To The Sung And Unsung LGBT Heroes

I’m a Hindu Brahmin bisexual woman from South India. I had a good education and am currently studying in Melbourne. I grew up privileged. There’s no denying it. I had the opportunity to literally run from my problems and go to a different country. Not everyone has this opportunity so I consider myself lucky. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve worked hard. I’ve worked my ass off and put my blood and sweat into my work, sometimes a bit too much. To continue my story, I have to acknowledge this privilege and also acknowledge that others in India might not have it or ever get it. I also have to acknowledge that there are people fighting to help people so they can get better opportunities and basic human rights – like who they can love and spend their life with without having to hide their identity. I advocate for these rights and crave these rights, the very rights that have kept me away from my country. I need these rights and so do millions of people in India. I need to know that at least the law is on my side if and when things go badly. If you’re reading this, you’re probably one of them or know one of them. So thank you for striving for equality and giving me a chance to share my story. Now that you have context, let’s get to it.

While being part of the LGBTQ+ community is legal and supportive in most countries, countries like India outlawed it for centuries (Sec. 377 was outlawed in 2018) and continue to discriminate people based on their sexuality. So when I realised I was bisexual, I went through a lot of mental processing to make myself accept that my existence was valid, it was one of the reasons I left. I got really tired of being a woman who had to be “perfect” at every turn. I could not have a many days where I could sit and do nothing because I was depressed. It was frowned upon. Depression is frowned upon. So while I have to deal with the fact that I’m not perfect, never going to be perfect, I also have to deal with the fact that my emotions and behaviours have to be hidden too. I understand that majority of the Indian population goes through this on a day-2-day basis and I want to tell you that your emotions are valid and your process is perfectly okay. Take your time. You’re doing great. I’m also saying this because I need to hear it more often and writing about it makes me believe it too. I am trying every single day to be a better version of myself and I hope to get to be my version of perfect eventually.

My story is this: I’m bisexual but I didn’t know that was even a thing until I turned 17. This shows the gaps in the Indian education system. The questions about whether this is a phase and whether or not I’m being too greedy is a general gap in societal mindset. While I cannot blame the majority of older generations for being raised the way they were, I do blame them for not learning about new things and supporting their loved ones (Those who do, thank you. We need more of you). I took a solid 5 years to become happy and get to the point where I have accepted that I will not be perfect but also knowing that striving towards people’s expectations of me will only let myself down, in the end.

I am grateful to Australia for giving me a second home and giving me the freedom I needed to become the most authentic version of myself as possible. While I do not want to go back to the judgy eyes of the Indian society, I know that many cannot escape it. To those people, I want to thank you for your bravery and courage that has helped me be brave and courageous. Like Cristina Yang said: “Don’t forget that you’re the sun” and continue to do what you’re doing because kids like me need it. Because finally knowing who I am is too much power to easily give away.

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