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Digital Subscriptions > Attitude > 286 > A new understanding

A new understanding

To many conservative Sikh Punjabis, homosexuality is a taboo subject; ignored and misunderstood. But after years of depression and struggling with his true self, one man decided to change all that


Born into a traditional, conservative Sikh family in the 1980s, Manjinder Sidhu’s sexuality and his struggle to accept it drove a wedge between him and his parents. When he was 11, and a pupil at a largely ethnic inner city school in Birmingham, Mani — as he’s known — realised he was gay.

“The kids picked up that I was different,” he says. “I had femininity in my voice and walk. I used to over-compensate by being funny and clever, but the kids could tell.”

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About Attitude

TO THE EXTREME Adventurer and extreme athlete Gavan Hennigan is at ease with himself. But that wasn’t always the case as cripplingly low self-esteem and a struggle to accept both his sexuality and his sexual preference, led him down a path of almost fatal self-destruction.