Sexolve 120: ‘My ‘Liberal’ Parents Can’t Accept That I am Gay’

Sexolve 120: Equal right’s activist Harish Iyer’s weekly column on sex and relationships.

7 min read
‘Sometimes you celebrate the lives of others rejoicing for being different and you don’t know how to react when you realise that your own kith and kin is different.’

Sexolve is equal rights activist Harish Iyer’s Q&A space on FIT.

If you have any problems, doubts or queries regarding sex, sexuality or your relationship, which you can’t seem to deal with, or need some advice, answers or just someone to hear you out – write in to Harish Iyer, and he’ll try and ‘sexolve’ it for you. Drop in a mail to

This week’s Q&As below:

‘I am in love with my friend, don’t know if he loves me back’

Dear RainbowMan,

I have been in love for 6 years now. I never mustered the courage to tell him. I don’t want to spoil things between us. I don’t even know if he is gay. He is a good friend. We have had fun one time and while I had a whale of a time then, he also seemed to have enjoyed it. I wonder if that spoilt the equation. How do I know if he loves me? Is there some secret formula? How would I know?



“It’s time to have the heart-talk’
“It’s time to have the heart-talk’
(Photo: iStockphoto)

Dear Eager,

Thank you for sharing with me a piece of your heart.

I know how it feels like when hearts gallop into the landscape of love. The thumping feeling, the nervous happiness, the ‘will he/would he not’ moment should be experienced by everyone. I am glad that you had the moment of love with him and that you like each other physically.

Is there a better way to cook the beans without spilling the beans? Maybe it is time that you have a heart-talk with him. Do not be overtly emotional. Tell him that you like him. Ask him what he thinks about you. Broach the issue with sensitivity and love and not with anxiety and haste.

Speak to him. There is no better formula than sharing your heart’s desires in the most decent and the most genuine manner.

Yes, you also need to be prepared for a negative response. He may “friendzone” you. He may say that he is not gay but was experimenting with you. These all are possibilities. But there is a possibility of him saying he loves you as much. He could tell you that he was thinking the same about you and was shy to pop the question. He may respond with a yes.

If he says “no”, you should be prepared for it. If he says “yes”, you should be grounded and humble enough to not get blown away.

There is the possibility of a positive outcome. There is a possibility of an outcome that you did not desire. The question is - if you have to base your decision on an assumption of a possibility, why not the possibility of a positive outcome?

If you do it with maturity and frankness, there is every possibility that you will have him in your life without any awkwardness regardless of what the outcome is.



P. S. Wish you both good luck and lots of love.

‘My so-called liberal parents can’t accept that I am gay'

Dear RainbowMan,

I am a 15 year old boy. The world is rejoicing because of the verdict by supreme court but it pisses me off that I am still trapped in a web of deceit spun by my own family. My family, my liberal family, is open minded about all issues. My parents planned the eloping of my cousin and got her married to her boyfriend. They themselves are an interfaith couple. We challenge the idea of god and rituals. We are natural rebels and stand for everything that is reasonable and scientific. I realised that all of this is a farce only when I came out to my parents after the 6th September verdict when my parents also seemed in a celebratory spirit. I took the opportunity to tell them that I have a boyfriend. They didn’t take it positively. They first screamed at me for keeping my sexuality from them. Later they said that they disapprove of my boyfriend. They also said that this is not the age for me to keep boyfriends or to think so deeply about sexuality. I screamed back at them and called them all drama queens who celebrate liberal views only to “appear” liberal but in reality they are all conservative. I feel tangled in lies and fakery. I don’t know who to trust if not my family.

Traumatized Boy.

