The Art of Coming Out

Social Commentary

The Art of Coming Out

Illustration: Neon


n the last ruled page of a 14-year old boy’s physics’s notebook was a pair of eyes. The same set drawn over and again, as if to memorise the stare. The middle pages gathered courage and revealed the rest of the face – a hook of a nose, pouty, cracked lips, and above that a wire of pubescent moustache.

When his parents leafed upon his crush, they dragged the 14-year-old boy straight to a stained-glass corner in a church, to a pastor who claimed he could “correct” the child’s sinful fascination and later to the underground office of a psychiatrist, who assured a “cure” with aversion therapy. Male genitals alternated on the white wall in a room that smelt of a thousand boiled eggs. Each picture followed by a short pulse of shock treatment.