always go to the familiar terrain of sex and sex only - actually this is an issue about the love of two people”. The primary focus should be on love. But nobody is giving the importance it deserves - it is about one soul loving another soul, whether hetero or homo. When something is labeled as forbidden, it arouses more curiosity and interest and can turn deviant, just like getting sucked up in a whirlpool of negative emotions. Gay men are depressed, more prone to substance and physical abuses and the entire blame rests on them only; society washes its hands as usual by attributing this to their “gay choice”. Society asks the gay person to change instead of taking concrete measures to allow each and every gay person to manifest their gayness, live their own life and contribute to the society in a constructive manner rather than triggering self-nihilistic tendencies in them. The recent supreme court judgment on Section 377 is a typical example of the unchanged societal mindset and the judgment is crystal clear; “come to our way” or “perish”.  I wonder whether the “gay prides “are looked upon as genuine bold statements or as “freak shows”. Does society actually understands the real message behind a “gay pride”? Doubtful!! But something is better than nothing. Some visibility, even though it is freaky! 

With the advent of chat sites like Planet Romeo, secretive yet a public gay scene prevails in the underbelly of every urban street, where men hooks up and enjoys. 90 per cent of people enrolled are looking for casual sex only, a small minority looking for relationship which indeed is the most underrated word in the gay scene. The buzz words are “discreet”, “no strings attached”, “interested in all kinds of sex” etc. Gay men are real casanovas. “How many partners?”, such a question is irrelevant and rubbish, nobody counts!! Then there is the scare of sexually transmitted diseases. People are prone to more risks and they cannot reveal it and avail treatment because of the forbidden nature of the whole issue. One beautiful description about “flesh trade” found in one among the numerous Planet Romeo profiles is as follows,  


        “The body is just a piece of meat, which shifts and changes, it is just a bridge between your mind and your way to feel vibrations. So use your body as an instrument to feel that sense of euphoria and pleasure. The vision, the image that excites you is only a beginning, to feel all this vibration you have to use the other senses”.

 
        Yes, as he rightly mentions, it is euphoria. Sex can make or break a person, quite easily. Too much addiction to sex can destroy a person almost irreversibly. Use your other senses as well, think before you act. Temptations will blind you, lure you and you will be fain to embrace it,  but the results will not be promising, always.  


        Pornography: Unusual companion of any gay man. Pornography can turn addictive, but it is always safer than indulging in one night stands and casual encounters.  Time is a terrible thing to waste and you will lose much of your quality time if got addicted to pornography. Pornography can also distort the whole concept of sex. It can change your perceptions about your own body (a distorted body image) and create perverse ideas about sex and sexual practices. Those practices may not be even remotely applicable to real life situations. Recent reports also say that there is no such thing as porn addiction. Who knows!! Mutual masturbation via video chatting is also pretty popular among gay men which again is reasonably safe compared to sexcapades. Beware of showing the face as it can lead to blackmailing, defamation and abuse.


      Gay community also is rife with prejudices.  Because of rampant malpractices, if you look at the chat site profiles, the members are forced to apply so many conditions viz., no cheaters, no money takers, no effeminate guys, no fatty guys, no lean guys, no uncles and it goes on. Displaying statements like no effeminate guys, fat and lean guys hints at the prejudice prevalent in a marginalized community like ours. We are marginalizing it further. I agree that everybody have their own tastes and types - everyone can reject any message any time as they like. Then why display such profile taglines? These people are not even willing to message or “simply waste time “if they get a message from a particular type of person they abhor. I strongly feel that it is not a measure for saving time of either parties, but a kind of prejudice itself. Such taglines show hatred, intolerance. Everybody is looking for sculpted bodies and gorgeous faces, even though they themselves are not qualified enough. Nobody is willing to have a friendly chat or to lend ears to another person. The whole concept is utilitarian and without “potential bedroom moments” in cards, nobody will waste time on each other. During every planet romeo chat, the “third question” you get is “can we meet” (replace meet with the F word for a better translation of what is in the mind), if not interested, case closed. Genuine Friendships which are not exclusively based on external appearances or prospective sexual intimacy are hard to find.   Another Planet Romeo friend quips,  


     “Isn't it curious that a group of people shunned by the society in general exhibit the most ridiculous forms of prejudices, sophistications and tendencies to discriminate, to judge and to segregate? You do realize that in the eyes of the public we are all freaks!”

