After Deepa and Gauri officially started dating, the two decided they would come out to their parents.
Gauri (left) and Deepa (right) knew there was something special about their relationship from the moment they met.
Because it was the first same-sex relationship for both women, the couple faced some early challenges, including that neither had shared their dating preference with their parents.
For Deepa, she felt it was vital that she was financially independent and had graduated from law school before coming out to her parents. Her parents had had an arranged marriage and likely would want her to follow in those footsteps, she said. She hadn’t mentioned to them that she was seriously dating anyone, let alone a woman. It would be a big step to talk to them.
Deepa told Insider that after revealing to her mother that she was dating a woman, her mother was apprehensive at first but never questioned her about it again.
“She was scared that people within their community were going to be mean, and she was afraid that I was going to get hurt because of what other people were going to say,” Deepa said. “I could tell her reservedness came less out of disapproval and more out of fear.”
Shortly after Deepa came out to her parents, Gauri decided she would do the same when she visited her parent’s home in Seattle.
“I started by saying it bothered me when our relatives in India asked when I was getting married,” Gauri said of the conversation. “I told them it bothered me because whoever I was going to marry wasn’t going to be a man.”
“They were stunned, and then there was a pause,” Gauri continued. “Right off the bat, my dad said, ‘no matter what, we love you.'”
Gauri then told her parents about dating Deepa, whom they had met under the pretense that Deepa was only a friend.
“In true Indian parent fashion, they immediately said: ‘Are you planning on getting married one day?'” Gauri said.