My life has been a roller-coster ride – but unlike a regular one, mine started with downfalls, and is now gradually sloping upwards.
Being gay was like a nightmare to me. At school, I was mocked and bullied for not conforming to the hetero-patriarchal standards of masculinity – so much so that it took a toll on my mental health. It also negatively affected my sense of self-esteem. I remember asking God, “Why am I this way? Why am I not like everyone else? Why am I not ‘normal’?” One day, however, I realised that it was perfectly okay to not be ‘normal’ in a society that has its very definition wrong.
I fell for the girls during all of my schooling years, but I soon realised that I was living a lie – a lie that I was conditioned to grow up with since my very childhood. Heteronormativity in all forms around me made me live a false life, far away from what my heart actually longed for.
There were certain things that had become my regular companions, such as falling into depression, being suddenly overcome by sadness, battling identity crises and suicidal tendencies – and, finally, having a constant craving for love.
Love was a highly misunderstood concept for me. Being a homosexual guy, it was difficult for me to be on good terms with straight men. However, I often shared a natural affection for and found myself at ease with women.
Incidentally, the kind of love that my heart longed for was different. The first time I kissed a guy, my oxytocin levels took a giant leap, making it no less than a euphoric sensation! A soul-satisfying touch, it was incomparable with all the failed affectionate infatuations I have ever had on any woman!
Coming out was way easier than I thought it to be – at least easier than hiding my sexual orientation from people. All that was needed were the right people with the right understanding. I’m ‘out’ to my close friends – and they are very supportive of my orientation. Gender forums, literary societies, and other such open spaces at my college and university gave me immense confidence to accept and celebrate my sexual identity.
I still struggle while dealing with homophobes and other such irrational people around me, but this struggle is a struggle of confidence – the confidence to bring about a positive social change.
LGBTQI-inclusive spaces and the whole idea of Pride has given a huge impetus to the movement for same-sex love. For me to be able to write this is, in itself, an act of self-acceptance and pride – to be comfortable in my own skin, to be happy with my identity, and to realise that at the end of the day, love has the power to conquer all.
I choose to love. In a world festered with hate and prejudice, I choose to win this battle with love.
What are your experiences of being queer, and tackling heteronormativity?
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Featured image used for representative purposes only.