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Major J Suresh

Major J Suresh recently came out of the closet and gave the following statement on being a male gay teen in India

When I was approximately 15, I was smitten by a very attractive boy in class. He most likely saw my gaze and proceeded to ‘teach me a lesson in the only way young lads knew how. He encircled me with some of his close buddies and forced me to the ground, grabbing my neck and yelling expletives, and that was probably the end of it. The physical violence was not brutal – far from it – but it most likely sent a message – a wrong message, but one that gay kids all over the world learn from such incidents of bullying: that what I was feeling was ‘wrong,” bad,’ or sick,’ and that heeding those feelings could lead to much worse violence – and that it was best to ‘conform.’

Time in NDA

That’s probably why, during my time at the National Defence Academy (NDA) and the Indian Military Academy, I didn’t experience anything close to romantic attraction or love in my late teens and early twenties (IMA). By my mid-twenties, when those feelings began to resurface, I had realised that I was gay. I was having a lot of trouble accepting myself, and the army’s hyper-straight culture made it much more difficult. However, by my late twenties, I had finally come to grips with myself and accepted myself for who I was, after months of drinking and wondering and asking why I was different and weeping myself to sleep over it

When my parents pushed me to marry, I decided I wouldn’t be dishonest and live a double life for the sake of society or family. So I sent them along, tearful letter explaining that I had decided not to marry and that it was my life and decision. I went on to say, “Don’t ask me why,” because I don’t know. It broke my heart, as well as theirs.

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