“There are days when I look in the mirror and all I want to see is a reflection of a boy. And to feel comfortable in my own body and skin.
It was in my teens when I realized I liked girls. It was a period when I wasn’t aware of terminology like queer or bi-sexual or non-binary. But for the longest time, I suppressed these feelings. I told myself this is wrong, I am wrong. The only lesbians that I had seen were through porn. And I thought, what I was feeling was ‘dirty’. I began forcing myself into relationships with guys. It was all okay until it got physical. I had no butterflies in my tummy when a guy touched me.
As a kid, I never really had a lot of friends. Therefore, I never had the chance to express my inner feelings. My mind was in chaos. But then things changed when I began volunteering for an animal welfare NGO. Ever since a crawling baby, I used to play around with insects in my mom’s garden. ‘Liking insects’ was creepy for most people. But the NGO had like-minded people. And when I met them, I felt yes, they are my kind of people. I was eighteen when I learnt what homosexuality and bisexuality meant. One day, a fellow volunteer told me his friend is bisexual. And that she likes both men and women. I knew I wasn’t wrong. Maybe I am also bi. I started reading and learning about it.
I am neurodivergent. Early teens were not the most pleasant days of my life. I was aggressive about every little thing. I used to cut my hand. I used to run away from home. I used to hurt people physically. I come from an orthodox Tamil family. And they think only mad people go for therapy. At this point, I gave up on myself. I started self-therapy. Eventually, when I started earning, I started going for therapy and I still am. The clarity and understanding of my sexuality and gender only happened now.
Coming out to my family wasn’t easy. In March 2020 my father passed away. It was just my mom and me who were in the house now. My relationship with mom was not a strong one until then. But after dad’s death, we started working on our bond. We began talking about everything. All that was bottled up within me for so long, flashed out. This is when I decided to come out. Yes, it took her a while to accept who I am. But, once she did, I knew it was all that mattered.
I started going to a lot of queer carnivals, meet-ups and table talks. I met like-minded people. People who accepted me for who I am. Having said that, I’ve had innumerable unpleasant encounters. For instance, a mother pointed at me and told her child, “You shouldn’t become like this, it is bad”.
This pride month, I wish a pride month doesn’t exist in the coming future. I wish for a world where we don’t have to celebrate our sexuality or fight for it. Make our identity as normal as that of a male or female.”
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