The Conundrum Called Coming Out
This artwork and the lines below are by Abhishek Jasuja (Batch of 2025). This is the second piece of our 'Pride Month' series.
Image description: The artwork consists of a person clad in a t-shirt with a rainbow-coloured spider logo in the center. The person is holding a rainbow flag and coming out of the closet which has a rainbow-colored door. At the top, the title reads as “Pushed Out or Pulled Out?”. There are rainbow colored hangings on the top near the title. The person comes out under different pressures and is confused about whether he was forced into doing the same. They are being pushed out by a caricature holding a knife inside the closet. Also, they are being pulled out by a coil/rope which is encircling his left leg. There are dialogue boxes drawn on this coil/rope which express the reaction of people, including how they already guessed their sexuality, or how someone already outed them. The background is painted in a bluish tone.
"I'm Supposed To Be The One That Decides When And Where And How And Who Knows And How I Get To Say It, That's Supposed To Be My Thing!"
—Simon, in Love, Simon (2018)
Coming out is a process of understanding, accepting, and valuing your sexual orientation/identity. It involves both exploring your identity and sharing it with others. The pressure faced by any college student before coming out is multi-directional. This struggle becomes much more perplexing if you are an overthinker. This artwork shows that coming out often is not a 'choice' but a result of complicated events. On the outside, some people have already guessed, discussed and decided about an individual's sexuality. If the odds are not in their favour, the person might have already been outed by someone they trusted. On the inside, there's a constant nag about what they might miss out on because they are closeted. This includes inability to be themselves in public spaces. The process turns out to be full of contradictions and complications, and one is either pulled out or pushed out of the closet.