Married and Gay
Marriage has enough complications of its own. What happens when it comes embroiled in a sexual tempest?
I am an eternal romantic. I believe in happily-after-evers. But as I age, I am beginning to realise the mendacity of this notion.
Marriages aren’t made in heaven. They are made here, by people. And more often than not, they are gross miscalculations. Mistakes.
My cousin made a mistake. So did Priya Vedi. Her “mistake” ended with a suicide.
This cousin is beautiful, a part-time model. She doesn’t fit into the helpless narrative. Far from it.
She was born into an illustrous family, where wealth runs many generations. And so, like most girls with good pedigree, she studied at a premium boarding school and went on to study in the US. As she turned of marriageable age, matches came aplenty.
And so, she got married at 29. To a friend. They were part of the same friends circle in the US. Her mom and sister called him ‘dependable’. Handsome, funny, grounded, successful; life would be nice with him as a partner. She got married in December 2013 – a fairytale wedding.
July 2014. She came back.
The marriage was never consummated. He was gay.
It’s Tough Being a Gay Man in India
Was my brother-in-law wrong? It’s difficult to say.
Was Dr Kamal Vedi wrong because he did not disclose his sexual preference to his wife, Priya?
Is society to be blamed then? It’s easy to pin the blame on that collective, nameless mass of people, where there is no clear accountability.
But to an unaccepting society, add an unreasonable law criminalising ‘sex against the order of nature’ – and you will get many such men who don’t have the courage to stand up for themselves. Marriage makes for a good facade.
What about the woman?
Last year, when a Bangalore woman wired her house with hidden CCTV cameras to expose her gay husband and charge him under Section 377, many thought she had made a venomous move.
But had she? When she had tried to raise the issue with her in-laws, they dismissed her allegations and blamed her for failing to ‘attract’ their ‘perfect’ son. Exhausted of all options and tired of explaining herself, she finally chose to take the recourse of law.
Priya Vedi’s father-in-law also put the onus of making the marriage work entirely on her. Her repeated pleas to the family about her husband being gay were met with denial. Activists feel it wasn’t reason enough to commit suicide, but Priya had tilted beyond tipping point.
Priya Vedi, my cousin, and the Bangalore woman –three women entrapped in gay marriages. Each chose her own way out.
Sadly, there will be more like them.
So who is to blame?
Both sides are the victims here. Law and society nudging gay men to find acceptance in marriage, and women being unwittingly used as shields.
Who’s to be blamed for these failed marriages and sad endings, then? It’s all those who still don’t understand homosexuality.
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