It may be illegal and taboo to be homosexual in India, but this traditionalist couple refused to discriminate against their son when he told them he is gay.
Did you know? It is still illegal to be homosexual in India, where one can face severe threat if their personal sexual preferences are found out. Because of this, the subject of homosexuality, in general, is taboo and rarely talked about by members of traditional Indian families. Acknowledging this, one is tempted to conclude that it is extraordinary a traditional Indian couple hosted a magnificent wedding and party for their gay son and his partner.
The Independent reports that Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code makes sex with persons of the same gender punishable by law. But when the parents of 35-year-old Rishi Agarwal learned that their son was gay and in love with another man named Daniel Langdon, they did the opposite of becoming upset and/or turning their flesh and blood in. Rather, Vijay and Sushma Agarwal funded a traditional – yet fabulous – Hindu ceremony inOakville, Canada, for their openly homosexual son and his partner.
Rishi apparently “came out” to his parents in 2004 after he finished his accounting studies. At first, his parents were shocked. He told Scroll.in,
“It was a tough time for me. It struck home – the feeling that I am never going to have [a family wedding] – marry the person I love, and share that. It was hard to accept.”
Additionally, he was concerned about being openly gay because one of his Sikh schoolmates was rejected by his parents after being honest with his family. Fortunately, both Vijay and Sushma Agarwal accepted their son. After overcoming the initial shock, Rishi’s father stated: “You’re still our son and we love you. This is strictly our baggage, which we bring from India.”
Rishi and Daniel were turned down a total of seven times by Hindu priests who they asked to officiate a traditional ceremony. Finally, they were able to perform all the standard rituals of a Hindu wedding, including exchanging flower garlands and getting matching henna tattoos with each others’ initials.
This story may have been released in 2016, but it continues to inspire people around the globe. Rishi being brave about his preferences has also resulted in five of his friends informing their traditionalist parents that they, too, are gay.
After realizing this truth, Sushma told The Star:
“Nobody would talk about it. They just keep hush, hush, hush. Our community is very hidden in these issues.”
Thanks to this family’s example, more people may be inspired to “live their truth(s).” What are your thoughts? Please comment below and share this news!