 
    What he said is the real tagline. There could not be a better representation of the prejudices existing in a community which is already oppressed and kicked at. As a marginalized community, gay community need to be more sensitive, compassionate and united.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Loss of innocence (Part 3) - Metamorphosis


Continuation of Part 2 – Rite to "Gaydom"

“Nothing is either good or bad but thinking makes it so.” ~ Shakespeare



 He considered himself an introvert. He was pretty good at communication though. He loved to talk with people whom he could identify with, people who had similar interests and above all people who were liberal. He gathered some close friends during the hostel life, some connections turned really unforgettable. In hostels, young men in their prime bodily conditions lived together without access to opposite sex, homosexuality being  a “normal phase” in “the development of human beings” and the watershed of sexual emotions will try to find new outlets. As Osho (the controversial spiritual guru who had wonderful and liberal views on sex, but his talks after 1985 turned into mere rants with totally confused views on several issues) once commented on a question from one of his disciple who was a confused homosexual, “homosexuality originated from monasteries and hostels, where the opposite sex were not allowed or not available”. Osho’s concept of homosexuality being an outcome of heterosexual depravity was the one in vogue, most people believe like that especially ladies, they think “a beautiful lady” who is “capable” (colloquially the meaning of that capable is sexually adept) can turn on “any man” (read as she can even convert a homosexual man into a heterosexual man, easily). But do these ladies will ever come to know that for an exclusively homosexual man, even the mere sight of vagina is repulsive/disgusting. Naah!!

Image courtesy: The scholastic awards
When people hear about stories of marital discord, at least some women put the responsibility on the wife. He had heard women folk saying that “ it is her fault that her husband goes with other women, she is not tactful enough to seduce and restrain him”. Homosexuality never even comes to the picture. But, how many homosexuals are forced to marry and get trapped in relationships they don’t like, wasting their entire life and and the life of another person and those around them. Besides, the issue is not wholly about sex, but living one’s life, what is comfortable for a person - to mentally connect to a man or a woman.

It is a fact that hostels provide the right ambiance for the “germination” of homosexuality. But, for that germination to happen, a “seed” is needed. Seeds have a predestined fate and cannot alter that course. A mango seed will grow and give mangoes, not apples. Then where is that question of “changing back to normal” arises in case of a homosexual man. He had heard many anecdotal reports of this “magical curing of gayness”. Scientific evidence proves otherwise. Well, to make the whole issue complex, there is a large group of people who enjoys both men and women, the bisexual folks, who are usually confused/misrepresented to be homosexuals. In Indian scenario, most people are not even willing to admit themselves as homo, but will easily admit as bisexual. It is very difficult to identify a homosexual man and often the “homosocial” environment of our society can lead to false diagnosis. Here men usually show great physical intimacy coupled with a completely platonic relationship - they hold hands, pat each others backs, warm hugs, bath together or even sleep together. Such bromances are commonplace in most college campuses.

Contrastingly, there are many men who nurture latent homosexual desires in them which will get manifested in a hostel atmosphere. Bisexuals utilize the environment more than anything. They will get easy prey to satisfy their carnal desires and for their committed sexual and emotional needs, they will ensure a female counterpart. But for a pure gay man, the entire situation turns titular, provocative and usually culminates in heartbreak and pain if he is not aware of the cliche climax of such relationships. Yea, one man will fall in love with a girl, then the usual melodrama and tragedy to the gay one who will face the brunt and imagine his whole world had crashed down. Some will recuperate with time, some will resort to suicide. He was aware of such stories. He had deliberately created a brain/mind barrier to get himself immune from the “emotional vampires”. But as you know, there will be a chink in every armour. 
Continued in Part 4 – The First Kiss

