Finding Love Again
I grew up in Thane, Mumbai. I come from a traditional middle class Maharashtrian family. I went to IIT Bombay for MSc and came to the US to continue my graduate studies. Alexander comes from a family in the leather tanning business. However, he decided to forge his own path via ivy league schools of Cornell and Harvard. He is an award winning architect.
I met Alexander in 2008 in Berkeley, California, at a Wednesday night support group at the Pacific Center for Human Growth. The center provides clinical and support services to people from the LGBTQIA+ community. After the meeting, all of us went out to socialize. We connected immediately. That night was special. The more we interacted with each other, the more we realized that both of us have quite a few similarities; both of us were married, going through some tough times and coming out as gay people.
We started meeting more often and by 2012, we moved in together. We wanted to get married. I see marriage as one of the ways of committing. But back then, gay marriages were not legal in the USA. Although, most of Alexander’s family was on board with our relationship, only a couple of my family members were supportive. I hope that others in my family come around to celebrate our union.
I remember giving ultimatums to Alexander- ‘This summer or nothing!’ I was going through some frustrating times, but I always found him by my side. He is my strength, my rock. He is someone having the highest work ethic of anyone I know, an independent thinker, someone who takes people at face value.
Finally, the day came! August 8, 2020. The day when both of us exchanged vows and promised to be with each other! What could have been better than my daughter, Nina R Sardesh, becoming the minister and officiating our marriage! Alexander and I became ‘Husband and Husband’.
-Raj & Alexander