An anonymous person messaged all my batch mates in college that I was lesbian. This was then forwarded to everyone I knew as part of a news flash message campaign by my batch mates. A poll along with my photograph was also put up on the orkut page of my college to vote if I was lesbian or not.
By letting you know I am Queer, I brought you into my closeted world – where the rules of society are stifling and empathy runs rampant. It is hardly a terrible place, the people in it make the best of it – they live and love when the whole world points and stares and decides for them otherwise. I knew how hard it would be for you. I knew I would be responsible for everything you went through hearing of my sexuality.
I first came out to my parents about a year and a half ago. I hadn't been in college for a full year yet, but I was already tired of keeping secrets. It went over like a lead balloon, and my parents were both upset and disbelieving - they considered it a phase. We barely mentioned it again, and eventually, I became aware that I would need to come out....again. However, I didn't plan to do it anytime soon - I fully intended to wait until I was done with school. Life had other plans....
What do I mean? Well, I went to a co-ed school. I read books and had people about me who thought that finding out stuff about sex was to be expected and encouraged. So theoretically speaking I’d come across the possibility of same-sex relationships by the time I was, maybe, 12ish. (Okay, that’s cause I used to sneak into the adults section of the library.) It took me till 15ish to realize people around me, grown up or otherwise thought same-sex sex was a hideous awful thing and people so inclined were sick, genetically or otherwise.
As a part of QueerFest 2010, Nigah is conducting a workshop on basics of sexuality, coming out, and queerness. Nigah has also worked on some documents/guides related to these issues. At recent QueerCampus Delhi public meetings, we've had discussions on a range of questions related to coming out and sexuality. Input and comments from these meetings have been added to the guides which will be released at the Nigah workshop.
Acceptance is a journey, parents take some time to understand fully. I work with parents on this issue and it is a struggle for many. I find sometimes a parent is very understanding and in a couple of weeks there is an issue that comes up and the same parent is saying something which makes me wonder if it is the same person speaking! parents experience a sense of loss and we need to be patient and work with them through that as well.
As was mentioned in the Pride schedule, last Monday was the first meeting of family and friends of LGBT people in Bangalore. It was moderated by Vinay and organised by Docsid, and we are all excited at the response at the meeting. The discussion was honest and far-ranging, and the end, the participants decided to continue these meetings and also act as a support group for other parents. Vinay and Docsid did a marvellous job in pulling this off! Below is the report - it is rather long, but worth reading in full.
As I have been juggling 5 different medications for my epilepsy I have been lifeless, friendless, and loveless. As I have stopped eating I have lost weight and I have been secretly excited about it. Who is this that is excited about being skinny again? I thought I was that fat-positive queer, feminist. Where has she gone?
Got to witness a lot of ‘Coming Out’ stories lately... both online, and offline! Though the outcomes varied vastly, the fact that so many of us, queer folk, have started breaking the (un)comfortable walls of the closet fills my heart with the joy and hope that probably can’t be expressed in words.
I walked out of the theater at the end of this movie feeling really depressed. I couldn’t figure out whether I liked it or not, but the more …
There are times when I wish I could just cut off ties and be 'free'. I know that this is impossible because I love them too much. Then I have conversations in my head where I confront them and tell them how mean and hurtful they're being. 'Am I a drug dealer? Am I a prostitute? Am I a bum without a job or a future?', I demand, in these imaginary confrontations. 'Where is the unconditional love that a parent is meant to give their child?', I follow up. All in my head.
I have noticed that straight desi girls and ladies, sometimes the ones who haven’t been through trials, often have weak relationships with their mothers or “just-for-show” relationships with their mothers. These friends often seem jealous of the fact that I am close to my mother. What they do not realize is that it took my mother a long time to come to understand me, her youngest daughter. It was a rickety journey after which she became my lovely little mummy.
Queer Campus India- this is your space to speak your mind, share your experiences with respect to coming out, family, friends, realization of your sexuality, your specific interests or what you expect from a queer youth support group like QCI. Feel free to give ideas or suggestions for QCI. We will also talk about implementing future QC...I objectives- like organizing QCI in other cities, ways of reaching out to queer youth, QCI activities etc.
QueerCampus India was started as a collective, with the aim of providing a support space for queer youth. Over time we have formed some alliances with colleges and members will be conducting sexuality trainings. The primary aim of the group however is to create a bi-weekly meeting space for queer youth, where they can feel free to express themselves, talk about sexuality, coming out, relationships, the colleges they attend and so on.
While people were always telling me that I should come out only when I am comfortable doing so and which is true of course, I still found myself procrastinating. There were stages in my life when I was ashamed of myself, to the point that I was unable to open up even in a support group. I was just so embarrassed, that I would confine myself to the privacy of my home and sit through evenings and weekends together. Even after I accepted myself , I was still afraid to come out to my family because I feared I would hurt them or just purely that I would rather take the pain on myself than sharing it with anyone else. While it might sound selfless, it was just plain stupid.
The silence of lonely paths
And fighting the fear of your memory
Is how I have known journeys to be
What to say of that journey
When destiny will be my companion
He asked a direct question, and got a direct ‘yes’! Next thing I know, he wrote a mail to the Director about allotting batches, and addressed me as ‘Mridul’ and ‘he’ (since all my papers are in my formal name and designated gender, that’s how all my new employers always begin knowing me). The Director just asked a handful of questions about how comfortable I would be, getting officially addressed as Mridul and Sir (by students), and when he saw me confident – he just sent out a mail telling everyone about my decision and that he expected matured cooperation from all!
Sasha (Saša) is a coming-of-queer story. Sasha (Saša Kekez) – the main protagonist – is a gay teenager of Montenegrin-German origin (Mommy: German, Daddy: Montenegrin) who returns from holiday in Montenegro back to Germany only to find that his Piano teacher, Gebhard Weber is moving to Vienna to take a teaching position. Sasha has a massive crush on Gebhard and at the start of the movie, no one knows he is gay. And thus, hilarity ensues!
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?
As a child post queer awakening, I vividly recall sitting in front of black and white keys and eyeing them with much hostility because above them on a ledge were pages and pages with notes to the Moonlight Sonata. And I did not want to play them. I just did not want to. For they made me cry. Even at that age, I recall thinking I was quickly going to run out of tears if I kept at it. Yet, my first thought upon seeing this specific scene in the movie was – “Oh my god…Mom would have done the same thing” …if she knew how to play the piano.