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Loss of innocence (Part 2) - Rite to "Gaydom"


Continuation of  Part 1 - Tribulations

We fear violence less than our own feelings. Personal, private, solitary pain is more terrifying than what anyone else can inflict ~ Jim Morrison 


Image courtesy: adolescent boy
Adolescence: Surging hormones, burning desires, competition for almost everything, peer pressure, fear, new knowledge and a new path to travel. He got into a professional college; new friends, new environment and hostel life which proved to be a lair of opportunities. He was staying away from home for the first time in his life; nostalgia crept in almost every day into the thoughts resulting in an uncontrollable urge to fleet back to his familiar room at his beloved home.  Besides, it was hell of a time for “Freshmen” – Ragging – the “inevitable evil” with a “glorified goal” for making people stronger for enduring any difficult situation. Well, there were quite many instances which point to the homosexual undertones of such ragging rituals viz., stripping stark naked in front of a boisterous crowd, passing lewd comments on each others’ personal endowments and the best thing was yet to come - imagine a situation in which the senior educates an ignoramus junior about what is meant by a “blow job” or a “bear back” in the vernacular language which was far grosser than English. He was a little taken aback by these; it was more than a jolt to his resolute moral spirit which he always tried to preserve. He was a person who has not even seen a pornography film at the age of seventeen and was totally unaware of the sexual innuendos prevalent among the youngsters. He had never read books with titillating and explicit sexual details and he did not even know the details of heterosexual sex, let alone homosexual sex. 

Hostel, the treasure trove for all the “valuable information” and the ambiance it created was disconcerting. He was baffled, his moral self traumatized, the conflict was beginning to emerge from the deep abyss of his mind. Even though he was not aggressive about sex, he was not aversive to sex either. Sex always sells. Sex, the most overrated feeling of humankind, the experience which can alter a person overnight, the craving which can make people knowingly destroy their own lives, the momentary pleasure for which many small and large battles were fought in history. Sages all over the world searched for ways surpassing this burning desire (a yogi in the making?) but still it is what which decides many things in our life. One day his close friend had taken him to an internet cafĂ©, initiated him to pornography and unveiled the vast world of bodily desires and vices; the handsome bodies, bizarre practices. But what was that caught his attention – it was not the female body, but the men in those films. He looked at those “sculpted Greek gods” with sheer awe. 

The mask was starting to fall down, but he managed by deliberately commenting on the female body anatomy, cautiously avoiding even a single word about his “real” object of desire. “That Mask” was the most suffocating thing, he always admired the “effeminate men” for their audacity, for they embraced their self even when the whole world had declared war on them, the whole world noticed them as freaks and totally non-conforming. There were indeed many skeletons in the closet and fear lingered. It is a big burden to live a secret life. He vehemently desired to tear the mask he wore and come out to all. But in doing so, the consequences would have been severe - disownment, ridicule, alienation and the list goes like that. Well, there were many things in store for him. This was just a beginning. Soon, his entire moral conscience would be tested, severely tested. Will say more in the coming parts.




(Continued in Part 3 – Metamorphosis).

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Loss of innocence (Part 1) - Tribulations

Prejudice is a learned trait. You're not born prejudiced; you're taught it. ~ Charles R. Swindoll


Image courtesy: coolpics.com
He was a timid boy, reticent, frail, had hopeful magnetic eyes and a disarming smile. He smiled even when his heart sank every moment from the confusion churning inside his little mind. What am I? Why I am not feeling anything to girls like all other guys of his age do? Why I am attracted to boys? Is it normal? He was a boy for sure, by appearance, but with thoughts, was he? He tried to cast off the doubts and suppressed all his feelings. The biggest problem was he knew that he was different from others. Day by day, his mind got clouded, more doubts emerged, old and suppressed ones resurfaced, somehow he managed himself and did not utter a single word about his mental tribulations to anybody else, be it friends or parents. Despite this, he was one among the academic toppers and had a flawless record on his conduct and character, not even a single blemish during his entire school and college days. 

