I was scrolling through Instagram when I came across an NRI who was around my age, and an influencer on Musically (then TikTok) and Instagram. He was a product of the love marriage of a handsome Indian man and a stunning German woman(I’d followed him on social media for weeks). At first, I thought that my appreciation was just about his good looks.
Guys appreciate other guys who they think look good. Look up to them, want to be like them. For me, however, it was far more than just that. In my not-so-adolescent day dreaming sessions, I would think of adventures the characters I used to make up for my stories could have. Sometimes some characters would share an intimate moment or two, and sometimes those characters looked like me and Mr Hot NRI.
A few months after I discovered Mr Hot NRI, I had my first girl crush. I’d met her around in 2016. We don’t even talk anymore. We have not talked in years. For me she used to be a major part of my life and just a year later, we had zero contact. After her, I had a hard time finding my bearings, mentally. I was distraught. It took me years to regain some semblance of stability.
The all-boys’ schooling environment was not of help either. I couldn’t relate to anyone or even open up because I thought no one understood. Sixteen-year-old boys are idiots, I was too. Life was fun for a while but bottling up emotions has never worked for anybody. Alienation after a transition from the new up-and-coming extrovert who was chill with everybody, to a guy who would rather keep to himself, and was sometimes “not good for the vibes”, was fated.
There was self-hatred involved which went on for years till I finally came face to face with the reality of my sexual orientation.
Slowly I got used to it, thought that it was just friendly flirting with a cute dude and friends because I am a major flirt. It was all completely harmless. Looking back, I guess I thought that I was in my own way just appreciating everyone that I thought looked good.
Mr Hot NRI started the journey. Over the years, there have been many but everyone remembers their “firsts”.
Watching superhero movies such as Blade, I could not stop looking at the glistening six pack abs, the pecks and the cute behind that Wesley Snipes was packing. Ryan Reynolds as Hannibal King was not lacking in the eye candy section either, I was not far behind in noticing the gorgeous Jessica Biel and the super-hot Dominic Purcell. Even Bollywood hero movies with dashing stars like Ayushman Khurana or Adiya Roy Kapoor used to make me feel some type of way.
I could only watch topless scenes of men and stars boldly in front of others because it was normal, which is one norm I’m thankful for. When it came to women in bikinis I missed out in public(don’t tell my family I said any of this).
I used to be so confused. I knew I was attracted to women, but there were some specific men I used to find attractive that it used to make me feel weird about being me. Men like Ryan Reynolds, Bruno Mars. Pornography did not help. The sound of men moaning in heterosexual settings was arousing, which made me panic.
I finally surprised myself with my reality when I was wasting away, scrolling on Instagram last year. I saw this video of this gorgeous European woman, not much older than I, cosplaying a female character. Impressed by her cosplay, I checked out her profile only to find out that it wasn’t woman but a man.
For some reason I was not surprised. Even though he had done a fabulous job of hiding his Adam’s apple in the video, and misleading not only me but thousands online, into believing that it was a woman in that video. I found myself saying, “He’s handsome and beautiful, I’d totally date him”.
As soon as I said that out loud, I found myself dumbfounded and relieved. As if a huge burden had been taken off my chest.
Did I panic? Very much. I later found out that may have been bisexual panic because was I was a little aroused by this man’s cosplays.
I came to terms with this reality and slowly started accepting it. I have not yet completely assimilated in this reality and struggle with it still.
That intimacy with a guy is still very far away from me, I do battle with it. Do I fantasise about boys regardless? Yes, I do. Though the farthest I’ve gotten is a kiss.
Yash studied at St. Joseph's University, Bangalore. He loves to read and write, even though he should write a lot more than he does. He is creative and a geek, though he refuses to identify as one. He is a major flirt.