What happens when you come out to yourself in the middle of a pandemic? I am a 22-year-old cis-woman who spent most of her life invested in heterosexual relationships. Most of my dating life was 'easy' as I navigated through real-life or dating apps looking for people with similar interests as mine. As the heteronormative setup has it, it was never difficult for me to voice my choices or to confess to people I had a liking for.
Children in the school teased me and called me different names like Bauna (Lilliput), Maiki (Womanly), etc. There were lots of confusing changes in my body; each thing seemed different than before and distinct from each other. I was just sure of one thing: that I was a male and related to others of my sex, mentally as well as sexually.
Sometimes these labels of sexuality caused me more stress and trauma. It led me to the idea of defining all my partnerships and prove time and again my position within the LGBTQIA+ community. My sexuality has been validated with my choices and redefining it with a label was something which was upsetting and deteriorating to my well-being and I believed that it's more than just a mere definition.
Sex is a lot more than just two individuals’ organs (or reproduction, as cis-hets will have you believe); it’s a unity, it’s a blissful cycle of exchanging things like pleasure, power, satisfaction, appreciation. If look towards sex for a deeper meaning, it does give you an explanation to multiple powerful things.
If I had met any other queer person or had attended a talk or session in school around sexuality, that would have remarkably helped my self-esteem and confidence while growing up. My limited exposure to narratives of queer sexuality pushed my emotions into a never-ending internal turbulence; a turbulence unbearable for an adolescent person.
I've always had a problem with the phrase, to be honest. I had never understood the need to disclose my sexuality to someone. I was a naive child. I was uncomfortable around heterosexuals. I didn't see their story or read about them; I was very annoyed that there are so many of their kind.
Everyone asks, “When did you know you were different?” No one asks, “When did you know you were in love?” I know. I remember the exact moment. Have you ever been hit by a truck? Or imagine, if you will, being fried so slowly that you believe you are getting a particularly intense tan until you see your skin falling off. Both very different images and sensation, and none anyone would ever associate with love. See how scared I am?
Most days, I still don’t feel queer enough. People call me a “boring bisexual” because I am not big on the performance of my sexuality. There was a lot of internalised homophobia and misogyny that I had to unlearn for me to be able to come out. It didn’t happen in a day, it still hasn’t. It’s a process I am still working through but the self-doubt, incessant questioning, and feelings of being an imposter haven’t stopped.
“I was called mittha, gud, and different homophobic slurs in my college and office. Once, one of my colleagues threw lemon on my leg and said ‘mitha ja raha hai’. I used to be so stressed and frustrated that I finally had to resign and come back to Lucknow,” Lovepreet shared.
Based on that sole piece of advice, I asked around, read more to find the truth of the matter and just like that, an article published on the Forbes website last year caught my attention which reported that fewer gay men choose to opt a STEM degree than heterosexual men. My focus quickly turned towards my own experiences and I started pondering deeply over situations that I faced as a homosexual individual in the STEM community and here’s my story.
Towards the end of 2020, my partner Sugith and I decided to get into a civil partnership and I wanted my parents to be in the UK to experience the ceremony. After all, as their son I love them, and I had to believe they love me too. They arrived in the UK on 8th December, 2020. My parents made a point to say that they would be visiting the UK for my happiness, as long as I did not tell anyone about my sexuality and what I was doing, apart from my friends in the UK.
Yet, it was my first time hearing about an intersex person that wasn’t one of the two ‘disorders’ in our Biology textbook. It was my first time seeing the idea of someone having XY chromosomes but presenting physically in line with society’s notion of a cis-woman.
When I kissed her, she didn’t feel any different? It didn’t feel like I was kissing a girl, not a boy.
A spate of petitions have drenched the halls of various Higher Courts of our country. They carry within them hope for change, but also elicit other peculiar emotions within. This portentous event promises a plethora of possibilities, but not all of them seem good. If parts of the community do get the right to marry, what then? There’s relief, but there’s also fear.
To me, neuroqueer does not have a fixed definition. It’s not what you are, but what you do. It is how who you are expresses itself (or doesn’t) in your everyday life; it is a verb, rather than a noun or adjective.
The description of the short film mentions ‘daring’ and ‘Islamic state’ - apart from the general sexual awakening arc of the story - and these two points become important takeaways for the audience after they have seen the film.
After a lot of research and self-exploration, I finally accepted myself the way I am and that was the day the real battle started. I had to face a lot of questions regarding my appearance from my so-called relatives and neighbors.
I’d be lying if I said I was one of these people – because I had everything. A loving group of friends, with whom I could spill my entire heart and more, teachers who made sure the bridge we walked was steady and strong.
We move on, leave people behind
Yet; the closet,
does not forget
and holds the power
to unexpectedly remind
I lie down on my bed,
I lie down on my bed & look at the ceiling-
And I think how all of my family members deserve to get awarded
Because of their brilliant acting skills.