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‘If Not In Our Lifetime’: Kolkata’s Gay Couple Hope Things Will Change For Better

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By: Joymala Bagchi
Updated: July 9, 2022 16:31
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Abhishek Ray and Chaitanya Sharma
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KOLKATA: Smashing the stereotypes and overcoming every societal full stop, City of Joy Kolkata spreads joy and embraces the love story of Abhishek Ray and Chaitanya Sharma – its first newlywed gay couple.

Abhishek and Chaitanya, whom the former called ‘Sharmaji’, met in 2020 via social media platforms during COVID days. Soon the duo’s casual long-distance chitchat transmutes into a stronger bond to which they desperately wanted to add a name.

They made it clear to themselves, as well as to the world, that they are not going to hide their feelings. For they believe the world will further bog them down. They want their marriage to happen like any other marriage but face questions about their grand wedding instead of a low-profile wedding.

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The New Indian caught up with the newly married couple to know their struggle for acceptance before reaching the “happily ever after” zone.

Decked with mehendi Abhishek narrates, “We did have the initial obstacles with the family members. It did take a while to convince them. It was a massive effort on both of our parts to actually convince them.”

The couple put mehendi for their marriage

 

“Since the very beginning we wanted the family and the friends to come together and be a part of our wedding,” he said.

“We kept it very natural and normal. My mother and sister used to call him (Abhishek) like any other in-laws. Even my mother travelled to stay with us for two months to see if we both are happy together. It was both ways, the family took their time and we took ours,” Chaitanya said.

But it is not the family that they had to convince. They have to convince priests to conduct their wedding. “Shaadi toh Laxmi Narayan ka mel hota hai par yeh donohi Narayan hai,” said Abhishek’s family pandit. But he relents later on.

But things took an unexpected turn after their grand wedding on July 3. “We were flooded with messages from unknown people congratulating us on our marriage. Some even seek help and advice to establish their love story,” they said.

While homosexuality has been decriminalized in the country, the duo hoped that someday same-sex marriage will get legal sanctity.

“One step of ours served as hope to zillions of our people who are struggling with their tale of love. We have carried out a grave social message, it’s time we change our thinking. If not in our lifetime, someday the law will change,” Abhishek hoped.

Both Abhishek and Chaitanya have been very open about their orientation right from the day they realised.

However, Abhishek makes an interesting comment, “I have never been part of any of the pride marches of the LGBT community because do any straight men or women feel any pride of being who they are and go for pride marches? It comes very naturally, we are born with it.”

Chaitanya who lives in Gurgaon and works with a reputed company will be staying with Abhishek in Kolkata for a month and then Abhishek, who is a well-known fashion designer, might travel along with him depending on work.

Leaving a parting message, the duo said, “We have done our part and now it’s up to the people to take it. We believe our step has made life easier for many other people.”

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