I want to share how I grew up because I want people to know so that, it would be beneficial to all of them. As an elder son I had a lot of responsibilities and unexpected burdens. Being an MSM this had doubled. I did not have the skills to handle them or address them. At that stage with my orientation, I took sex work as my profession. My sexuality and profession exposed to my friends and I saw their hardships, the exploitation and violence by local thugs, clients and the Police men. I also met those who were chased out of their own families, or isolated by them or imposing more responsibilities because of their sexuality.

Deep in me I felt that I needed to address the inequality and violence we face so I joined SWAM, an organisation by and for MSM. I participated in many trainings and shared my experience with my friends. More and more MSM friends joined me to address issues at police stations and among the thugs. I was also involved in expressing ourselves among our families which mostly created a positive impact on us. Later in 2000 I got trained and joined Siaap as a counsellor. I worked as a counsellor in a government hospital and this brought out my potential. I supported many MSMs, Pregnant women and men from the general public. This was a great opportunity for me to build my skills. I became a supervisor for counsellors and a trainer. Constant reinforcement of my strengths by people at Siaap helped me to build on my strengths.

Now I am more comfortable with my life and with my family. I made positive steps to fulfill my family responsibilities. I always remember the persons who supported me.

Come out with confidence you have great things to achieve.

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Comment by maya on April 2, 2009 at 3:58pm
Hi Robin,
Many congratulations for coming out of the cocoon...here's wishing you lots of courage, perseverance and confidence as you embark on this new journey! Kudos!
Comment by rebeka sultana on March 28, 2009 at 8:00am
HI Robin,

I applaude for your open and confident sharing. I donot know whether you have read Tagor's poem as he says in Bangla " Shankocher o bihobolota nijere obomanona...mukto koro voi, apona majhe shakti goro nijere koro joi" it is just what you have written in your blog."come out with confidence'
Thanks you for this sharing.

best regards,
Rebeka
Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on March 27, 2009 at 5:43pm
Dear Robin,

Thanks for your open sharing. It demonstrates how one can overcome challenges in life, build on one's strengths and excel in life. Very inspiring. Your determination, sincerity and enthusiasm is admirable.

With best wishes,

Rituu
Comment by Gaston on March 27, 2009 at 3:44pm
Hi Robin, thank you for your wonderful posting. It's really useful for me to get a better insight in the lives of MSM in India. I am sure it will be useful to others as well. I appreciate your sincerity. Kind regards,
Comment by Laurence Gilliot on March 27, 2009 at 12:50pm
What a courage, Robin... You inspired a lot of us during the International Knowledge Fair in Chiang Mai. You have so much energy and strength to change the situation around you. And to inspire others.

"Lotus flowers grow in the mud" says Thich Naht Hahn, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk. Because you went through a lot you grew, you came to a deeper understanding and can inspire others to do more.That's great!

Thank you for sharing

Laurence

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