Flyhiee

This is who I am and I shouldn't be ashamed

By Rhea Sanjan, India
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 I'm a 19 year old gay college girl in Bangalore, India. I've never had a crush on a guy after I hit my puberty. When I was in 11th and 12th, all the other girls in my class talked about crushes and their boyfriends and I really couldn't relate to them. I thought there was something wrong with me.

I have had many girls hit on me and I was flattered. But if a guy hit on me, I'd feel awkward. I still do.

Last year in college, I met a girl in my class and we became friends. She came out to me as a bisexual. I started developing feelings for her and I realized there's nothing wrong with me. I'm just different and I can love too. I told her I liked her. It's been a year and 2 months and we're still together.

I came out to my best friends and they showed nothing but love and support. As I got comfortable with my own identity, I felt like telling more people. I texted my not-so-close-talk-once-in-a-while-friends that I was gay. The support I got from them was amazing! I still haven't come out to my parents. My parents are very cool but I don't know how they'll take it. I'm 95% positive that they'll accept it but that 5% is what that worries me. I'm trying to be positive about it but the thought that there's a 5% chance that they'll kick me out or that I have to do something against their will is depressing. But I don't have to worry about them forcing me to marry people because they don't believe in arranged marriage. They raised me to be independent and that getting married at 24 and bearing children is not the only goal in life (no offence). My plan is to come out to them when I'm independent to be on the safer side.

I've subscribed to a lot of LGBT youtubers and their stories inspire me to be positive. That one day, it's gonna be better. That one day, I can be free and myself. They've definitely made my journey a lot easier. They've given me hope.

The Indian society? It sucks. It really does. Our society still looks down on inter-caste, inter-religion, inter-racial marriages. There's still a long long long way to go. Though there's one part of the society that is liberal enough to accept homosexuals, majority of Indian population is homophobic/ignorant. The words like “chakka”, “gay”, “lesbo” are used as insults and jokes. Even the educated people use them. My friends in college use them even when I'm right in front of them. Most of my college mates are just “okay” about homosexuality because of my girlfriend and I but they're not supportive of gay marriage and stuff. They laugh when I tell them someone famous is gay.

The straight guys? Oh don't get me started on this. Random people start texting me continuously and when I tell them I'm not interested,they continue to text. This is so frustrating. I can't tell them I'm gay and even if I do, they think I'm just using an excuse to reject them. Oh guess what? Even after I tell them I'm gay, they text me because they think it's a joke or they think “there's always a yes in a no”. How fucking desperate are you?

The queer/LGBTQ community in India - I've joined LGBT groups on facebook to try to talk people like me. I've tried to attend events around me. I missed the Bangalore 2016 pride march last week because I had exams the next day(sucks, I know). I've talked to few amazing LGBT people on social media. I don't feel lonely(most of the time).

So what's it like to be a lesbian in India? On the whole, it's not lovely but I'm fortunate enough to have loving friends, a loving girlfriend and a loving family. I always try to focus on the positives. I still have hope that Indians can change their mentality. It's not gonna be easy and it's going to be a long, long way but we'll get there.

I'm removing the anonymity. This is who I am and I shouldn't be ashamed or scared to be myself.