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Reuters/Danish Siddiqui
Dreaming of this.
MATCHMAKER

I am just an average Indian mom—and I want to find a husband for my son

Padma Iyer
By Padma Iyer

I am a mother of a child who happens to be gay. He is 36, charming and full of life and heart.

I had failed as a mother considering that my child was abused sexually for 11 years, and I couldn’t read the signs or handle his trauma. But since then I have grown up to understand his specific needs and desires. I have been beside him for all these years.

When he opened up to me about his sexuality, I decided to come clean of my own prejudices. I learnt about homosexuality and slowly but steadily came out of my proverbial closet to embrace his sexuality. Nothing seemed to matter after that.

Being gay in India—or in any part of the world—is not easy given the intolerant mindset of the society. And I know that my son cannot take care of himself when he is all alone. He is absolutely absent-minded. So it worries me that after I am gone there would be nobody to look after him.

This is the reason why I placed a matrimonial ad for my son, Harish Iyer, in the newspaper. He is an activist and an amazing listener. He spends a lot of time with children and animals. But he has absolutely no time to venture out and fetch the man of his dreams. I hope I succeed.

Facebook/Anita Shyam
India’s first gay matrimonial ad.

But I want to make something clear: I am not deciding his life partner for him. I am simply being a mother, or as Harish puts it —an HR manager who screens resumes to send them to the boss. Harish is the boss. Harish decides whose company he wishes to join. However, I do wonder if anyone would like an activist, angry, eccentric, animal-loving boyfriend. That has me worried.

I am happy that my advertisement is igniting a discussion that I never intended to fuel. In my ad, it was mentioned that Iyers are preferred. But it is actually something that I said in a jocular vein. I need my son to be happy and for him to find the person who loves him as much as he loves the person. Caste and religion are immaterial.

My mother prefers if he marries an Iyer. She comes from a different era, she is 80-plus and too rigid to change her mind. But it is interesting that she does not mind that her grandson is gay.

I am now tired and exhausted with all the media attention. In the end, I don’t understand the big deal. I don’t understand this hype and hoopla. I am just an average Indian mother helping my son find a partner. Just that the partner here is a man.

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