Queer Self-Reflections - Kalia
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Today when I think about life it has turned around from what it was three years ago.
First I used to feel suffocated within my body.
I would get sacred of people around me.
It had become a habit for me to stay in my room constantly.
But from the time I have met friends like me I feel that is meaning to this life.
An incident took place in my life.
I told someone that I liked that person and that person was a girl.
I never told her or insisted that she too should like me.
I only told her that I liked her and that I feel like this will not be friendship anymore, because I had feelings for her and it will not fade away easily and so we have to make some distances between us.
When I wrote this to her I thought she will understand me.
She went and told the entire college about this.
That was my last year in college. When she told the entire college all people turned away their faces from me.
People behaved like they never knew me or they did not want to know me. Nobody would talk to me.
Even if and would go sit in some group all the people would get up and go away.
In the hostel I had to eat alone on the dinner table.
In my room all my friends would come together and play antyakshari or something else. From the day I wrote the letter my life had changed.
May be everybody hated me.
There was boy in the college who probably had feeling for me and he told me that there is a rumour in college that you are a bisexual person and that’s why people are avoiding you.
Whenever some boys would cross me they would taunt me that we are going out would you also want to come and look at some girls or they would ask me with how many girls did I have sex till today? I was not used to such things.
Till then I did not know I was a lesbian.
I was afraid. I knew I did not like boy and I like girls more.
But when she did like that and the way people behaved with me, four years ago I could not face it. Today I have strength to stand against that.
I got stuck in my mind. I knew my life would go on like this.
I knew even if I had to live with some boy I would live in despair and by force or even if I want life by my choice that too would be same because society will not understand what you want.
So there was no one I hostel. I tried committing suicide.
Thankfully I was not successful and I am glad that I was not successful.
After that suicide attempt I kept myself locked in the bathroom for four days because there was no one in the hostel and nobody knew.
I had not eaten anything or even drink water. Water would come in shower and stop. I had cuts. I tried jumping to die but nothing had happened.
But there were many cuts in the body, blood would flow and I could see it but it would not pain at all because I was so scared to live that small pains like this made no difference. I just wanted to die.
That I came out of bathroom and some two weeks later I surfed on the internet. I typed being a girl why do I like girls.
I somehow knew the term lesbian but I was scared to use the word for myself because the society looks at this thing that goes beyond your imagination.
The other day I watched the film Heroine. All my colleagues were sitting with me. It has a small lesbian scene and people laugh in such way at this scene.
When the actress was sleeping with men they did not have any issues.
Just when the one night stand came with a girl people around laughed in such a way that if there is any lesbian there or even if I watched three years ago I would have ran out and committed suicide.
I just cannot tolerate this and they can never understand.
Only people who endure this will not even know how they would take this.
That is why now that I have met friends like me now I feel happy talking about all this. May be if we can save a life or two if there is such need I will fight for it.
When I was going through all these, my brother had left India and so I decided to get back to live with my mother as she was alone.
My parent’s relationship was never okay. They actually were not a family but one can call it a dragged family.
I thought being responsible I should take care of my mom.
When I went back marriage proposals started coming. I was 24 then.
There was pressure to get married. In my childhood I had perceived this as a problem because everyone would go with boys and I always wanted to go with girls.
But by now I had seen people around and figured out it is not a problem. Even if I did not want to go with them this thing always stayed in my mind that I always wanted to be with girls and even if cannot that’s okay but I do not want to go with boys.
Even if I thought about a relationship or some kind of love it had to be with a girl.
If want to hold hands I wanted to hold hands with a girl. And that was time when there was no television and internet.
Nobody spoke about this issue. Even in biology we were taught about only and guy and a girl.
I used to feel how I can be so much different. You try to be with boys, you will be but you will not be that is the situation.
I confessed to my mom once from the beginning from my school days. Even my mom has felt that I am different but she did not think why I was like this.
After I explained everything mom said “Lucky do what you are happy to do. Do not cry for anything”.
When she said I stopped feeling afraid.
Even though the fear had reduced after meeting friends like me, but when she said that she is interested in my happiness and nothing else, may be that is what I wanted to hear from her.
Now I have full confidence I have no more fear to live life.
Bad moments would mean it what I shared with you about this girl what she did in college.
My feelings to these girls were not false.
It was always 100% pure whatever feelings I had.
You know the first time, when I was doing my degree; there was who had a relation with for one year.
Suddenly she started going around with a boy. And that was so sorrowful.
If there is a break up there are friends at least to talk or you can talk to parents.
After one year’s relationship she told me that she does not like me and she likes a boy that too in the middle of the road.
I did not know what to tell her. She left me in such a place where I could not speak to anyone nor could I come under a vehicle in the middle of the road.
My house was 8 kilo meters away from college. I started walking back.
I reached home at 3 in the morning and I was not in my senses.
My mind was not working. My mom was asking where I was coming I just did not answer and went into the room and fell on the bed.