Even though his confidence hit new lows most of the times, he was happy that he had some things to brag about. He wore a mask, in order to get conformed to the societal norms. Fortunately for him, he was not effeminate or could successfully mask any such dubious traits which will prove suspicious. He was interested in sports, he was into arts as well, which again was contradictory to the traditional stereotypes of both sects; gay men shun sports and macho men shun arts. He was indeed a bag of contradictions. He read voraciously about the “little gay thing” in his mind and collected as much data as possible from periodicals and magazines. By college days, he came to know that it is not a sin but still he was worried. If it is not a sin, why society is not accepting it? Why society is not talking about it? Why so much hazing and bullying in schools? He has seen his effeminate classmates being taunted and bullied by the “self appointed macho rookies”, in order to cure them or change them. Moreover it was sheer pleasure for everyone else (even bystanders/onlookers) to taunt those “different boys” ignoring the fact completely that they were gentle/talented and never create any kind of nuisance to others. They were even mocked at in buses, the conductors and drivers all played their destined parts in the game. Society nodded for this entire misdemeanor; without the all approving acquiescence of society, such things would never happen. Why they were treated in that way? We are either suspicious or afraid of things we don't know about. Well, there were some conspicuous differences in these boys - their gestures, their talking style, all were remarkably different and of course they are “easy targets”. Many of these men prove to be closeted homosexuals (from some personal experiences retold) and only god knows how many boys these men had exploited. 

Closeted men usually behave homophobic and target gay men. To take down any man, the simplest and most effective trick is to label him less masculine, a sissy; beyond culture, beyond geography, it proves the same. The macho image of a man is so ingrained in human brain that it is virtually impossible to think beyond stereotypes. Anybody who does not fit into that groove will be forced to suffer the consequences. This whole issue was beautifully dealt in Michael Kimmel's article titled "Masculinity as homophobia" published in 1994. The fear that infused into his young mind by seeing all this was enormous and he used all his strength not to cast a single shadow of doubt upon himself. The constant fear of getting “outed” lurked and lingered which was indeed painful. He reminded his mind always that he had a rich legacy of people like Leonardo Da Vinci, Michael Angelo, Oscar Wilde, Martina Navratilova, Ricky Martin, George Michael and many others who are legends in their own right. At least it served to pour in some confidence, some purpose to his life. 

Human beings boast of superior intellect and the “innate humanness” which makes them better than animals. Animals never really hunt their own species unless they are dead or physically maimed but we hunt our own people. When grown up, he came out to some of his close friends. They never really understood the whole issue but were supportive. They used to ask “why you have these thoughts? Why can’t you love a girl?” Aah, he was like this since 12 years old or maybe even before that. He noticed his differences from other guys who drooled over girls, who were nervous in the presence of a girl, who vied for their every attention and would treat girls like a “material” rather than a “soul”. He never looked at girls as an object of desire despite having good company with them. Instead he had strong feelings for his boy friends; in fact, had puppy-love on many of them. He thought it was just a phase and it will change as age advances, but it only increased. He was living a life full of lies.

(Continued in  Part 2 - Rite to Gaydom)

Friday, 7 March 2014

Veiled Life - Living the Lie

Credit: abbey-roads
As Hannah Montana wisely quotes "Life is a climb, but the view is great". We should climb to enjoy the view. Perseverance is the key to climb especially if it is a precipice. Gay life is like a precipice. Steep, dangerous and unpredictable. Another quote I would like to mention is by the Greek philosopher Thucydides "the secret of happiness is freedom and the secret of freedom is courage". Yes, gay men have freedom from family bonding, kids and related stuff, they have all the time in the world, but do they really enjoy that freedom. Do they live courageously? Some of them do, but many others live a miserable closeted life. 

