As a gay man, all my life I have battled stereotypes. And being gay in India for that matter brings quite a few of those along. But realistic, I have always believed that all those stereotypes propped up from somewhere; and as much as most of them are massively unfair generalizations, there is one I have never even second guessed.
It is the one where people just assume that being gay, I must have a lot of female friends. I do. I have a lot more lady friends than male ones, even from my community. And this is friendship in the true essence of the word.
Not just is there respect, care, love and loyalty, there is a fierce sense of understanding that, over time I have realized, just doesn't come from other spaces for both the parties. It is not just friends; I share an amazing relationship with my mother, my sisters, my aunts...
I know many from my own community will bare claws and click their tongues at this massive generalization I am making even with what I am writing, but this one instance, I shall brave it.
Because in all honesty, had it not been for these women in my life...I believe I would have been a lonelier, incomplete soul, even if the best male match would have been my company. And that, I believe is a toast to women and the power of the feminine.
There are so many reasons I can put out there as to why things are the way they are: why gay men have always found deep connections with women, why so many of us form such strong bonds with them, and why we would, in all honesty, be our truest selves with them unapologetically.
In a world where biases, prejudices and unfairness has been doled by through the centuries, among the many factions women and homosexuals have bore the brunt of it a lot, and we still do. But I won't be silly enough to say that we are united by our pain; I would rather say we are united by our strength and perseverance.
Brought together by a deeper understanding of human emotion, a sense of maturity and, in all humor, the burden to bear the weight of the men we meet in our lives, I have found that the connections I have built with the women in my life run deep and meaningful...founded more in a very intricate understanding and therefore respect of each other. It is not asking for much either.
So many times I have been ridiculously asked how it is that I manage to have such close friendships with women, been asked for tips for crying out loud. And it is flabbergasting because, there is none. There is no special anything here. Because there is nothing special about the respect and admiration I treat the women in my life with, because it shouldn't be out of the ordinary at all.
And no one is saying that such relationships can't be built between two men, gay or straight, no sir. But my experiences, and history, has shown that it is always the feminine energy that is far more sensitive to acknowledging humanness of a person without judgements, and therefore been more accepting.
It is my belief that it is for these women - my mother, my sister, my best friends - that I am not just a more wholesome man, but also kinder, softer, perceptive, creative, strong...and all in all, a better man. And it is my staunch belief that it is definitely the women in any man's life who helps him bring out the best in him thus making him a complete man, in the true sense.
And for that, gay or not, we are forever indebted to them.