Unlock Your Intimacy: Coming out to family

Dr Aman Rajan BhonsleUpdated: Friday, April 15, 2022, 10:49 PM IST
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I am an Indian studying in Australia and I like this Australian guy from my university. However, there’s a lot of racial discrimination here. We have gone out twice and he’s been great. But I am worried about whether my race will be an obstacle for us to having a long-term relationship. Is it too early to ask him this? How do I deal with this uncertainty?

Undertones of racism plague several countries and societies. Even within a country, people commonly find a way to align themselves to a niche group with certain specific agendas and ways of living. People do this to feel safe and in control often not realising that they are depriving themselves of the many wonderful lessons of humanity embedded within every diverse group. It is important for you to fully invest in the romance you'll share. If you bring race into the equation, you may inadvertently sow seeds of doubt. A long-term relationship is built on a solid foundation of patience, sensitivity, trust, respect and love between two consenting individuals who undertake a journey where learning and growth keep those involved healthy, happy and safe. As long as these considerations aren't ignored, there's always hope to build something beautiful together. Racial discrimination is multifactorial and sits uncomfortably within certain historically problematic and uncomfortable socio-political narratives. It's easy to paint targets and then justify why one needed to shoot! A lot of what your Australian boyfriend does will come from his personality and the values he is aligned to. How he behaves with you and treats you is a choice he will have to make. Life is filled with uncertainties but if each person was anxious to predict the future, it would merely lead to mass discontentment and disarray. Nothing is written in stone. Manage your expectations wisely and focus squarely on the evidence of his behaviour rather than worrying about the potential of it all going sideways.

I’m 39, working abroad, and my terminally ill mother keeps insisting I get married. I am a lesbian but haven’t come out to my family. I neither dare to tell her the truth nor can I go ahead with the matchmaking she is insisting on. What do I do?

Your mother's ill health has nothing to do with your sexual orientation. Many parents like to lay claim on the lives, journeys and choices of their children as a reflection of the 'work' they've put into those children. A reputation crisis may ensue if your mother frowns upon your sexual orientation which may exacerbate her dire health situation. Marriage was once seen as a way to hand over the keys of a woman's life so that she has someone to partner with, care for and someone who could look over her. Some constructs belong to a time when a woman couldn't choose the life she led or even the partner she led it with. Safety couldn't be taken for granted. The world continues to be filled with parasites and scavengers who will do anything to have their way with people. Marriage was seen as a way to stave off these insidious possibilities while still adhering to some form of socio-cultural traditions when it comes to institutionalising child-rearing, the tremors of old age and the resource-sharing capabilities of familially linked individuals. Marriage was seen as a logistical convenience with emotional underpinnings. Matchmaking attempts to find you a 'suitable boy' would entail you being dishonest with yourself and the truth could potentially disturb your mother. Do you want to protect your dream or disappoint your mother? Whatever you choose, you cannot have it work out both ways for you. Live your truth and don't worry about the noise it brings with it.

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