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Pressure pushing down on me

Hi all,

If you come from an Asian family you will know that once you hit a certain age your family (mainly parents - but also aunts and uncles) will lay down the pressure for you to get married. Its very common, and often they will have someone that they want you to meet and see what happens etc. If your parents are liberal to an extent they will ask if you have someone and the families will meet etc. At any rate in most terms arranged marriages aren't what they used to be where you meet your future life partner on your wedding day!

Usually I can get away from this pressure as I am doing a PhD, and don't yet have a full time job, so I use these as excuses to stop them asking too many questions and laying down the pressure for marriage. However, I am due to finish soon and the pressure is starting all over again. The past weekend also didn't help. I went to my cousins wedding. Now most weddings I have managed to get out of as I work on weekends, but these are for family members that I don't really speak to and am not obligated to go. But this one I couldn't get out of. It turned out to be a lot of fun, I haven't seen my Scotland family in a long time and was great catching up. One bugbear though, they all asked when it would be my turn to get married!

Now as you may (or may not) know I am not out to my family (yet...), so them asking if I have found a nice girl is redundant. I got asked a lot on the weekend. More so than any other time in the year. People were already planning my wedding saying we will do this and have this type of food etc. I usually just smile and nod politely without saying anything. You will also get people pointing out your age and using this as a way to guilt trip you for not moving onto the next chapter of your life. If you are Asian (or have a similar type of background you will understand). Being 29 means you're dangerously close to being put on the shelf in their opinion. I managed to dodge a lot of questions from the adults (and some cousins around my age - this was a new development as usually they don't ask).

BUT! Throughout the wedding I was just imagining what would happen when I told my parents I was gay. Most likely I will be disowned (the Asian community is not very welcoming of gay people, and the muslim community even less so). My families honour will be destroyed. People will react badly and start gossiping. I will be more famous without wanting to be. This also means that if I am ever lucky enough to find someone who wants to marry me that I won't have the traditional wedding. I will miss out on all the customs and ceremonies that I have gotten used to. The colours, sounds and atmosphere will be a lot different. One thing is certain I will most likely not have my family around me. This is what went though my head, and as I watched my cousin get married with his family all around him I got a little teary eyed as I knew this is unlikely to happen for me.

It got me thinking though about my future. I can get over the fact that my family will disown me (I mean I hope they won't but mentally I have been preparing for that ever since I knew I was gay). I feel it would be a relief, I can finally be me and be free from the pressure of being the perfect son. But it also made me sad, I might find someone amazing, but they will never know my family. I would hope his family are welcoming and accepting of me, otherwise it would just be me and him. Which would be nice, but hopefully a family around us will be nicer. If not I will be determined to have children and build my own family that way.

Its funny what the mind thinks of when going through tough decisions. I went through all the scenarios. I could remain quiet and wait them out, but this could be another 20 years of nothing before I am allowed to be myself. By then I will be nearing 50 and although I could still find one the chances are a lot slimmer. I could tell them and deal with the consequences. I would be free but have no family. I could enter a marriage of convenience and marry a lesbian, but then thats just adding to the lies that I already tell to avoid being caught out. Plus I don't want to put anyone through that. Finally I could tell them and they accept. The last one is the most unlikely to happen. option 2 seems like the only way to go, and I know its the decision I have to make.

I know I am not the only one in this situation. It would be nice to hear from any of you that are reading this and have been in a similar predicament. What did you do? Did you regret not choosing another option? I hope it all worked out for you, and I hope that it will work out for me.

In the meantime I will push on and try to live my life on my terms.

Wish me luck!

A
x

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