Coming Out To My Family: The Wishful Version in My Head

“Tell me what your principal just said is not true.”

“Dad, just please give me a chance to explain.”

“No! Tell me you aren’t what they say you are, you can’t be. You’re my daughter.”

“Dad, you know this isn’t how this works.”

“So, it’s true?”


“I can’t believe after everything we have both been through that you would pull something like this. If your mom was alive, she would have died of shame.”

“No, if she was alive, she would have loved me for who I am and stood up for me, not like you. Ever since you heard it, I can see the look of disgust on your face. You’re not even bothering to hide it. If it were mom, she wouldn’t focus on questioning me, she would be questioning the principal.”

“I can’t do this again with you. I just can’t. Just go to your room.”


“Dad, can we talk?”

“Not now, I’m busy. We’ll talk at dinner.”

“Dad, I know you’re trying to avoid talking about the thing and I can’t wait till dinner. I need you. The last few days have been hell, everyone looks at me with disgust. People tell me that I should just kill myself and I’ll go to hell.”

“Why didn’t you tell me all this?”

“Because I was afraid that you will not understand and you will hate me.”

“Anu, I can never hate you, you are the only family I have. It’s just not how I pictured your life. It’s not something I can understand.”

“Then let me explain. Hear me out. Ask questions. Forget everything you have heard about how disgusting a gay person is and how they should be cured.”

“I know it’s not how you want me to react but I can’t help it. I just need time to process it. Still, one thing is for sure. I don’t hate you and I could never hate you.”

“You know, we were supposed to work in pairs for this history project but with everything that’s going on, no one wants to pair with me. I did finish the project but I’m not sure if my history teacher would give me credit for doing it alone.”

“Don’t worry, I’ll talk to your teacher tomorrow before going to work. I’m really sorry for not noticing that things were so bad.”

“You couldn’t have.”

“Your mom would have been able to tell. She always could tell. She knew what to say to make things right.”

“I miss her, a lot. I still write letters to her. I wish that I could give them to her.”

“I know you do. I miss her too. I know that your mom would have fought for you and I’m sorry I didn’t. You need to know I may not understand this, but I know you and I love how you’re such a strong young woman. I may need some time to wrap my head around it but I love you the same and that will never change. So, did you come out to some kids at school – is that how everyone came to know about it?”

“No, you remember Drishti? I came out to her. At first she thought I was joking. But when she realised I was serious, she became so angry that she left. I tried to call her, she didn’t answer. I left her messages, but she didn’t reply. The next day at school, everyone knew and she told her everyone that I had tried to kiss her and tried to force myself on her. I tried telling people I didn’t do it, but no one believed me. They think I’m some kind of mistake. I never thought that people who I have known for years would treat me like this outcast. This town is too small to understand this.”

“I’m really sorry that you had to go through this alone, that I made you feel like you couldn’t talk to me. How long since you have known this?”

“I think I have always known this. I may not have realised it, but I knew that I like girls and I think mom knew too. I used to tell her stories when she needed to rest after taking her meds. I used to tell her about two girls who were married and had a bakery. She used to love those stories. She asked me one day if I wanted to open a bakery with my wife and I told her yes.”

“Your mom loved your stories. She used to tell me that you have all these stories inside your head like she did and that you would be a better writer than her one day.”

“I used to think she pretended to like my stories because I was so excited to tell her. So why are you afraid that I’m gay?”

“I’m afraid that you won’t have a life anything like I imagined. I’m afraid that you’ll have to go through some really hard times alone for being who you are. There will be people who would want to hurt you and I wouldn’t be able to protect you. Hell, I can’t even protect you now. Look what you had to go through alone. I was not there to help you. I couldn’t even make my only daughter feel like she could talk to me. I get it why you couldn’t talk to me, but I promise you that I’ll get better. I’ll educate myself. I just need some time.”

“Dad, it’s not your fault. When people said ‘your dad would be ashamed’, I was scared of what I would do if it were true. So I didn’t tell you.”

“You know for someone so smart, you do act so stupid sometimes.”


“So what do you say, tomorrow morning, should I go to your school and teach that principal of yours some lessons on privacy and inclusivity?”

“I would love that.”

Anshu Malik, 19, started law school this year.

Featured image credit:愚木混株 Cdd20/Pixabay