Coming out of the desi closet

Vikrant Lal provides advice and tips for South Asian families to better cope with the gay issue.

Vikrant Lal uses his personal insight and experiences to provide advice and tips for South Asian families to better cope with the gay issue

For parents:

LISTEN: You might miss crucial signals or clues from your child. It could be from smaller things like a hidden relationship to a big issue such as contemplating suicide

• Be attuned to your children’s needs

• Know their true interests (stop trying to shape them)

• Leave hints that you are open-minded

• Initiate open discussions about the gay role in society

Be educated (Try to research the facts as well as the lingo. The more you know, the less you will embarrass your child)

• Don’t make assumptions. Just because your child is not athletic does not mean he is gay

Avoid comparing your children to other kids (Applicable to all parents)

• Try not to project what other people will think. Focus on your own family before societal issues

• Your child should know that you’re not going to shun them

• Let your child know they will always be loved

For children:

• The first time you come out to someone, it will be the hardest thing you ever do. But once you come out to one person, it only gets easier.

• You have to reach out and build a network of people before you come out to your parents, so that it will make it easier to go through. You are not alone

• You have to believe that whatever happens will be the best outcome

• Believe that it is better to tell them than to continue living a lie

• There is so much pressure in our culture to please your parents. You need to have faith that your parents will still be proud of you

• Even if they do not support you, you must know and believe one important thing: There are always other people who will love you for who you are

Do you have any suggestions for South Asian parents or family members to better address homosexuality within their families? We would love to hear from you. Please post your comments, or email us at info@southasianparent.com.

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