Q. What do you identify as (gay, bi, transgendered, queer – use any terms you like here)?
I identify as a PROUD Gay woman.
Q. When did you first start to define your identity as such?
When I was just 8 years old, I had a crush on a girl and that was when I understood about my attraction towards the same sex. Initially I didn’t even have a term to define what I felt, until the movie ‘Fire’ released. I was 13 and the whole controversy caught a lot of my attention. Even though I was under age and couldn’t see the movie then, the news in the papers made me realize that women who love the same sex person were called Lesbians or Gays.
Q. Have you experienced first-hand trans/homophobia? If yes, how did you deal with it?
Till date, whenever I have come out to any friend or cousin, I am blessed to have had open-minded people around me who understood who I really am. When I came out to my parents, it was the only time I had to deal with some amount of harshness. I had to go through counseling and pooja’s to get rid of my Gay ‘Prem’ as they thought of it to be alien. Even though they didn’t think it was normal, I was lucky to not have been forced for marriage or be a victim of any kind of an abuse. It has been a ‘Work in Progress’ since the last five years, but things are getting better with time.
Q. When did you first out yourself?
I was never really in the closet, but I openly came out after my first breakup at the age of 18. It was a long-term relationship.
Q. Was it unplanned or was there careful planning involved?
It was unplanned and happened in the most random way possible.
Q. Who did you come out to & why did you come out to that person?
I came out to my childhood best friend Sadaf. She was the perfect one to talk to at that time as I was heartbroken.
Q. How did that person react?
She was positive and supportive; I still remember what she told me, “I always knew about you and its okay, it doesn’t make a difference to me because our friendship will always be the same.”
After coming out to her, our relation changed in many ways as it got us closer and there was no more hiding or lies that we had to say to each other.
Q. Have you ever been outed without your consent? If yes, how did you deal with it?
Oh yes, I have been outed way too many times to keep a count on. In fact it just happened some days ago but because I am out and proud, there was not much to worry about in my case.
Q. How did the people you were outed to deal with it?
Some were fine while some weren’t but isn’t that how it’s supposed to be here?
Q. 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?
Personally it doesn’t matter to me who accepts me or who doesn’t but from a social and family point of view, acceptance would have been much easier if we weren’t a part of such a traditional & a conservative culture.
Q. Would you recommend that people stay in the closet or come out?
I would recommend that people come out, but when they are comfortable or they feel the time is right for them.
Q. Have you come out to any family member?
I am out to my parents, sister and a part of my extended family.
Q. One Bollywood Celebrity you would love to see coming out as gaysi?
Its funny how everyone I fancy is a Bisexual, so I don’t need anyone to come out as Gay because I just know so anyway.
Q. Your favourite queer-themed movie?
My favorite queer themed movie has to be “A Perfect Ending”.
Q. Your favourite queer-themed book?
Babyji (The only book I have ever read). Once I started that book, I was hooked onto it for so long that I just couldn’t leave it unfinished.