I never questioned my sexuality or my gender – I saw heteronormaity around me and that was my understanding of love, gender and sexuality.
I never truly had a good relationship with my body but the thought of questioning my gender never crossed my mind. I really admired girls and females yet loving them was never a possibility. Because, in the end, all I was and would ever be was what everyone around me painted me. A girl in love with a boy. A cis-female who is heterosexual.
If you had asked me three years ago the definition cis-het, LGBTQ+, queer, or trans, I would not have been able to tell you. All I saw around was a shade of black and white; a guy with a girl with hints of patriarchal roles and norms. And that’s what I believed. I never knew that gender and sexuality are not like tattoos that were given to you whether you liked it or not, but rather a whole journey where you could explore and experiment and express yourself freely.
I would blame my parents but they were merely teenagers when they had me and I would blame the generations before them but this was a vicious cycle where if you are born female, you were a curse and merely a burden. And that’s what I was – a burden. I was the first child of the family, everyone was anticipating a boy but alas my biological chromosomes had some other plans.
“You are a girl” is the phrase I grew up hearing again and again and again. There was absolutely nothing more I hated than being a girl. I wanted to do the things boys were allowed to do, the freedom they had, the authority they have. I cursed my fate every waking hour for being born in a female body.
My relatives would compliment how me and my father look alike. They would always say,’if only god made you a boy’.
Even though I grew up with being served strict patriarchal norms as the main dish with the side dish of trauma of all kinds. I was introduced to my first ticket to freedom in class 10th; the internet. Music became my soother. When I felt confused, alone and scared. music gently hugged me to sleep.
By the time I was in 11th grade, I had learnt more about the world on the internet than in 11 years of my educational institute. I quickly realised one thing – I was definitely into girls. It wasn’t until COVID-19, when I was forced to be alone with my body and mind, did I realise that I was uncomfortable in my body. Not the ‘I was abused and thus hate my body’ but ‘I don’t associate with my body and feel uncomfortable inside my own skin’.
Realisaing this was scary enough but telling my conservative about this? Oh that thought petrified me. I dreamt of escaping and leaving India but my life went south during lockdown. However, I wasn’t going to sit quietly in the corner and watch toxicity unfold. I wasn’t a child anymore – I guess in a way, I never was. But I wasn’t scared anymore. I decided to fight, I wasn’t going to back down until I made my house a safe space for me or at least my younger siblings.
At first, my parents didn’t understand. They were shocked, confused and like every other parent thought it was a phase. But when they realised that they would rather have a queer-trans child than to not have me at all, they worked on themselves. My therapist helped my parents realise my queer-trans identity. So when my dad called me his son in front of my extended family, I felt so validated and so relieved. I never imagined that my family would be openly accepting of my gender identity in front of other family members but seeing them do it felt like the warmest hug I’ve ever received.
My family isn’t perfect, neither am I but we are all learning and unlearning and that’s what matters, right?
Now that the story is coming to an end, I will roll the credits.
Fuck you to the guy who said I was not girly enough and needed to maintain my figure to be more girly and jokes on you, I’m transmasc!
Fuck you to the relative who said my sexuality was a ‘bad spirit’ possessing me because heterosexuality is the norm.
Fuck you to each and every single person who preyed upon a child who was neurodivergent and was just trying to navigate this neurotypical world.
Thank you to my family who did give me trauma but also are supportive and reformed themselves and are my home now.
Thank you to my partner, without whom, I might not have had the courage to come out or get help.
Thank you to me. My past me, my present me and my future me because I fought my battles and I lost quite a few but I still kept moving forward because it does get better. Thank you for making me realise that life is so beautiful and there is so much to look forward to, thank you for not giving up.