This is the story of a boy.
A Sikh boy whose name was Laakhi – Lucky for short! And he happened to be Gay.
Lucky knew from a very early age that being gay brings dishonour to a Sikh family. His sexuality is never spoken of within his family. Lucky resigns himself to an unfulfilled future – his family becomes his entire life.
And then – he falls in love. With his eldest brother’s best mate – Jayvar. Resigning himself to ‘loving from afar’ Lucky is surprised month’s later, when Jayvar appears to return his affections. They get together and, the rest as they say, should have been history!
“.. to marry the man I love I will have to put up with this – I can’t afford to lose him – he is my life”
Slender and with gentle features, Lucky was a beautiful boy. He envied his sister’s their beautiful silks and saris. So, when
Jayvar suggested a little role play in the bedroom, Lucky was more than happy to dress as a lady to make his lover happy.
Out of sight of their Sikh community, their love blossomed. Lucky became more adept at making himself more convincing as a ‘woman’ – makeup
Jayvar was Son #1 in his family and had told his parents he was gay. Lucky could not imagine telling his own family. They often talked, late into the night, about how their love was bringing dishonour to Amrit’s family.
But, Amrit didn’t want to marry a woman and live a lie.
And, anyway, he was in love with Lucky! Two years passed happily. Over time they talked and dreamed of marriage – and, then, one day Jayvar proposed. But, they knew they would never be able to do it in the traditional Sikh way.
A couple of months later, Jayvar asked Lucky if he would meet his mother. He said that he’d told his mother and that she approved of their marriage. Lucky was astonished. Amrit’s mother wanted to meet.
The day came, and the mother seemed pleasant saying she approved of their marriage. She held a picture of Lucky in drag [private pictures – but not anymore] and kept saying that he was a beautiful woman. Then came the catch.
She said that as her family were well known in the Sikh community, they could marry, but Lucky would have to do it dressed as a woman. She explained that they could stay with the family for three months and then they could get could get their own place.
After weeks of soul-searching Lucky thought better to be with the man he loved – even if it would mean keeping his own family in the dark. Lucky’s family was told he was going away for work.
Jayvar ‘s family was told Lucky was an orphan. The wedding went ahead, and they received everyone’s blessings. It seemed perfect to Lucky – he kept pinching himself.
After the ‘wedding night’ in his mother in law’s house Lucky came down in his pyjamas. He received a slap from his mother in law ‘As long as you stay in this house, you will dress as though it is your wedding day – as a woman’.
3 months turned into ten. And Lucky was treated as a slave within his husband’s family home. In those ten months he: –
was burned and beaten by his mother in law
“As a man I was just a gay boy who no-one respected. As a woman I was a wife, a daughter in law and a sister in law
was not allowed to leave the house was treated as an unpaid servant waiting on the family cleaning and cooking
fought off his father in law’s attempt to rape him
was coerced into questioning his own gender – a man [who was mis] treated as a woman
‘It was petrifying because I was was required to marry to honour his family. I was so terrified I’d be found out. During this whole time though, my parents had no idea’
watched as cousins were forced into abortions when their unborn babies were found to be girls
saw his husband slowly forced to choose between Lucky or his mother
had intimate pictures circulated by his mother in law to expose him to the entire Sikh community
finally discovered the strength to leave.
“Eventually, things got so desperate, I tried to take my own life.”
The story did not end there.
- Lucky was, of course an emotional wreck.
- Worse still, his parents found out about the marriage and disowned him.
- Amrit was then forced into a marriage with a woman, who bore his child
- Lucy was drinking heavily
- He lived in a hostel
- Could not come to terms with his gender
Naturally he had to reach the bottom to start to fight his way back to health. He became reconciled with his own family with whom he now lives
Having seen , first hand, how the ‘daughter-in-law is treated he now actively campaigns against the modern-day slavery which exists but is hidden in Asian communities
He now performs in drag – modelling or as part of activism campaigns – because he needed to reclaim it for himself.
His family are so proud of him.
What’s even better is the acceptance of the community – they respect what he went through and how he endured it.