Shamit Doshi, 32
(Software Engineer, Atlanta, US)
By Shonali Ghosal
EIGHT YEARS ago, Shobha found out her son Shamit had been living with his partner Abid for a year-and-a-half in Atlanta. Shamit had confided in her older son. Shobha says, “I was happy that he had settled down but didn’t understand why he hid from me for so long. “‘Do you blame me for what you are?’ I asked him. He said no.” Shamit asked Shobha to come visit him for his birthday, which was around the corner. She did, and stayed for six months. While there, she met almost 60 Indian gay men as well as their parents. Through long conversations, her understanding and acceptance grew. Her own family and friends, however, remained resistant. They questioned her decisions, advised her to call him back from the US, and do pujas to rid him of his aberration.
Shobha’s support for Shamit didn’t waver in the face of disapprobation. “It’s not like people think that they (homosexuals) keep changing partners; it will last for ever,” says Shobha, countering that entrenched perception of homosexual promiscuity. “He’s honest to himself, that’s enough for me,” she says while admitting that her confidence is bolstered because he lives in the US. She hopes for a similar acceptance in India. “If the law permits them to live together, society will accept them or if society accepts them, there will be a law, either way we need to speak up.”
Shonali Ghosal is a Correspondent with Tehelka.