My idiotic heart that clings to every false hope led me into believing that this change of place would mark a new beginning of acceptance, kindness and warmth. Little did I know that humanities can only teach such notions but cannot force you into practising it.
I decided to get it all together, experiment and feel accepted by my own body in the form of Self Portraits.
I am gay. That’s it. There is nothing more and nothing less. It doesn’t change who I have been for the past 23 years, it doesn’t make me a bad person, it doesn’t make me any less capable to accomplish as anyone else.
I grew up with an all-consuming love for Bollywood movies. They supplied the canvas for my visions and the soundtrack to my life’s cadences. To go to the theatre to watch a movie was to touch magic. And nowhere was that magic more apparent than in the quintessential Bollywood romance.
I cannot see that much. So, when I need something, over visual aesthetics, I would choose comfort, softness, texture, design and style - aspects of any material creation that I can feel through my tactile abilities. Taking this metaphorically, one can discern my experience during dating expeditions.
I was 14 years old the first time I came out. I was scared and dreading the fact that my then partner’s parents were going to ‘out’ me to my father. I came home prepared to end my life and wrote a letter to my father explaining how I had kissed a girl and her parents had made me feel fear for feeling what I felt!
To make my coming out easier, I told everyone I discovered I was gay in a moment of epiphany in my final year of college. I had had a real girlfriend until my second year. The story I put out was that we broke up because of relationship problems.
My closet is a library, with nested closets filled with epics and love stories of that my heart wishes it would recreate, in this heteronormative world.
My closet frees me, my closet restricts me.
I am out to most people in my life – sister, cousins, friends, friends of friends, professors, coworkers – except my parents. That’s a tricky one.
Monsoon had just begun and it only added to the city’s woes. And mine. I hated the rain. I just didn’t enjoy getting wet in the rain. That first week of June saw incessant downpour after the sunset. And the rain would start precisely at the moment I’d step out of the office to go home.
I unfolded the letter and looked at my clean handwriting. It was dated 30 December 2018. I had written it on my 19th birthday and it was addressed to someone very important to me.
My aunt, who I came out to almost a week before had outed me to my parents. (Yes, I didn’t get a chance to properly come out to my parents!) All the details that I gave her about me discovering my sexuality, the girl that I was dating and how I pictured my future (so that she doesn’t lose her mind completely) was broken down and manipulated into bits and given to my parents.
Here’s a guide to coming out – as compiled from an amalgamation of my personal experience, the experiences of people I know, and some elementary research.
It's been on my mind
For a month or two now
I'm not any different from who I used to be,
Just one secret down.
Loving someone who is in the closet taught me how to manage my feelings and changed the way our everyday lives unfolded. I realised that being with someone who is in the closet means respecting them and their privacy, and being supportive.
An armchair critic up to the age of 30. I finally decided to take the plunge and come out publicly in 2004. I had been out to close friends and family for a decade. The catalyst for my activism was the Islamist movement and its growing influence within communities like mine in Luton.
People putting up the pride flag outside Sambhaji Park where we were to assemble for the pride, community friends hugging each other, I just felt like I was among my people.
An abnormality he thought,
And then with himself he fought.
He thought of himself as foul,
So god's help he sought.
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All my three years as an undergraduate in sound school, I was the only girl in an entire batch of around 70 students. I figured I’d have no problem blending in with other boys as I always thought we were very much alike. But apparently, they didn’t see it that way.