‘My liberal parents can’t accept that I am gay.’
‘My liberal parents can’t accept that I am gay.’
(Photo: iStockphoto)

Dear Traumatized Boy,

Thanks for writing in yaar. I know families are the most essential and that’s why sometimes they are the most difficult to understand and navigate. I am so glad that your family has liberal views. I personally believe that liberal attitudes is what we need at this moment of time when fascism is taking on the world. We tend to sometimes take liberal attitudes for granted. You are right, when we are faced by our own realities, or those of our loved ones, we tend to get protective and sometimes not-so-liberal in our approach. That sometimes comes from a point of concern and not from a point of conservationism.

At this point, you will have to try and understand them as much as they should make every attempt to bridge the gap.

What you have written to me is a possibility of what could have transpired in their minds for them to react in this way. Let’s think about other possibilities also.

They are upset with you because you didn’t tell them. Maybe they expected you to be comfortable sharing about this aspect of your life, because you are in a house where you discuss everything? Maybe, they don’t disapprove of your sexuality, but simply feel that you should take some time to focus on other things and maybe that they feel that you need to give yourself time to zero-in on a sexuality that you identify is? After all, sexuality is fluid. Or maybe, they don’t disapprove of your sexuality but are not so pleased about your choice of partner?

I understand that in your belief parents should allow children to make their choices of partner. That’s my belief too. I also know that some parents don’t extend their liberal values to their own children. I am not the one to tell you that family cannot be an a^*h*&e. Everyone has one, everyone has the ability to be one. So please don’t assume that I am taking their side. I am simply looking at different possibilities.

Sometimes, everything happens in a whiff. Sometimes you celebrate the lives of others rejoicing for being different and you don’t know how to react when you realise that your own kith and kin is different from the majority.

Give them time. You don’t need anyone’s approval for love. However, give it time, let love develop into something beautiful. In the meantime, try having a heart to heart conversation with your parents. Don’t rile them up with preconceived judgements on their actions, meet them with an open mind and heart. Love is fine. But understand that section 377 or without it, the legal age for indulging in sex is 18.

I wish you all the love and luck.

Smiles :)


P.S. Give your boyfriend my love too. And a hug.

‘Can we officiate a 3-way relationship?’

Dear Rainbowman,

My wife and I have been wanting to get into a threesome relationship with a close male friend of ours. We have had threesomes dime a dozen times. We all love it and he is a part of our lives and our family. As must be clear to you, he is bisexual and so am I, is there a way that we could officiate a 3-way relationship? How will society react to it? How do you see it – with disapproval?

Three’s Company

‘What adults decide to do with their bodies in private and who should they do what with, is their business.’
‘What adults decide to do with their bodies in private and who should they do what with, is their business.’
(Photo:i Stockphoto)

Dear Three’s Company.

Thank you for writing to me. This indeed is a different not so common type of a relationship.

I know the world respects only two way relationships. But what adults decide to do with their bodies in private and who should they do what with, is their business. The point being that the act should be about consenting adults.

I will neither approve or disapprove of your your relationship. Who am I to decide about your private life. It is your private matter. Why do you seek anyone else’s approval.

If you are public about it though, do expect some backlash. I can only say that the society (whoever and whatever you wish to define it as) may not be happy about a 3 way relationship. People are not familiar with that kind of relationships though there have been many examples of such types in mythology and culture. Just that most ‘popular’ examples are of polygamy of heterosexuals and not about men having affairs with men in a three way relationship.

Now to the other part of your question.

What do you mean by officiate? Legally speaking, marriage is nothing but a legal contract that eases out property rights, insurance claims and other benefits. I am not qualified to give you insights on this, but you could check with a CA if you three could get into a contract for a partnership firm under which you access the same account. Legally, you can’t get married to a man as yet. You can’t get legally get married to a man and a woman either.

Love is a private feeling. It could be faced by opposition when it is not the most common way to love. But eventually love wins if it is true to the heart.

In Joy


P.S. You don’t need anyone’s approval for love. You really don’t.

(The text and the location has been edited to protect the identity of the people. You can send in your questions to

(Harish Iyer is an equal rights activist working for the rights of the LGBT community, women, children and animals.)

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