Skip to main content

Revealing that you are gay is extremely tough but even tougher when you come out to your Indian family and friends. But that’s what Amrit Kapai from Family Karma had to do.

He candidly shared his story during the premiere episode of the show. Kapai, who is an attorney, returned from Chicago to launch his firm’s new office in South Florida. Like Anisha Ramakrishna, Kapai now lives at home with his parents while he builds the Miami office.

Amrit Kapai, Suresh Kapai, Lavina Kapai | Tommy Garcia/Bravo

Cameras follow his mother urging him to eat his fruit while he’s brokering deals on the phone in the other room. During his first few minutes on camera, he shares that he is gay after his mother chats with him about a recent discussion she had with his boyfriend Nicholas.

Coming out to friends and family was challenging

During the episode, Kapai says he “checks all the boxes” for his parents, but the “most important box for Indian parents” could not be met. He reveals that if he had gotten married at age 24 he would have married a woman. “Because I couldn’t accept that I was gay at 24,” he says to his parents. Kapai is 32 years old.

Even though he couldn’t face it in his early twenties, Kapai knew he was gay from a young age. “I realized I was different at a very young age, third or fourth grade, though I was too young to understand exactly what being gay meant,” he told Showbiz Cheat Sheet.

“It wasn’t until I was in my mid-twenties that I finally came to terms and was ready to tell the world,” he adds. “Coming out is a struggle regardless of your background – it is by far one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. It might be more difficult in the Indian culture because of the lack of exposure to the lifestyle in our society, not to mention our parents didn’t grow up in America. For them, bringing home someone of non-Indian background is difficult to accept, let alone bringing home someone of the same gender.” 

Kapai’s mother admits to “being shattered” upon learning her son was gay. While she initially struggled with the news she says she loves and accepts her son no matter what.

“Fortunately, I cannot think of a single negative reaction from a friend after coming out to them,” he says. “I was blessed with nothing but support, kind words, and comforting embraces.”

He’s gotten love and support

Kapai said his parents did some soul searching but eventually came around. “My parents are incredibly accepting, but that didn’t happen overnight. They were not as enthusiastic and accepting when I first came out because it was truthfully such a shock for them,” he said.

Adding that they didn’t understand it at first. “They didn’t know if being gay would lead to a happy and fulfilling life they had always envisioned for me. It killed me to know I was letting them down. With the support of my siblings, however, we encouraged open dialogue, had them watch impactful movies on the LGBT movement, and did our best to show them that being gay didn’t mean my life was ending.”  

Kapai and Vishal Parvani are still best friends

Family Karma also featured the close friendship between Kapai and Vishal Parvani. “Vishal and I are closer than we’ve ever been, if that’s even possible,” he says.

When it comes to the dicey topic of Parvani’s wedding, Kapai knows to tread carefully. “You’ll have to ask him about the wedding planning; I sort of avoid that topic with him unless he brings it up,” he says.

He adds that he and his boyfriend Nicolas are still together too. “Yes, I am currently in a relationship with my long-term, on-again/off-again boyfriend, Nicholas. He was my first gay friend and eventually first boyfriend. We met at Berlin. No, not the metropolis city in Germany, the late-night, smoky dance club in Boystown. Yes, there is 100% pressure to marry like the rest of the cast. I think partly because my parents want grandchildren and partly because they think it will curtail my going out,” he jokes.

Family Karma is on Sunday night at 9 p.m. / 8 p.m. central on Bravo.