By Srestha Bhattacharya:
It was easy to be attracted towards men. It was also the appropriate choice, apparently, and I believed the same. I believed it because everyone around me believed it. It seemed obvious and I did not question this obviousness.
I didn’t even know that my sexuality could be questioned. I knew homosexuality existed, but I was sure that it couldn’t touch me. The turning point, I think, was when a cousin told me that she enjoyed lesbian porn more. At that time, I was in class 9.
I never stopped after that day. I started with questioning the roots of my voyeuristic ventures, and by the time I had reached class 12, I was questioning my relationship with women.
I think I was always very doubtful about my sexual identity because I compared the feelings I had for men with what I had for women. I didn’t understand that my feelings were different because men and women were different and my experiences with them were different. It was just so wrong of me to judge them on the same parameters. Just because I was more sexually attracted towards men, it did not mean that I wasn’t sexually attracted towards women.
There are many bisexual people who are attracted towards men and women equally, but I wasn’t one of them. I was able to realise that I had certain myths in my mind about the LGBTQIA+ community. I was a bisexual myself, but it took me years to understand that all bisexuals are not the same, just like all humans are not the same.
Most of my misconceptions were debunked in my sociology classes. As I read about queer theory, I became more motivated to understand ‘queer’ lives. I did not just want to comprehend my identity, but the lives of all those who refused to live within the confines of compulsory heterosexuality.
I was able to come to terms with my sexual orientation around the same time as I started noticing activism around queer issues. I realised that there was a great need to not just access spaces inclusive of LGBTQIA+ individuals for myself, but to create greater love among all people by reaching out to heteronormative people with queer experiences.
The Delhi University Queer Collective (DUQC) is among the few safe spaces I found for myself. Within few minutes of my interaction with the members of DUQC, I realised, each and every one of us was excited about “Pride”. After all, we all want to celebrate our ‘queerness’. We all want to destabilise the gender hierarchy. We all want to show our pride. And we will show it this year again. We won’t be afraid of anything, and we won’t allow anyone or anything to stop us.
What are your experiences of being queer, and tackling heteronormativity?
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