This 18-Year-Old’s Open Letter About Gay Shaming, Sexuality And Acceptance Is A Must Read


We posted a BTS-image of model Saket Sharma from Narendra Kumar’s show at Lakme Fashion Week where he was wearing a full face of make-up that included a red (almost tangerine) lipstick and blue eyeshadow. There were a lot of comments on the post; some were good, some even encouraging, but most of them were just mean-spirited and hateful. Saket shared the post, writing, “Hurts my being to even read the comments, not because I’m the subject here but because it’s difficult for people to be themselves in this country. I don’t wear make-up in my everyday life, but I have friends who do and it doesn’t bother me or alters my life in any shape or form. It’s about time people need to keep going with their life. In the truest hour, I ask for the world to end because this is not the way we should live.”

Open Letter About Gay Shaming, Sexuality and Acceptance© MensXP

Like any lifestyle website with a big reach, we usually receive a mixed-bag of comments and emails. Name calling, abuse, and even death-threats—we’ve seen it all. And even though we’d usually never call out our readers, this is an exception, because comments like these are simply just…hateful!

Open Letter About Gay Shaming, Sexuality and Acceptance

Open Letter About Gay Shaming, Sexuality and Acceptance

Open Letter About Gay Shaming, Sexuality and Acceptance

And then we received this gem of an open letter, from 18-year-old, Ishan Dhage—whose words definitely echo our sentiments (read the letter below). Why so much hate? Sitting behind a computer, commenting on posts in an obscene language doesn’t make you a stud. What makes you brave is having the ability to face your fears—whether it’s wearing a full face of make-up, dressing up in uncomfortable clothes or wearing heels. If that’s what you have to do, then that’s what you have to do. You cannot mess with someone else’s free will just because it represents the « other » for you. This world is filled with all sorts of people. In your lifetime, you’ll meet various kinds, who will open your minds, show you grace and kindness … if you let them. Should you look at the world with a jaundiced eye then believe us, your hateful comments will truly end up representing who you are: hateful, violent and miserable. So, who do you want to be? The choice is yours, but leave others to make THEIR choices.

Open Letter About Gay Shaming, Sexuality and Acceptance© MensXP

“Do you know what gender stereotypes are? Of course, you do. You are also aware of the fact that they are utter rubbish. This is 2017 and we have progressed so much. We have made advances in every field possible from medicine to science, art, literature and what not. So what I’m failing to understand is, why can’t our regressive ideas and thoughts, progress? Why do we—as a progressive society—have to stick to a very ancient and conventional (read: ghastly) mindset? Why can’t we ALLOW girls to explore their masculinity and guys to explore their femininity? Why is it that we always make fun or belittle anyone who is slightly different than the norm? I honestly DO NOT understand. 

Let’s discuss make-up and the big fuss about it. I mean why would you make a big deal out of someone wearing make-up?! Putting on a full face of make-up doesn’t make you ‘gay’ or ‘artificial’. And, judging someone’s personality or sexuality based on a palette of colours…is just stupid! 

I stand up for simple things in life that bring people joy—whether it is a pair of high heels or a bright red lipstick. I stand for girls who are tired of hearing ‘too much makeup’, ‘you don’t need it’, ‘artificial’, ‘plastic’ and what not! I stand up boys who are brave enough to go against the grain and stand up for what they love. But what happens when someone is actually brave enough to defy norms? One word: Humiliation!  Instead of applauding them for taking a stand and overcoming their fears—we start calling them names— ‘unnatural’, ‘gay’, ‘fag’ etc. Is your masculinity so fragile that the only way to win in life is by taking someone down? 

Fuck you if you think this is unnatural. 

Fuck you if this goes over your head and against your immature ideas. 

Fuck you if you ever shamed someone based on their choices. 

Fuck you if you think makeup is only limited to one gender. 

Fuck you if you ever made fun of someone for something they love to do. 

Fuck you and your gender norms. 

Oh and you can judge me all you want, because honestly, I expect nothing better. I know a number of people who’ll judge me just for standing up for someone. But guess what? Neither my masculinity nor my ego is as fragile as yours. So please, give it your best shot.

Open Letter About Gay Shaming, Sexuality and Acceptance© MensXP

This is not a ‘coming out’ post. This is not about me. This is much, much bigger than me. This is written in hopes of giving someone courage or at least some kind of inspiration to face their demons. This is me standing up for all those who have to deal with so much unnecessary bullshit. This is me standing up for that one person who’s scared to do what they truly love, out of the fear of being judged and ridiculed—I’m with you and I’ll stand by you.”

Photo: © MensXP (Main Image)