For three days I did not open the door.
What do I tell and to whom do I tell and how? Even I could not figure out what was happening with me.
To cope up with this I was thinking of leaving Hyderabad and so I shifted to Bombay for 9 months.
Purposely I took training sessions there even though it was possible here in Hyderabad.
My idea was that I will be able to forget her, maybe I would start liking boys, maybe the life will change and I tried dating guys.
I also wanted to show her that she alone cannot break up with me and that I too could do the same.
But that did not happen. Somewhere I was always alone.
That was sad part. Sad feelings means even if you show true feelings you always cannot talk about it.
My father was in army. I have an elder brother and mom. It was a small family but it never remained a family.
I mean my parents never liked each other. May be theirs was an arranged marriage. My father was close to his family and could not give that value to my mother.
That gap was very much there and I don’t know if he had any time to understand his children.
But if had noticed me in my childhood, I never liked to wear a frock. I would run away when they forced me to wear frock.
I always wanted wear my brother’s T shirts. I did not want to wear buckled shoe I wanted naught boy shoe.
In that age you don’t know what you want. You will want things which you just like.
Today I can understand why chose all those things. I would go sit in the first bench for teachers who were beautiful.
If any male teachers would come I would get back to the back benches.
If I had crush on any teacher I would make greeting cards for them.
I would stick flowers on to it. In the night when my mother would sleep I will start my drawing and in the morning I will keep it on the table.
And when those teachers would smile and tap my chin that would be my day.
I would feel satisfied with small happinesses. As you grow up by 6th or 7th grade, guys they propose to you.
Though you feel like saying no to them the pressure is built in such a way that you have to have a boyfriend.
Whether you want it or not you have to have a boyfriend but I never came under that compulsion.
But I have never taken that compulsion. Even if it is my skating class I will like a girl, if it is maths tuition it will be a girl that I will like,
even during the Valentine’s Day when some boy would give gift I would feel why cannot a girl give me some gift.
When I used to get that this was vice versa, I will just ignore it.
I would involve myself in studying playing and I would ignore that life because it was different.
What people thought was normal, it was not at all normal for me because it was completely different for me.
In my first year of college, that was the first time a girls wrote a letter to me.
That’s all I ever wanted.
My feeling was that I want that letter and I want that girl and that is all I want in my life.
I will do no harm to anyone. I will live with it.
I just took time to understand why it was so different.
If I had understood this earlier may I would not have wasted my time for wrong people.
There was no need for me cry so much nor feel hurt so much.
If knew why I was behaving like this, life would have been more simple.
When I tell people I am gay people already frame me in their definitions because I have short hair.
I have short hair because I have a brain cist. I had to cut my hair last year for this. This has no relation with that.
I like this kind of clothes because I like these clothes.
I am proud to be a girl.
They do not understand me and ask me do you feel like being a guy.
Even if I share it with someone that I am lesbian, then I will have to face whether I am femme or butch.
They give so many diversions that your personality is lost.
We ourselves will not know our own truth. I have a beautiful name and that is not enough.
People want to even define that which I just do not like.
I say I am a woman and I love a woman that’s it. I do not want anything more than this.
And the change I want is, I can see it coming but it will take decades because it is a very big change which I want.
A change wherein I don’t have to tell people I am gay.
I don’t want to tell anyone that I am gay. I am just a person and you are just a person.
You love whoever you want I love whoever I want. Why should I tell anyone.
I have one suggestion – live and let live.
Like how straight people need not say they like girls because their marriage is defined, even we should be like that.
Why should we tell anyone that we are little different.
How does it make a difference, it only matters to the person you are in love with.
Why should was go and say we are gay and scream slogans.
All the gay people I know today have been fighting for their existence.
I mean instead of living they are fighting and by the time the fight is over we would have been dead so where did we live.
They came they fought for rights and they went away. I need a change where these things will not matter anymore at some point in time.
Whatever we see very little in the TV right now I don’t think it would have made a huge difference to change our lives.
Even today if I tell someone that I am gay they will come back to me by checking for it in Google saying now I understood what you said.
If there was any serious effective work done before then they need not have gone to the doors of Google.
They would have known what this is. If we need this change seriously we need to click the education system.
In 10th grade where there is a chapter in biology at least a paragraph should be added about homosexuality.
Then we don’t need to go to Google.
They will know what am I talking about. It will change slowly.
I am not saying that people have not changed anything. From the pride which is happening today we can know that people are struggling from a long time.
My friend Ashwin, 10 years ago he was working in Pizza hut.
There was no such site where he could go meet people. He would say that if somebody would smile and tip him because he was gay he would be happy about that for one or two months.
Life was that difficult.
He had the fear that if he shared with people they would beat him up.
But today he has a boyfriend, he is settled and everything has changed.
It is happening but there not much history that we can speak about.
We all are a part of history I will say.
Decades later when the world will change our chapter will be there somewhere.