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‘It Felt Amazing’ after Sikh man took off turban, cut hair, came out as gay

Sunday, August 24, 2014
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Mandeep Jangi

Mandeep Jangi

Mandeep Jangi of Middlesex, New Jersey, cites his Sikh faith as the “more visible aspect” of his identity. His decision to cut his hair (long hair is a traditional part of Sikh culture) was the first step to discovering his own individual identity.

Mandeep describes his family’s reaction to his decision:

Everybody got entirely silent. … My mom started crying, because it meant a lot to her for me to keep up that faith and tradition. But largely the reason why everyone got quiet and the energy levels changed was because of my father. Everybody was very curious what my father’s reaction would be. His reaction was that he assumed I was doing it out of shame. I told him I wasn’t.

However, after his haircut, Mandeep could sense that something still wasn’t exactly right. He felt a sense of uneasiness that he traced back to a lack of embracing his sexual orientation. After struggling with his closeted gay identity, Mandeep took a huge step forward: He came out to himself and then to his family.

This is Mandeep’s true LGBTQ story:

“I’m from Driftwood,” a collection of “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer stories from all over the world,” appears weekends on LGBTQ Nation. For more true LGBT stories, or to share your own, visit “I’m from Driftwood.”

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