As a fifteen-year-old, Sharif Rangnekar could not fathom why he felt aroused watching men dance in a Jermaine Jackson music
video. He soon found the ‘answer’ in a book that told him that this was just a phase and it would end once he got married. He almost did get married. ‘Straight’ to Normal is a story of a gay man who had to battle bouts of fear, dejection and depression and also unlearn the normative definition of lust, love and everything in between, in order to thwart the desire to kill himself and find a reason to live. Through the twists and turns of hate and affection, love and break-ups, violence and near peace, he finally finds the courage to speak for himself and others like him. After several failed attempts to write this book due to the fear of the law and society, at the age of 50 and as gay as one could be, Sharif has written his story, one where he describes how he gained an identity but lost a near lifetime, looking for love and companionship. Through this book, he hopes that everyone who feels pressured toappear ‘straight’ finds the strength to be who they are.
The author: Sharif Rangnekar