By Clandest Singh
Special to The Post
Being gay is hard enough.
Being a South Asian-North American gay person who is also a devoutly religious person is even harder.
This special series documents the journey of a Vancouver based gay Sikh in coming out to his friends and family and to provide an insight to what life is like as a ‘minority within a minority’.
Clandest Singh’s articles discuss where there is a divide between homosexuality and Sikhi and if so, how they can be reconciled.
Down the Rabbit Hole
Part Two - Journey Out of the Closet
I would beg God to take it away, to make me straight.
I would give anything, anything for it to go away, anything for me to just be normal, anything to stop being who I was ashamed of being…
Six years went by, but no avail.
I would pray for an answer every day, eyes soaked, hidden in a distant corner of the house to avoid concern being raised by my family.
What would they say?
How could i answer to them?
One day I desperately asked for an answer. A few weeks later I got it.
I was up early one day and decided to listen to the radio’s broadcast of the morning recitation of Asa Di Vaar, a Sikh prayer written by Guru Nanak Dev Ji.
While sitting in the room listening with my mom, my mother’s favourite verse came up and she lowered the volume to explain it to me. I still remember the pangti to this day:
He Himself fashioned the vessel of the body and He Himself fills it.
Into some, milk is poured, while others remain on the stove fire.
Some lie down and sleep on soft beds, while others remain watchful.
O Nanak, he adorns those upon whom He gives His Glance of Grace.
-Guru Granth Sahib, Ang 475, Salok Mahalla Pehla (Guru Nanak)
It then hit me, everything that ever happens, goes to plan.
We wake up, to His plan, we eat to His plan, we sleep to His plan.
We are who we are, all according to his plan.
That’s why my ardaas, my prayer, wasn’t being answered. That’s why God didn’t fix me… because there was nothing broken to begin with.
I was so wrong - my mind felt two polar emotions, extreme happiness at this epiphany, and extreme frustration as to how I treated myself for ages.
I eased myself into my newly accepted identity and for the first time in six long years, I finally looked in the mirror and saw me.
Me, not someone who is broken.
Just me - not anyone else.
I cannot describe the bliss of that moment.
A month later I found myself sitting in social studies class in high school, fidgeting, “Come on, enough solace already, you need to tell someone.”
I took a deep breath, looked over at my best friend and smiled.
She warmly smiled back.
I took another deep breath, pulled out a piece of paper and ripped a portion off and then picked up my pencil.
Immediately my hands began to shake, “This is it, this is it.”
I took one last deep breath and wrote out a brief message.
I folded it into a neat rectangle and stared at it.
When the teacher left the room, I took that piece of paper containing that three-word sentence that could turn my whole world upside down, and passed it to my best friend.
She took it with a big smile on her face.
Immediately she opened it up and her smile faded. My heart dropped.
I kept looking at her, dread overcoming me. What if she shows someone?
What if she hates me?
What will happen?
I froze as she looked at me and scribbled down a note underneath and passed it back.
I opened it up with shaky hands:
Hey, I’m gay.
I know, and I still love you. :)
I sighed in relief and looked up at her and beamed the widest smile I can remember giving, tears filling my eyes.
This is it. This is who I am, no more hiding.
This is how I was created. This is who I was made to be.
This is me.
This was just the beginning of my journey out of the closet, and so far it was going extremely well, or so I thought…
Part III of this series will be published next week.