Last month, Manjinder Singh Sidhu, a UK-based LGBTQI activist, uploaded a video showing his mother talking openly about homosexuality to parents of transgender children. The idea behind the conversation, according to Sidhu's post on Youtube, was to explain "what homosexuality is, how to accept your child when they come out and how not to pressurise them."
The entire video has been shot with Sidhu (who conducts workshops and counselling classes for LGBT Asians) and his mother conversing in Punjabi, with English subtitles. Sidhu explains this was due to "all the requests out there" so kids could share this easily with their parents.
They walk through some basic, yet important, issues and questions that parents often face, highlighting that in India same-sex marriage is illegal. Sidhu mentions that there are several moments including actor Aamir Khan's programme Satyamev Jayate that are trying to change this rule in the country.
They also talk about forced straight marriages, emphasising that they're ruining the lives of their kids, and the person they're coercing them to get married to.
Sidhu's mother (who initially had no idea that homosexuality even existed) admits that she initially tried to go to the doctor when her son came out to her, but on being told that this was a God-given quality, accepted it. She also mentions that she has also been at the receiving ends of several comments for accepting her son's homosexuality, but has accepted that sexual preference is not chosen, and that a parent should be accepting of it. "Trying to change your child, or your child trying to change himself/herself can have a negative effect," she says in the video.
Sidhu's mother concludes the conversation with some simple yet potent advice for parents whose kids come out to them:
1. Listen to what your child is telling you, and believe him/her.
2. Don't pressure them into unwanted change, particularly a straight marriage.
3. Finally, if you child is happy with his/her decision, you should be happy too.
Adorably, Sidhu gives his mother a big hug at the end of the video, thanking her for her frankness on the subject.
Also watch Sidhu's coming out video — he's uploaded a Punjabi version in addition to the English one (featured below):