RJ Rahul- Naam toh sun hi LIYA hoga!

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This Friendship day, accept your friends without judgement

“I want to be alone.” Greta Garbo, the Hollywood icon during the Golden Era, was famously quoted saying this in one of her iconic films ‘Grand Hotel’. Of course, at occasions everyone wants to be alone, but what if that ‘being alone’ becomes the only reality of someone’s life?

It is hard to live a life without friends. As many of you might have heard my life story on a famous radio channel, the loneliness was imposed on me because of my sexual orientation. I am a gay man. I am a man who loves another man. These two lines had created a permanent line of divide between me and my loved ones or “friends” in the past. Luckily, I had a friend who helped me reconcile with my parents after they had thrown me out and supported me even when I was in a financially strained position. This friend healed me from all the taunts and rejections from my classmates or college mates who I considered as friends. He made me realise that you only need one true friend, instead of a list of Facebook friends who are too afraid to be associated with you in real life.

What I encountered is faced by millions of LGBT teens in schools and colleges all across India. The bullying, the harassment, the lack of acceptance from your family members is a common story for LGBT folks all across India. Different gender identities and sexual orientations are natural. What is unnatural is how one bases their thoughts on society’s bigoted unnatural beliefs.

Beatles’ song said ’All you need is love.” I want to add in this “All you need is love and friends”. No one wants to be alone. I now have a great life with an amazing job, great friends and was invited to be a co-jock at a radio station. As fun the first two days of recording were (when I just had fun), it was definitely painful when I had to revisit those hard times and my past experience of losing friends after revealing my sexual orientation.

Life does get better. Luckily, I had a friend who picked me up when I was down. Maybe you can be that for someone?

RJ Rahul or Rahul (AKA Rishu) works with Alliance India. He was a co-jock as part of a friendship day campaign with a major radio station that operates in Tier-2 Indian cities.

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