It was 5:40AM.
I had been up all night.
I stood at the kitchen counter, the knife pressed to my left wrist. It felt like I had horse-blinders on.
All I could focus on was to cut.
Cut myself away from this world. Cut myself away from all this pain. Just cut myself away.
I was getting ready for the teeth of the blade to eat away at the flesh of my wrist when something happened…
Out of the adjacent family room came a voice:
Ghat ghat ke antar ki jaanat. Bhale burre ki peer pachhanat. Chitti te kunchar asthula, sabh kripa drisht kar phoola. Santan dukh paaye te dukhi. Sukh paaye sadhan ke sukhi. Ek ek ki peer pachhane. Ghat ghat ke patt patt ki jaane.
Translation: “He knows the inner feelings of every heart. He knows the anguish of the good and the bad. From the ant to the grand elephant, He casts his glance of grace upon all. He is in pain when his saints feel pain, He rejoices when his saints are happy. He knows the inner agony of all. He knows the innermost secrets of each and every heart.”
Hearing these words of the Chaupai Sahib during the morning-prayer program on the radio, which had accidentally been set to an alarm, I jolted back to consciousness and dropped my knife and collapsed onto the floor, crying.
How could I have been so stupid?
How could I have tried to take away my opportunity to live a beautiful away with my own hands?
How could I give up so easily? I wasn’t alone. Not in the least.
I was never a believer in miracles, but whether you call it miraculous how the alarm went off at that exact moment, or just a very fortunate coincidence, the fact that I survived an inevitable suicide was a miracle of Gurbani in itself.
I got up, cleaned myself up, and just prostrated on the ground, crying, thanking Guru Sahib for saving me from making the biggest mistake of my life.
I was alive. I was ready to continue. I was not alone.
The next morning I had a big decision ahead of me.
I could be out and proud, and face the possibility of being killed, or I could play it safe and go back in the closet (from my family that is) and slowly work my way out.
So, I woke up and hugged my uncle, and simply told him, “everything will be alright.”
He sighed in relief and kissed my forehead. The tempest in the house went away, but it all got bottled up inside me. It was eerie, but at the same time relieving, how quickly the ordeal was over.
To this day, my siblings, my cousins, and my aunt have no idea what happened that dark summer years ago, and mom is not aware of the words my uncle spoke to me in his ultimatum.
My mother and uncle went back to treating me normally, and I went to university and my empowerment began.
I met many friends and they formed a pillar of strength behind me (you all know who you are and I just want to say that I cannot repay my debts to you),
alongside my love for Guru Sahib and my shield and cloak of Gurbani.
I could have moved out, let my mother work and continue to provide for my younger siblings, but no.
I love my family with all my heart and I am determined to fight their hateful ignorance with loving education.
I want to live with them. My mother deserves a happy retirement and her son is going to give it to her. It isn’t going to be easy but I am ready to wage this war.
I am going to win back their love for the boy they raised… all of him.
It has been a few years and I’m still between a rock and a hard spot, but you know what? I’m counting my blessings.
Now I’m not going to go on a five minute rant on YouTube saying how “it gets better.”
No! You have to get up, take the initiative on your own and make it better.
Take that hate and respond to it with love. Take that inner frustration out in something constructive. The beauty of this world is that anything is possible.
All you need is the drive.
I may have sacrificed my happiness these past years, but I know that it will all be worth it when I have my family by my side.
I’m not going to lie to you and say it’s easy.
It is hard.
Some nights I cry myself to sleep.
Some days I doubt whether or not I will be successful with my quest.
Sometimes I find myself staring back at that knife, but you can’t let yourself fall into the destructive cycle.
All you can do is try your hardest and just hang in there tightly.
Life is way too beautiful to give up on.
This concludes my coming out story, thus far.
Writing all these parts out has also been a great way for me to find closure and come to terms with what happened.
You have no idea how liberating this experience has been and for that I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for being a part of this liberation.
I am looking forward to our continued relationship through this blog and to learn and grow as a community.
Life is a blessing, always count it in your shukranas.
I leave you with these words from my favourite song, Allah ke Bande:
A bird was broken so much, that it could not be healed. Someone abused it so much that it could not fly again. As it fell from the sky, it landed on the ground, yet in its dreams there was nothing but clouds. Nonetheless, it said:
O man of God, give me a smile. O man of God give me a smile. No matter what happens, tomorrow will come again.
To all my fellow LGBTQ brothers and sisters, always remain positive and in chardi kalla. Talk to someone, and if you have no one to confide with, your brother is only an email away at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hang in there, we are all in this together.
Waheguruji Ka Khalsa, Waheguruji Ki Fateh.