By Aswathy Nair:
I remember smiling wide as I witnessed the unfolding of the story of two boys who were head over heels in love with each other. It was a wordless admission of my euphoria at having discovered something seemingly ordinary, yet immensely beautiful, to which I had never been privy before. I realised that love could be parcelled and shipped in various forms and shapes.
I watched movies (The movie, “I Killed My Mother” remains a favourite till date), read books, talked, listened, educated myself to some extent. What I learned fascinated me, but seemed very natural. The idea of questioning a person’s sexual orientation seemed absurd to me.
One of my closest friends is gay. We dance and sing at the top of our lungs one minute and discuss toxic masculinity the next. Looking back, I can’t think of a single moment when I wasn’t proud of who he is. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that though he can be very shy, he openly and passionately challenges those who throw their misconceptions at him.
Recently, he corrected a friend’s misinformed views on homosexuality and its origin with a lot of patience, despite the taxing questions that came his way. In the process, he taught me that any and every topic under the sun can be fearlessly debated and is worthy of a dignified social discourse, and that one shouldn’t shy away from speaking their mind.
I aspire to see my friend celebrate his sexuality without the fear of being judged. I intend to do everything humanly possible to preserve and protect the warmth that radiates from him. I would like to salute the precious people in rainbow capes who fight valiantly to ensure that their community isn’t deprived of rights that they deserve.
Every day, I wake up knowing that it could be my last. And I wish to ensure that the parcel reaches its destination without a single tear. It pains me to see people I love being highly ignorant, in such a way that they crack jokes about the LGBTQIA+ community being who they are because of ‘daddy issues’.
Simply putting somebody’s orientation down to past trauma is a brutal and repulsive move. I am ashamed of myself for not nipping these naive and toxic comments in the bud every time I got a chance. But I’m still learning.
Dear community members, I love and respect you with all my heart. I admire each and every one of you. You’ve taught me a lot more than you’ll ever know, and for that, I’m eternally grateful. I’ll fight with every fibre of my being for, and alongside, you.
As a proud ally, I promise to try my best to face disdain and judgement with love. Rather than getting flustered, I vow to spread the message of love and acceptance; of little parcels that are being sealed every single day somewhere in the world.
I have decided to do my bit to make the world a free and equal space – purged of homophobia and injustice. This is my resolve for Pride this year, and for years to come!
What are your experiences of being queer, and tackling heteronormativity? Email us your Pride stories at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may choose to write under a pseudonym!