My Story: Gauri And I Feel Privileged To Get Married With Family Support, It Was A Surreal Feeling

Image Credits: Deepa Kollipara

My Story: 'Gauri And I Feel Privileged To Get Married With Family Support, It Was A Surreal Feeling'

Deepa Kollipara is a 29-year-old lawyer living in San Francisco, California. She learned about her sexual orientation at 23, when she felt emotionally connected to women. She met her wife Gauri on a dating app, and after dating for several years, both recently got married in a fat Indian wedding in the US.

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I knew I liked girls not because of physical features but emotional attraction. I saw how my female friends when they liked a boy, would be so in love and happy with butterfly feelings. I never felt such emotions as a romantic Bollywood song when the heroine falls for the hero with a boy. But I felt that emotional connection to girls in school and then realised I was gay.

But I desperately wanted not to be gay because I thought it was bad and wrong, so I forced myself to try to go on dates with boys, but I just never felt a connection with anyone. By age 23, I had to finally stop lying to myself and admit I was born this way, which doesn't make me a disgusting person. I'm still the same Deepa who loves my mom's Dosa and making corny jokes with friends.

How I Met My Wife

I was too scared to tell a girl I liked her because I assumed all girls are straight. Such people don't have to think about that because anyone they talk to will most likely prefer the opposite gender. Online dating is a blessing for LGBTQ people because we can meet people more safely without having to go anywhere and know they are also in the community. And that is how I met Gauri.

After two years of dating and travelling places, were moved in together, and two years later, I decided to propose to her. Gauri said 'YES'.

Our families were surprised at first, but they knew Gauri as a friend and her parents knew me as well, which made things easier. Gauri's parents, however, took a couple of days to process it.

My mom and dad still loved me and said they would never disown me, but they were a bit nervous about what society would think. However, they realised during the wedding planning that none of the desi aunties or uncles had any issues attending a lesbian wedding, so my parents also came around to being supportive. Now Gauri's parents treat me like a daughter, and my parents also love her.

We are fortunate to have such loving parents. People have to realise a child is not an extension of your self to please relatives and society but a human being you must love unconditionally when you become a parent.

Challenges For The LGBTQ Community

But sometimes, we face certain challenges too. Gauri and I cannot really ever hold hands in public because scary people will make comments. We never act like a couple in public out of this fear. The things straight couples take for granted, we have to think twice. For example, we cannot travel to common destinations for vacations like Maldives or Dubai as we could be sentenced to death.

Unfortunately, most LGBTQ Indians fear that they will be disowned or even killed by their own families. LGBT Indians from working-class and orthodox families live in the most terrible state. However, things are slowly changing; we see Bollywood movies now with top actors playing gay characters.

Most of the comments we received from India have been positive, so we hope things are improving. The Indian Supreme Court is considering legalising gay marriage; hopefully, the future is bright. In all honesty, Gauri and I are privileged because we live in the US. With so much support from aunties and uncles here, our wedding would not happen in India.

If you, too, have an inspiring story to tell the world, send us your story at mystory@thelogicalindian.com

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Editor : Snehadri Sarkar
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Creatives : Tashafi Nazir