20-26 March 2015 #750

Accepting yourself

It's sad that families prioritise society’s judgement over their children’s happiness
Anjana Rajbhandary


I find it sad that sometimes families prioritise society’s judgement over their children’s happiness. When we love someone, we should accept them for who they are-not what they ‘should’ become. For more questions email me: askanjanaanything@nepalitimes.com or @AnjyRajy.

I am a 26-year-old girl born and raised in Kathmandu. I have a great family and a good job, but I’m struggling to come to terms with my sexuality. I knew I was ‘different’ from a young age but accepted who I was in college when I fell in love with another girl. I am leading a double life and have not told my family, and it is taking a toll on my soul. My family wants me to get married but I don’t know how to come clean to them without hurting their feelings. Should I just move out of Nepal and come back when the country becomes more tolerant and understanding of LGBT issues?


AR- I am not sure what the ‘correct’ way to respond to your question is but I have friends who have been and are in the same boat as you. I would definitely say that having social support in this situation is critical, it may be a partner, friend or cousin. It would also be helpful for you to be in touch with some professionals who have worked in LGBT issues, if you are interested I can get you their contact information.

As for telling your family: there is no one good answer. You have to think of either consequences (you will be accepted or you will not) and be ready to deal with the aftermath. Make sure to have social support when you are ready to tell your family.

The cultural aspect of being pressured to get married cannot be ignored, because your decision to tell them might leave you ‘homeless’ temporarily so being independent is key. Some family members may try to ‘change’ who you are but marriage is serious, and you probably would not want to involve another innocent person and his family into this.

I believe that even though your parents might not accept you now, eventually they will understand you. The most important thing for a parent is to see their children happy, this is tricky, but your parents love you for who you are and not your sexual orientation. You do have to realise that your parents may not realise it now.

It is hard to defy norms, but I believe it is most important to be true to who you are and accept yourself for the person you have become. Be strong, think about yourself and what you want in life, seek personal and professional support. With time, you will make the right decision. You have one life, make it a happy one.

Good luck.