My hetero friends used to ask me why do you worry so much over this gay thing, everybody is having their own problems, it is not for you only and your problems are not at all different from heterosexual people. But do they really understand the gravity of our problems. Not really. Living a life in fear, living a life in oblivion, living the life under a mask, unless you are in that position, nobody will understand. I would like to call it "a veiled life". That is why when people "come out", they feel really confident and relaxed. Coming out is a welcome relief for a gay man, the burden is thrown away. But sometimes it comes at the cost of disownment, social alienation,  outrage, disgust and hatred. Many things are at stake, especially in rural settings where people don't even understand this whole thing. Coming out itself is stressful and extremely difficult. If you don't come out, life will become a  big lie. Your parents deserve to know about you, but you cannot make them understand or you fear their reaction. Mothers sometimes understand, but fathers mostly disapprove. 

As you grow, eventually the inevitable question pops up "When is your marriage". Great. You should come up with some solid reasons (hard to find once you get a decent job) for avoiding marriage like "you are different", "you don't like kids", "now you are interested in  studies only" and the likes. Some people doubt you are having some reproductive problems or you are afraid of jumping onto bed. Well, no need to correct them as reproductive problem is a far better reason for annulling marriage than revealing that you are gay. Some people finally succumb to the family pressure and get married. Can they be faithful and dutiful husbands? I doubt that. Some of my friends describe such a feeling as "Trapped". Yes, indeed, they will feel trapped. Performance anxiety, emotional disturbances and even divorce will be on cards. Some will cope up and will live like "robots", once the "pro-creation" is performed successfully (proven bull and there will not be any further questions by society), their physical and emotional venting can then happen through casual gay encounters during travel and arranged meetings.

Being single is okay for most gay men, but some like to have committed partners. A gay man is supposed to be a chronic bachelor as most gay men are commitment phobic. It is very difficult to get a decent partner, very rare indeed. At the same time, hook-ups are easy and rampant. Another fear that lurks is the fear of being alone in old age. As gay men don't have kids normally, the threat of an unattended miserable death looms over their life. Death like a lonely dog. Who will want such a low life. But it is a possibility.

The whole gay scene is tragic. Films catch the representative mood of respective society and portray the prevalent societal mind set. Just compare gay films and heterosexual films. Hetero films are mostly comedies, all is well, he and she live happily ever after, contrastingly, most gay films are somber, poignant and tragic tales in which the partners either separate or die due to AIDS (exceptions are there as usual). With section 377 intact, all gay men will be forced to live a guarded and extremely cautious life which makes it enormously stressful.

A zillion reports show that mental health of gay men is disastrous when compared to heterosexuals. Gay men are many times more prone to substance abuse, depression, anxiety and suicide. As a UK report says, "There is this cliche that we are all having a great time partying, but actually we know, and the research is now showing, there are a hell of a lot of unhappy gay people; far higher rates of depression, anxiety and suicide than among straight men; far higher rates of self-destructive behavior; substance abuse and sex addiction; and high levels of issues around intimacy and forming relationships." Low self esteem is a predominant feature of gay kids as the self inflicted or peer mediated isolation happens from childhood. Schools usually becomes hell for gay kids.

Researchers say that “There are a number of reasons why gay people may be more likely to report psychological difficulties, which include difficulties growing up in a world orientated to heterosexual norms and values and the negative influence of social stigma against homosexuality". Coming out and supportive therapy can relieve the stress. Recent studies show that those who had come out are less stressed than closeted homosexuals and even less stress hormones than some heterosexual counterparts. Coming out can make you live longer too. Great news. Coming out is no longer a matter of popular debate but a matter of public health. We should not be worried too much about these reports, no need to be hysteric as scientists also say that "homosexuality is not inherently pathological." Newer studies of gay and lesbian youth finds that they are only slightly more likely than heterosexual youth to attempt suicide, refuting previous research that suggested much higher rates (link). Comforting news indeed.

Comedian  Stephen Colbert made a pun on his show, 

“As an incredible straight man, I’m incredibly stressed out. I mean, I am a ticking time bomb. That’s why every time I accidentally wander into a gay bar and see all those happy people, I shout, ‘I’m ready to blow!’”

See, these heterosexual people are also stressed out and they envy us.  So shed your worries and live strong. Be proud and live gay.

PS: Check out this site (link) where you can find articles about mental health  for gay lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. The authenticity of the information given is subject to your own discretion. :)