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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Pride Month: ‘I was petrified; thought I will be disowned’

"I actually did not tell my mother directly. I had asked my best friend to do it over the phone..."

Written by Prerna Mittra | New Delhi |
June 29, 2021 12:30:15 pm
Pride Month, Pride Month coming out story, coming out to family, coming out to the world, Drag, Pride Month 2021, coming out series, indian express news"I knew [I was gay] when I was 13 years old. I had my very first kiss in school with a fellow classmate," he shared.

Prashant Priyadarshi, aka ‘Bahaar‘, has two distinct personalities — one that he assumes while in drag, and the other when he is out of it. “I identify as gay, and like to be referred to as ‘she/her’ when I am in drag and ‘he/him’ when out of drag.”

Priyadarshi, who hails from Patna but works in Bengaluru, runs a clothing manufacturing business and a marketing production house. He is also a content creator on Trell, a lifestyle video and shopping app.

“I knew [I was gay] when I was 13 years old. I had my very first kiss in school with a fellow classmate. I told my best friend about it in college. Until then, I was in the closet,” he shares with indianexpress.com.

While Priyadarshini came out to the world in 2013, his family learnt of it three years later, in 2016.

‘I was scared to death’

Before he embraced his truth in front of his family, Priyadarshini was “scared to death”. He shares with this outlet that he had assumed he “will be disowned by everyone, and no one will ever talk to [him] again”. “I was petrified. I actually did not tell my mother directly. I had asked my best friend to do it over the phone, because I did not have the courage.”

What happened next was something that he had not imagined.

“My mother called my sister and cried over the phone. Not because her only son turned out to be gay, but because she thought she could have helped me have a better childhood. [That she] could have supported me when I was being bullied, could have helped me deal with my mental health, could have made me feel like I am a normal boy.

“She cried because she thought she had failed as a mother because she could not understand her son’s misery with which he had lived for two decades.”

His sister, to whom Priyadarshini had come out earlier, also got emotional. “She has always been so supportive.”

‘I would not have survived without friends’

Luckily for him, Priyadarshini has allies in his friends. “I thank all my friends, who have been there for me through thick and thin. I would not have survived without them,” he says, adding that people belonging to the LGBTQ+ community first need to accept themselves.

“You need to first start loving yourself. Once you do that, you will notice that everything else automatically falls into place. The way you look at yourself is how other people will perceive you. So keep your head up always and wear your personality with confidence; be fearless,” he concludes.

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