Interviewee : CHIPMUNK (Shradha)
What do you identify as (gay, bi, transgendered, queer – use any terms you like here)?
I am inclined to say muff driver, but I will be politically correct and say “gay”
When did you first start to define your identity as such?
When I realized that I admired women too much to go for anything less.
Was it easy or difficult for you to come to terms with your sexuality?
It’s not a black and white question. I was confused, sure. But personally, I never had qualms about it. When I am definite that I want something then I make it explicit, but before that I have to search every corner inside me to know that I want it. Be it my sushi or my lover.
Have you experienced first-hand trans/homophobia? If yes, how did you deal with it?
No. But I think for those who do, dancing helps to get over it. Also the fact that the imbecile’s who do attempt to murder your spirits and your passion are the people living in a box, where there is hardly any air to breathe and they can’t cope with the thought of you bathing yourself in the freshness of the beach everyday.
When did you first out yourself?
About 2 years ago.
Was it unplanned or was there careful planning involved?
Being an Aries, I am impulsive. Although, I am not out to my parents yet. That would take some planning.
Who did you come out to & why did you come out to that person?
My memory beats me on this one. I think it was my friend Ines, was having men troubles and asked me how I deal with it. I responded saying, I don’t. I guess, my coming out is a matter of circumstances. And direct questions.
How did that person react?
We went on to discuss her men trouble’s. Now I am sure it isn’t fascinating enough to read such coming outs. And I apologize for not having dramatic moments about it. But my funniest coming out was with one of two best friend’s here in Berlin. His name is Szilard. When I moved to Berlin, there were again new people, the same questions. This time I got lucky as we were having dinner together, around 15 of us. The topic after a few glasses of wine was, if being gay was genetic. Well, I just said “ We could experiment on me to find out”. Apparently, Szilard did not get the point. After a few days, he asked me again, if I had a boyfriend and my obvious reply was “Szil, I like women”. And he laughed. But still did not believe me. After a week of being lab partners, he comes up to me and says “Shradha, remember I was laughing when you told me you were gay, that’s because I am gay too”. I was like “Now that you have told me, we can hit all the parties together”. I was the first person he came out to in Dresden and eventually he did come out to the rest.
How did that person react?
Not a single thing.
Have you ever been outed without your consent? If yes, how did you deal with it?
I am sure I have been. Everybody at work and university knows. And I am glad about it.
Do you think being gaysi makes it harder to come out & that if you weren’t part of such a traditional & conservative culture you would have an easier time with your sexuality/identity?
Again, its not a black and white area of concern. It does depend on the culture to some extent. But the prime factor here, is the individual. The courage needed in the Indian society, to be out and proud, is commendable. We really cannot do anything about having a traditional culture. Instead what makes it easier, is to be comfortable in one’s skin. Judgment’s about you will fly in all directions irrespective of your sexuality. The question is, if that bother’s you. The traditional culture does impede the process of coming out to your family. But once you have your priorities straight, you will know how to deal with it.
Would you recommend that people stay in the closet or come out?
I do not have a say in that. Every individual has his own agenda. What I would instead prefer is taking him/her around with me for a week just to show that it is not as scary. I will never urge them to come out…..just because.
Have you come out to any family member?
My brother. But then he is the most awesome brother ever.
If you could magically go back to being non-queer, would you do it? Why or Why not?
Yes, I would magically un-queer myself for a day and bludgeon myself. Hell no! Did I not mention that I love women way too much for that? “Lexyness makes a very lusty me”.