The topic of homosexuality has always been a taboo in communities due to which it is hard for homosexuals to come out, especially in front of the family members . The fear of them not understanding the situation and behaving shockingly is what follows as a nightmare for every individual who is involved with a person of same sex.
The start of a mesmerizing love story
The taboo is ought to be broken and it surely did in its most flaunting and astounding way possible when Rishi Agrawal based out of Toronto, Canada came out clean with his parents about his long time affair with his partner Daniel Langdon whom he met on a business trip to Vancouver in 2004. On his way back to home Rishi dumped the letter from Daniel expressing his love for Rishi thinking anyone might find about it and cried during the whole 5 hour flight. But it was then when he decided to tell his parents about it .
The time of coming out
Rishi knew a gay Sikh guy who committed suicide after coming out to his parents and the idea that he would never have wanted the same fate as his did lend Rishi a handful of courage to speak frankly to his parents . The time did come and the obvious reaction was a shock filled with great distress. At first, when he told his parents that there is something he needed to talk about, both got really got scared guessing in all possible directions of the problems they thought their son might be facing but this one. With approximately a two-hour confrontation with his parents residing in a suburb of Greater Toronto area, Canada his father, the talking guy and head of the family as in most of Indian households, started interrogating him with a bombardment of questions asking details about whether he was absolutely sure about it or was it just a fling. The reaction got Rishi too much into hot water and he had no idea what would be his parent’s decision .The next thing , Rishi asked his parents whether he is accepted back at home or not to which his father gave a fitting reply that he must not think this way ever again and he is their son who is always welcome and accepted. This thought lifted Rishi off from loads of burden.
The acceptance and understanding
After knowing about his son’s interest Vijay and Suman Agrawal , parents of Rishi went into study mode for next three days digging everything about the matter, visiting libraries for books regarding homosexuality, contacting National Film Board Of Canada regarding concerned videos. They also started attending meetings of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays Chapter in Toronto which supported a lot as they starting thinking that they were not the only one alone sailing in this sea .
It was after Rishi proposed to Daniel, parents of Rishi threw an Indian wedding for them following all the rituals -mehndi, sangeet, a reception which clearly shows that the Agrawal’s accepted their son’s choice wholeheartedly. They didn’t leave any stone unturned amid the celebrations to make their son’s wedding a memorable day for him . But the problems didn’t fade away as easy as we talk about it . Finding a priest was a pestiferous task as the wedding was performed with full-fledged Indian Traditions and absence of a priest for a homosexual wedding was a tough nut to crack, at least in India which is why frustrated Vijay Agrawal asked his brother out to sort this issue and was firm to self-conduct his son’s wedding in case a priest was nowhere to be found for which he even asked his brother to bring a book of mantras for wedding from India.
The retired couple has launched a chapter of PFLAG, Toronto to help families from South Asia primarily to make them understand about such choices . Moreover, they have already been helping people from their social contacts in this direction. The Agrawal’s believe that certain misconceptions and prejudices can’t be left hidden or else they might eat up the roots of the society and hence feel that awareness about homosexuality is pivotal.
As Rishi recalls his efforts have provided strength to many others in his surroundings and many of them have landed in good books of Rish . And he is very proud of his parents for having understood him and carrying on the awareness campaign.
The Logical Indian Community is glad to learn increasing sense of understanding among the various communities about homosexuality and lauds the efforts of the Agrawal’s and many such people who openly support the choices of their children and lend hands in propagating it too.