I’m thinking of the women who were a part of my life at different times, women of all ages, from different backgrounds, in different circumstances. With each one it was a unique journey on a different road, but when I look back, I see that the milestones were probably the same. We started as acquaintances – bumping into each other sometimes, calling each other for some bit of information sometimes, sharing a ride sometimes, meeting for coffee sometimes – doing all the normal acquaintance-y things that people do, with the keyword being 'sometimes'.
Thousands of books have been written on Mahatma Gandhi with each new one claiming to have discovered an unknown facet of his eventful life. When reviews of Pulitzer prize winner Joseph Lelyveld's "Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle with India" hit the newspapers in England and US claiming that the book says Gandhi was a bisexual and had a German-Jewish bodybuilder lover in Hermann Kallenbach it created immediate sensation.
The train towards HUDA City Centre was rolling into the platform, and I hurried to reach the last coach, which I was usually found to be less crowded than the others. I made it comfortably, and waited for the doors to open. At this time there were fewer people boarding the train, and I hoped to have a comfortable ride for a change. The doors started opening, and that is when I first saw him.
It was a big fat Tamil brahmin wedding. You can imagine the setting. From Kancheevaram clad Mamis to Silk Dhoti Mamas, from adorable little girls dressed in their Pattu Paavaadais (silk skirts) to young ladies just graduated to Sarees, the wedding hall was overflowing with guests. The hall, beautifully decorated with jasmine, roses, lotus, and Javvanthi flowers, looked colorful, heavenly and royal. Traditional Naadhaswaram and Melam instruments added to the festivity. The priest who was seated in the center of the stage was totally in control of the event.
“A Person may step into the past for a short time, to find something of herself she left behind or to understand the persistent ache of an old wound. Many times such a journey brings its own healing. At worst, she may simply put it behind her and go on”. – Namet, “When Women Were Warriors: Book I"
Life’s strongest quality is that it keeps moving on whether we want it or not, and every day changes into night and weeks and months. I moved on and met new people. I had the opportunity to come across the ‘gay community’ for the first time in my life and that too by chance!
I may be a somewhat bitter person at times, but if there is one thing I am an optimist about, it is trust. I believe that if someone holds such a place in our lives that we have entrusted them with our friendship, there is a mutual respect born that builds a foundation for trust and loyalty.
The word ‘lesbian’ was not in my dictionary at the time, but I knew I was different and I took a lot of pain to hide this difference. This involved being with boys, talking about boys and even making out with boys! The last part I managed by pretending I was drinking milk...I held my nose and gulped it down. It took me another twelve years to come out to the world, which I did with maximum fanfare and minimum backlash. And I stupidly thought that the difficult part was over.
If someone asks me to explain ‘What makes a family’ in a sentence, I think it’s hard for me to phrase it. You see I come from a family and
I ask myself,
When will I be able to hold your hand
In public and say we are intertwined?
Is a vocal declaration
of my love necessary
Appearance has become such a big part of queer existence and identity for women. Fitting certain check marks on the list of common attire and appearance often helps queer women find each other in the sea of unavailable heterosexuals. The main aspect of appearance I want to talk about is gaysi women’s hair, because I love hair and its complexities fascinate me.
I have been questioning the need to box ourselves and judge each other by mere labels. Don’t you think a lot of them seem to be an extension of the hereto- and cis-normative views of the world and for a need to conform ourselves into that?
HEQ’s choose to connect with their true selves. They nourish their spirits by accepting who they are. They try to live purposefully, be of service to their community and exercise compassion. When they are not too busy connecting, they engage in clownish role-play.
While I tried my hardest to be out and proud during that relationship with a man, I have now realized just how much I was benefiting from the heterosexual privilege. Even though my politics and identity were queer, many straight people treated me with the privileges of a fellow straight person since they saw that I was dating a man.
The faint whisper of love caught my attention today and it’s on rare occasions like these that my feelings find ink. I had decided to see ‘Love Actually’ (for the …
Okay, so it’s taken me 35 years to ‘get’ that I’ve always liked women. While it’s one thing to be a late bloomer (that could be cute sometimes, in the ‘awww, really?’ way)… it’s a completely different thing to be a total tube light. But the news is: this tube light is now ON (the ‘CEMA bulbs aur tubes’ TV commercial flashes before my eyes, with Sridevi in her tight frilly costume, and the entire jingle threatens to stay on repeat in my blank white mind).
The day started at a hectic pace at THE HUMSAFAR TRUST. Amidst all the din of daily work we were sending out mails , drafts of "letter of protests". There were organisation letters as well as individual ones to be printed . There were flowers to be purchased and envelopes to be filled . We were all ready to counter TV9 against their reckless reporting of the social networking site Planet Romeo in Hyderabad.
In a time when I was an ardent believer in a certain philosophy, I trusted flowers to be my messengers to the Higher Consciousness, and in a need to supplicate …
For cheap sensationalism, TV9, a Telugu channel carried out a slanderous and malicious story outing young gay men from Hyderabad. Extremely personal information of these men, including physical statistics, sexual preferences and positions were revealed, blatantly violating their privacy and dignity.