Editor’s Note: The following submission is from Dave Patel. Have an LGBTQ+ related experience or story to share? Having your article published on this site will automatically enrol you into a raffle to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card. Submit an article today via queerdeermedia.com.
[amazon_link asins=’B071ZTD9SQ’ template=’ProductAdRight’ store=’ourqueerstories-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’0d90424c-8cb0-11e7-92b5-8397897f526f’]Hello! My name is Dhruv Patel AKA Dave.
I come from a mixed background (Half Gujarati-Indian, hence the Patel surname & half Italian). This mixed heritage played a significant role in my life as a gay youth. Sure… I’ve probably showed signs as a child, but I’m sure my conservative Christian mother, and stern Hindu father chose to ignore it. I didn’t start realizing what I was until I was around 14 years of age. I wasn’t even sure what sex was until that age anyway, considering I was extremely sheltered in my Home-school environment. I tried telling my mom about my feelings, and we both started to cry and pray it away. At that point I lied and told her I was kidding… I went back in the closet; ashamed. For the rest of my teenage life, I became highly depressed, isolated, and suicidal. I felt like a nobody who couldn’t wait for life to end. Dealing with a mentally unstable mother, insensitive father, having to take care of my autistic baby brother who spread lies about me, and feeling cursed by God for being gay; made for an emotionally devastating concoction.
It wasn’t until I turned 18, that I finally stopped hating myself for something I had no control over; nor should I. I did not come out at this time though, but at least I wasn’t wishing for death to catch me anymore. I did not feel comfortable enough to date yet though, due to my poor body images. I felt fat and ugly, and had no chance of being a good date, let alone boyfriend. No car, no place of my own, and a handicapped mother I had to take care of. My mother having a mental breakdown due to her mother (My MomMom) dying was the wake up call that I needed to learn to love myself.
At this point, I also went through a religious reformation. I was brought up Hindu as a kid, and Christian as a teenager. I’ve learned Human-named religions take us away from God, so I decided to not cling to one. I consider myself a Spiritual Worshiper; I pray to God/Goddess all the time, but in my personal way and by our terms.
I finally had the courage to come out (In stages) after I turned 21. It’s quite a funny story actually. My crush on my local weatherman was the motivation behind me coming out to my family… one by one. The first person I told was my nephew. I was drunk, sad, and sleep deprived. He was cool with it though for only being 14. Next my sister, then her husband, then my brother (Whom I don’t talk to anymore), then my mother, lastly my father and the rest of my family and friends. Everyone was okay with it and happy for me, except for my mom whom took a little longer. We still struggle with it, but we are alright for the most part. My dad understands too; however, he prefers not to talk about it.
Eventually I found a guy and we dated. He moved in with me and my family too, and lived with us for a couple of years. We even got engaged in NYC! That didn’t last too long, since i found out he had been cheating since we got engaged… that’s almost a whole year. Once again i was thrown into a depression after i had kicked him out, but i overcame it.
Now… being 27; I have a car (I got custody of it after the breakup), a job, confidence (I got in good shape), and am now have a new boyfriend that I love and adore. I’m happy with my life and my Lord.
Hope y’all enjoyed my story!