I grew up in a city where women felt like a minority. This was Mumbai in the 90’s and many would find this declaration quite ignorant from my end to state now, but I make no apologies for having seen women conform to the opinions and desires of the men in their lives. Truth be told, had I continued living there, I’d possibly have the same approach of becoming a man-validated woman. Luckily, I got out.
Most of my adult life was spent in an Islamic Country, one that shines brightly with its Lamborghinis, architecture and malls larger than an entire state. It’s the city of life and parties, and for the longest time it became my cocoon of safety, a place I could hide from everything, including myself. The luxuries started to fade and it turns out that I’ve always had a knack of being the underdog.
I realized I didn’t quite conform to ‘acceptable’ sexuality in this country and sooner or later I knew it was going to get to me.
It was sooner.
I identify as pansexual.
One of those fancy terms that perhaps the LGBTQ+ community itself is murky about. I know what you’re thinking, my situation is only half as bad as those who’re gay or transgender and have similar living situations, and maybe you wouldn’t be wrong. But, at the same time, it’s so much more conflicted to know that your heart may not be restraining to a gender but life would be so much easier if you could just make up your fucking mind. And as the story goes, I stayed in my closet. Until last year when two of my closest friends saw through me and confronted. Finally, I came out.
Ever since, I’ve considered telling my family and voted against it. If you ask me now, I’d say I wouldn’t until it really boggles down to me choosing between genders. I like to think of this as my ‘safety’ net, but some days, it just feels cowardly and disheartening.
Today has been one of those days, I’ve been glued to social media for the last three days, scouring to find out more and more about the Orlando killings.
It’s a strange kind of sadness that runs deeper than one would expect, the ache of lost humanity against someone who merely exercises their right of loving who they love.
I guess for the first time in my life it hit me that this could easily have been me or someone I cared about, being punished for not throwing my sexuality in someone’s face but just existing as all.
I find that at the intersection of sexuality, human rights, or any other social issue that has been experienced through history is religion and politics. Both are in a mutually exclusive relationship, one benefits from the other and vice versa. I could sit and type here all night why I think both are just tools used by powerful identities to lure masses, but I won’t. Instead, I’ll continue appealing to your gentle souls and hopefully, a humanely liberal mind-set.
Do you think our future has a chance if we focus on trivial things like an individual’s private parts, private life and their choice of loving who they love?
If an incident like this cannot be evaded in one of the largest democracies in the world, there’s very little hope left for all of us. And that’s exactly what the community is aching for all around the globe: a sliver of hope, a chance to breed equality and love and eradicate hatred from the grassroots.
Words have very little meaning when they’re not supported with actions and policies that impact awareness and acceptance of the community. We’re pleading to the world that we have a right to love and be loved… Is that too much to ask? Perhaps, it is.
But you know what they say, a
girl queer can hope.