By Samantha Saxena:
Hi, my name is Samantha. I am from Lucknow and I’m currently practicing as a lawyer in the Supreme Court of India. Music, long drives, trips to the mountains or riverside, and hanging out with friends are some of my favourite things. Also, I dislike people being on time as I always get late!
I identify as a trans-genderfluid person. When I came out to my parents, to my sister, and to my friends, I decided to do it directly, just like that, in the middle of conversation. Not everyone took it in positive way. Some chose to stay neutral. Others distanced themselves from me, but I never looked back from that decision. And these are 5 things that helped me do it.
Back in 2004 there used to be Yahoo user chat rooms and I usually explored all kinds of rooms to meet new people and get ideas about what is going on in the world, while sitting on my dial-up modem of 10 kbps speed. One day, I stumbled upon the room by the name ‘LGBT’ and I casually went in. People were welcoming and from there I got to know that my inclination towards feminine clothing is pretty normal, and I am not alone. I got to understand that I am a part of the umbrella term ‘Transgender’. I made many friends through that room, both local and foreign, and my second life started from there.
During my college days, the only way for me to be out was through online portals where not everyone would know my identity and I could disclose everything about myself safely. For two or three years I met so many trans girls, cross-dressers, and admirers including straight men and women too (not for sex) and my second life started becoming my only life. I slowly got the space and courage to dress more feminine, and to be bolder.
Never could I have known how hard makeup is until I started doing it, and took a bow to women who could do it every day and looked glam while I continue to look like crap most of the time as my liner never stays straight (like myself).
Next, I started taking some bold pictures, not at all hiding myself and I started sending them to my group of admirers (yes, I have admirers, seriously!).
But one fine night – the Vodka or my feminist qualities, I don’t know which one to blame – my pictures were accidentally sent to my mom and the next day I was called back home. My mom did however accept me, but on a ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ basis. I would not talk about it and she didn’t want to hear about it any further, though she still demands all of my pictures whenever I take them (curiosity, I think).
My second life was a better one, but still I didn’t have any real friends in there and I could not just simply walk up to people and tell them what I am. For obvious reasons, I was under the impression that society won’t get it, and I would be laughed at. My ‘dual personality’ made it worse as what my femme personality decides, the male personality had to go against. But there was this friend who was so good to me that I felt quite comfortable in disclosing my ‘second identity’, and I did that on her birthday. It turned out that she was a lesbian, and she totally understood me. I was so relieved that not only was I out, but I now had a friend from the LGBT+ community too! She was out to her family, but they were not taking it too well. There were regular abuses from parents and brother, so one unfortunate night she decided to finally take off from this hell, and left me alone again. I still remember her last text: “This battle is lost”. I was shocked and inconsolable, and that was the moment I simply stop caring about people around me. That same year was the first time I walked in the Pride parade in Delhi, in a femme dress, out in the open and without a mask. That did disclose my identity to some of my friends who saw my pictures on some blogs. They cornered me and told me that I should see a doctor, or visit a counselor. I was slowly and steadily isolated, but it didn’t matter because I could now take pride in myself.
I got to know about her when she participated in Big Boss in 2010. I loved her confidence and how she carried herself. I felt proud of her. Though she is a cross-dresser, and does not consider herself trans, I got some courage from her to come out to my friends who did not know about me still. My courage stayed stable enough to walk into a hall full of my friends in a saree. I could see most of them laughing, but I couldn’t have cared less.
He came at the moment when I was almost or fully out to everyone who I consider worth knowing. This guy made me feel just as so many girls would feel having a boyfriend. All the dreams of getting married is what he gave me. We have been in a wonderful relationship for two years and our love hasn’t diminished one bit.
Featured image courtesy of Samantha Saxena.