Sitting in my college bus, heading home after the busy day filled with lectures, projects and lab hours, I looked outside the rather large window of the air conditioned bus as it came to a halt at the toll gate. Outside, I saw them. Sitting on the grassy dividers, dressed in colourful sarees and tidying their hair. Suddenly, one of them said something to the rest of her friends. They all sprang up and skittered in all directions, going cheerfully to every car and truck driver in the toll lane, blessing them and begging for money so that they could survive another night.
This is the scene that I see almost daily on my way to and from my university. I feel disheartened when I see them. Seeing that our society has condemned them to such a paltry state of existence, sends a shiver down my spine. In many other countries, transgenders are allowed to work like any other normal person, without having a prejudice attached to them. But here, they are forced into the depths of inhuman conditions; without homes, without health security, left to feel totally insecure about tomorrow.
The next day at college, we had personality development class. Our professor asked us to write synonyms for the word ‘happy’. We do. She asks one of us to read out the words we wrote. A boy gets up, and says, ‘Joy, Gay…’. And the whole class bursts out laughing and shouting ‘Gaaaay’. I felt a knife cut through my heart. I felt like I would just rip apart.
Almost everyday I hear and see people and friends around me use the terms ‘gay’, ‘fag’, ‘faggot’ in a criminal sense. Always used as a swear word to judge a person’s actions. The old meaning (happy, carefree) of the word is the total opposite of how it feels to ‘be’ the new meaning (homosexual).
I sometimes recollect how much pain I had undergone when I’d discovered the fact that I was gay. And so many other people like me, are going through so many different emotions which are nowhere close to happy.
There is a saying that life is a circle. You get back what you give, also known as karma. There are so many people who bring the LGBT community to shame, cause immeasurable pain and suffering. What would they get back? The community still forgives them and gives them time to understand. We show respect, love and kindness like no other person ever would, but what do we get in return? Hate, running comments, jokes, disgust and lack of understanding.
All I feel is that something good is definitely in store for us. We have gone through the supposedly happiest ‘Youth’ period of our life in sorrow and grief. I just hope that all this manifests into happiness that we have lost along our years. Hope that every tear shed is not in vain.
With hope of a brighter future in mind, I hop cheerfully onto my college bus that would take me across the same toll gate to my university where I would get a chance to prove that I’m no less a human.