Coming Out to Celebrity Crushes: Honest Conversations Ft Moms & Their Queer Kids

We all have questions that we want to ask our parents! Catch honest conversation between moms and their queer kids.

3 min read

(This was first published on 6 September 2021. It has been republished from The Quint's archives to commemorate Mother's Day.)

Senior Editor: Shelly Walia

Video Editor: Mohd Irshad, Abhishek Sharma

Camera: Shivkumar Maurya, Sanjoy Deb, Gautam Sharma

"Did my mom know I was queer?"

"What did they feel like when I came out?"

"Who is this one celebrity that my parents want me to date?"

We all have questions that we wanted to ask our parents, but never did!

On the third anniversary of the reading down of Section 377 by the Supreme Court, which decriminalised homosexuality in India, The Quint decided to catch up with Ria Sharma and Ashish Chopra – and most importantly, their moms – Renu Sharma and Simi Chopra.

A resident of Noida, Ashish identifies as a homosexual man. The 26-year-old HR professional dotes on his mother. But the relationship took a hit from both their sides when Ashish came out to his family.

"That was a very horrifying day. I remember Aastha (cousin) and my elder sister, they told me for the first time. And I started crying and I couldn't hold my tears that day and came back straight home. You were not available at that time in the evening. And when we sat, I think we sat at night till 2:00 am, 2:30 am, and that day you told me everything about your journey and about your schooling especially. And I asked you 'Why did you take so many years to tell me?'"
Simi Chopra, Ashish's Mom

But for Human Rights activist Ria, who identifies as a gender fluid lesbian, coming out made little difference.

"I clearly remember the day when you came out. I think it was just two days before your 16th birthday and you were crying like hell. At that time we only wanted you to stop crying. The reason for that was immaterial to us. It really breaks a parent's heart when the child cries. And then you said, 'Mamma, Papa, I am queer.' What does a parent expect from their child? That they are happy and they become a good person.
Renu Chopra, Ria's Mom

"We thought Ria is growing into a good person. So the fact that them being queer, a lesbian, or gender fluid does not make any difference to that. It didn't bother us for a moment also that you are queer," Renu added.


But the mothers had equally important question – were their children scared of coming out?

And the response from both Ria and Ashish was a big yes.

"I was scared about disappointing you that I was queer. Definitely, I was on the journey of loving myself, understanding myself. But I did not know how you would react. So yes, I was scared but somewhere I also knew that you have always supported me in my journey."
Ria Sharma

Do the parents worry about their queer kid's future?

"Oh yes, definitely, I still have some worries. Although at that stage I think, two-three years back, I was very scared about your organisation. What if they come to know? What if they fire you because of that? Your boss might react. What kind of reaction will it be? I was thinking that your career is over."
Simi Chopra, Ashish's Mom

A message they want to give to parents of queer kids out there?

"I would like to say that these are your children and they need your love and support. First thing is, right from the beginning, give them the freedom to express themselves completely. When they get the freedom, the safe environment at home, where they can express themselves, and discuss what is going on in their hearts."
Renu Sharma, Ria's Mom

"Yeah, the only message I would love to give you is love them, hug them, kiss them. Because closet is definitely not the place to be in," added Simi.

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