As we are coming quickly to the end of the first month, it might seem like a good time to reevaluate the resolutions you decided to keep this year. Be it trying to lose weight or save more money, resolutions are always a great way to set a goal for yourself. These goals don’t need to be just for you, on an individual level. What if these resolutions were designed to make your relationship stronger and healthier?
We spoke to 9 queer couples and found out what their goal for 2023 was, as a couple for themselves, for each other, and for the community.
Acceptance, Equality, and Inclusion
Ankur Bhatnagar and Dido Sharma haven’t kept a resolution for 2023, but they aim to enjoy the life that they finally have after all the hardships they have endured. “We plan to do everything now that we couldn’t do as a couple earlier,” he shares.
As a couple, they hope to continue their efforts to promote acceptance, and equality for the LGBTI+ community. He believes that it is essential for all members of the LGBTQ+ community, including gay couples, to continue advocating for greater acceptance, equality, and inclusion. “We recognize that despite the progress that has been made, there is still much work to be done to ensure that people of the community are able to live their lives freely and openly, without fear of discrimination or violence. We will work to educate ourselves and others on the importance of respecting and valuing all relationships, regardless of sexual orientation. We will also work to create a more inclusive and welcoming society for all,” he shares. This work should involve legislation that protects the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals, he adds.
Raga Olga D’silva shares that they don’t set resolutions any and instead, they set intentions. “Our intention is to continue growing together and use our time, knowledge, resources, and love to support our LGBT community. We have pledged to each other to do everything we can to ensure our physical and mental health is at its peak,” she shares.
This year, Raga and Nicola will be moving into a new home. “This is the UK”s first LGBT affirmative housing. We will be the first lesbian couple to move into this unique new housing, which we hope will only grow and expand to house our communities. Imagine living in a place with our chosen families. We will be living that dream,” she shares.
For the community, they hope that this will be the year they get to see a change in the legislation around same-sex marriage rights in India.
Travel As a Family
Shreya Shetty and Varisha Tanna aren’t keeping any resolutions this year either. “There’s a line in one of “our songs” which goes, “I don’t believe resolutions gonna change me, that’s an awful lot of bullshit, ain’t it, baby?” So, no, there are no 2023 resolutions; we will continue to concentrate on growing and loving, supporting, and thriving with one another through all that life brings our way, just as we’ve done these past two years together,” shares Shreya.
On the last day of each year, the couple writes letters to their future selves. This also gives them a chance to read all the things they had written the year before. “This year when we read out our letters, we’d both hoped to have traveled at least to one place with our two fur babies, as a family,” she shares. This year, they plan to make that much-awaited vacation a reality. “We’re hoping to wake all snuggled up in a lovely cat-proofed home someplace close to the sea so they can enjoy a large and endless litter box,” she shares, chuckling.
For the community, they hope that the fabric of society evolves to be more Queer-centric for once. “I’m honestly quite tired of the unabashed hetero-loving and living convenience and narratives. From banks to hospitals, every place that requires paperwork should be able to recognize my partner as not just a friend and give them the respect they deserve,” she opines.
Work Lesser Together
Shruti’s (pawlyamorous) 2023 resolution is to give her partner, Pooja the space to sulk and throw tantrums. “When that happens I tend to freak out, which makes the situation all about me. So the resolution is to allow her the space to have her feelings,” she shares. As a couple, they hope to work less together. “We work together; we are both faculty at QACP and we have written a book together and we do training together, so maybe we just need to work less,” she shares, chuckling.
For the community, their hope is that doctors and mental health practitioners start providing discrimination-free services to members of the community.
Self-growth and Creating Inclusive Communities
Alyy and Ayaan Dalal who have been together since February 2022 aim to step back a little and focus on themselves this year. “We want to grow, evolve and blossom into the best version of ourselves and bring that best version into this relationship. We knew very early on in the relationship that Alyy would be moving to Vancouver for her Ph.D. So, we have been all up in each other’s business and space, and so we wanted to consciously make space for ourselves,” the couple shares. The growth has been easier since they are in a long-distance relation. Apart from the time zone difference, Ayaan is a morning person, while Alyy is an evening person, allowing them to have the space and time needed to simply focus on themselves. “Making time for each other, while making time for all the things that are important be it school or work, or even journaling, or going to the gym, is difficult. Working on that compromise in terms of time, space and communication is important to make this work,” shares Alyy.
