God loves hair. And God loves wankers. And God loves homosexuals. And if he doesn’t, all he needs to do is read Vivek Shraya’s book. I was lying on an air mattress in Broom’s beautiful little flat (do I sound too much the little girl when I say I love what she has, and want that sometime?
I love glee. I think it’s just the right amount cheesy, funny, and ironic. It laughs at itself, which is something most TV shows (and people) just cannot do. But I was in fact a bit disappointed (even if the show was being rather true to life in this scene) when I watched Episode 3 yesterday and watched Kurt (The Gay One) tell everyone that no one chose to be gay because no one would want to be mocked and made fun of all his or her life.
I grew up in two very conservative, religious cultures: my home was Hindu and Brahmin and the school I attended a Convent. Neither of these religions was forced down my throat at any point. My parents, even through, in practice, Hindu, are in personal belief, mostly agnostic, as are the grandparents I liked best. We did however, live with my more conservative grandparents. My school, when I started there, was just as liberal. Sure, we had prayers in the morning, and all of us were taught how to cross. They were paranoid about boyfriends and the length of our skirts but no, it was all mostly a cultural thing: Indian suburbia in general is like that. It had less to do with Catholicism than with the general conservative atmosphere.
I’ve been told many times by people not to take umbrage at the use of ‘that’s so gay’ to mean ‘stupid’ or any other number of derogatory things. But that always bothers me. Not that I have no sense of humour. I do, and can laugh when things are genuinely funny – making fun of homophobia is funny, because it’s a progressive way of telling a biased society how ridiculous they sound.
I was told to stay abroad – not come back except for vacations. Even if that had been my plan always, it felt odd hearing it. When my older sister threw a tantrum over how shameful it was to have to tell her friends I was gay (as I pointed out, she didn’t have to tell them if she didn’t want to), and worse, claimed that I was threatening her sexuality by asserting mine, my parents told me it was a tiny problem. I had to move on.
Love. Word of myriad meanings. Bride-love, body-love, mind-love. To feel connected, As though the monsoon-floor that loved me were to come alive, that the gravel would reach out and touch my knee. All different love.
As I was reading his classic Black Skin, White Masks today, it occurred to me that a lot of what he is saying is very applicable to the LGBTQ community today. One particular line jumped at me. “Fault, guilt, refusal of guilt, paranoia”, he writes, “one is back in homosexual territory”.