SALGA's monthly support group meetings are a SAFE, CONFIDENTIAL space for you to join a group atmosphere to talk about issues that affect your life and well-being. We provide a supportive atmosphere to all attendees.
Nervously, I rubbed the baking soda and water mixture into my scalp and rinsed it out with diluted lemon juice. I was surprised that the kitchen supplies actually cleaned my hair. After getting dressed I rinsed my face with the rose and honey face wash I had made the night before. I was so proud of myself, but very amused by the whole routine.
For those of you who have been reading the trials and tribulations of Razorsharp Rolzie during the past two weeks, today’s post is a sharp departure from the usual light banter about the Pandus in my life and my eternal pursuit for the elusive Mr. Right. This post is about acceptance, coming out and the whirlwind of emotions that in encompasses.
... when the conversation goes past the usual "Hi, Bye and what did you cook?", I know this is a coming out process starting all over again.
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