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.
Living a bisexual life is to live in the shadows. To exist in the grey. You belong in the straight world, yet you don’t. You belong in the queer world, yet you don’t. Because our desires are both normative and deviant, we’re suspects everywhere.
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.
The way you were there with Johnny, sometimes loudly, sometimes silently was a lesson to me. The way you taught Johnny to be responsible towards his family was like seeing an imprisoned bud confined by emotionless rituals getting bloomed in an impeccable sunny morning.
The society is broken and deplorable in the sense that it has such hard and orthodox stereotypes set up for all kinds of people, that these words, ideas and unsaid rules that control every aspect of a person’s lifestyle and choices.
Even before I learned how vast the LGBTQI+ spectrum was, I don’t think I was biased against someone because of their identity. However, due to the lack of conversation on the topic, I’m sure I’ve had my fair share of insensitive moments. I’m sure a lot of us have.
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.
You wonder about the crush that you had on that boy when you were thirteen years old. Did you actually have feelings for him or did you like him because you had to? What about all those celebrities you were attracted to? Did you just pretend to like them because everyone else did? You wonder if you can even have a crush anymore.
If you could see the world through my eyes
But then, you can't
And I don't expect you to.
I've always seen colors
In places I wasn't supposed to.
He proposed within a week as he was flying to the UAE. We were in a long-distance for 5 years, where we got to meet only a month each year.
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.
All I did
Was press me
Closer to himself
And hold on
To his thick long hair
Not ready deep down
I am essentially one of those borderline pessimistic realists, who would never get their hopes up in the fear of having their hearts broken. I remember telling myself on the night before the day that I will not let the verdict affect me, that no matter what I will not be disappointed and that I will not let myself feel defeated.
I look down at my rainbow socks, I used to cover them with black school stockings. I stare at them like I stare at my abyss and get caught up amidst flashbacks.
I open the app, and receive the texts from this guy who obviously was on the other side of the LoC, in what is called Pakistan Occupied Kashmir in India, and Aazad (Liberated) Kashmir on his side. I answered that I was on the Indian side, in Sopore.
As our friendship developed, we felt transported to our own magical world; where, in being our true selves, there was no denying the powerful energy connecting us to and the love we had for each other.