Ayaan hopes to see Alyy do well in her Ph.D. program this year. “I know it stresses her out, but it is something she really wants for her career, so I want to see her do well,” he shares. As a couple, he hopes that they find the growth they are working towards. “We are young, and we have a lot of time, and we took last year to focus on our relationship, so now, we want to take out the time to find ourselves in the world,” they share. Coming from a Gujarati community, they also aim to work through the toxic mindset of people pleasing and learning for themselves first.
As co-heads of the Queer South Asian Women’s network, they hope to move away from the pandemic mindset and organize in-person events this year. “We are contacting community organizations that can sponsor us while we provide training on making queer people safe in their space. We are working on providing those resources with the expertise to the community, such as trans research or non-binary folks,” shares Ayaan. While trans and non-binary folks are already a part of the network, they hope to make an active effort to ensure that the network is inclusive and educate more service providers on how to be inclusive of the South Asian queer community so they can feel at ease accessing these services. The networking activities, they share, also help people find friends and even love. “It was so difficult for us growing up to find queer south Asian people, and you would feel so alone, and that’s not the case so much anymore,” adds Alyy.
Be Kind and Reassuring
Siaan and Wanda have kept resolutions that are complementary in nature for them as a couple. Siaan aims to be kinder towards each other during conflicts, while Wanda hopes that they become more understanding and reassuring towards each other.
Siaan, who has been bitten by the travel bug after meeting Wanda, says that this year they look forward to going on more holidays together.
This year, they hope to see some improvement in marriage rights. “I wish to see some kind of understanding between the law and government towards the queer community, be it about identity or any rights,” they add.
Focus on Career Growth
Aryan Somaiya and his partner have not kept any resolutions this year. “We have done and are doing a lot of personal therapy so that we grow as individuals while holding our relationship together,” he shares. While they have compassionately supported each other needs so far, he agrees that it can get too much, “At that time one of us takes up more work as the other is too much in pain. That is the strength of our relationship. Hence, we try to hold a range of feelings for each other and not get into rights and wrongs but fully experience each other as human beings and not just identities,” he explains.
Individually, they are both aiming for career growth and navigating their relationship through this as there is a chance this focus might take them to different countries.
Having seen clients from the community, they hope that people build the capacity to see each other more compassionately and start building the space to make mistakes and then repair them together. “People should see each other as a whole and not only as the result of their past experiences,” he shares.
Make their Relationship a Safe Space
For Leena Muriel who had just stepped out of a toxic relationship last year, getting back into one was difficult. “Now that I am in one, I’ve decided to be more kind, patient, and loving towards my partner and me. More importantly, I will not let my previous experiences tarnish and take away what my new life has to offer me,” they say.
Being in a long distance, this year, the couple is looking forward to spending as much time as they can together. They hope that they are able to make communication their key to understanding each other’s love language and make the relationship a safe space for them.
Much like many others from the community, the couple hopes that 2023 is the year that same-sex marriage gets legalized in India. “Marriage is a union of love and I don’t think anything else should be a reason for us not being able to do the same,” they share.
Support Each Other
Ma Faiza & Anuradha Sharma’s resolution for 2023 is to keep supporting each other to be the best version of themselves as individuals and in their relationship. This year is an extremely important and exciting one for the couple. “We finally will get married this year in the UK, where same sex marriage is legal. And we couldn’t be more thrilled that its finally happening after the many challenges we faced during Covid, including being unable to plan ahead,” shares Ma Faiza.
Their hope for the community for 2023 includes equal rights. “This includes legal marriage, and the hope that the sceduled Supreme Court hearing will address the lack of equality in our community with swift changes in legislation,” she adds.