The first time when I fell in “love”, I was in love with a girl and I was five. We were in the same kindergarten. Even during my early puberty when I was no longer grossed out by the concept of sex and I gradually realized my sexual attraction to men, I was madly in “love” with a girl. I thought my “odd” sexual attraction was a temporary phase. But years passed and I was still into guys.
In Tibetan communities discussion on sex is discouraged. In schools, we didn’t have sex education and I don’t think it has changed. The Tibetan word for sex is “zopo” which also means dirty and there is no term for gay, lesbian, bi, and trans. The only term I knew was “pholomolo” which basically means hermaphrodite. In this environment, I didn’t know what to make of myself. I just knew it was wrong and I should resist it.
I left India when I was about 15 and I gradually started to understand human sexuality. However, accepting and applying this understanding to myself was far harder. It seemed obvious that I was not straight but I wasn’t ready to accept being gay. So I settled with reality and decided to accept myself as bi-sexual.
When I was in college, I was exposed to not just lot more information but also openly gay classmates and closeted gays like me. I had my first sexual experience and by the end of my sophomore year I had finally accepted myself as gay. So coming out to myself was not an event, it was a process. It wasn’t a moment or an event that led me to this, it was a culmination of everything that I had experienced thus far.
I think the most important person to come out to is yourself. It made me comfortable with who I am, I became more confident, and optimistic. I felt more comfortable meeting guys, going on dates, and doing what a normal college student does. I no longer felt odd or wrong for being who I am.
My story is not unique, many of the LGBT in my generation probably had similar experience.