By Auntyji Thursday:
Hi Auntyji. At school, my friends were talking about being gay and straight. What do these terms mean and is one better than the other? Sanya,15, Chandigarh.
Auntyji says, ‘Chalo chalo very good – these words are a part of our new vocabulary beta, like any other, we all have to learn it, embrace it.’
So let’s begin ki straight or gay hota kya hai. But let’s start with the wider terminology – LGBT. L for lesbian – women attracted to women, G or gay – a term used for men attracted to men but is also used commonly as a term for all homosexual people – men or women.
Now you will ask what is homosexual? Well, people attracted to the same sex hence (homo = same= one). The others are called heterosexual – attracted to differing sex. It is also called straight. Chalo ji – very plainly and simply put.
Ab B (in LGBT) stands for bisexual – people attracted to men and women. Ab T stands for Transgender – and here begins a lot of layers.
Transgender is a gender identity for a person who does not identify with the gender that was assigned to them at birth. Roughly said, you could be a girl but you feel like a boy. Sach kahoon beta, this is not as easy as it seems. It is in fact very complex, very nuanced. So I will urge you to read up a lot on this issue. Start right here, on our website.
Beta – the thing to remember is that there is no wrong or a right or a better or a worse identity. However, unfortunately, LGBT identities are termed abnormal and unnatural in many cultures and societies, including ours. And so many LGBT people are forced into hiding.
Think of it like this beta. You eat palak paneer and I force you to eat tinda masala. It is your choice to say – no thanks – is it not? Now comes the big problem – the public is annoying. They want everyone to eat tinda masala! Is that possible? No, it’s not.
Even those who love tinda masala – cannot eat it four meals a day. They too at times look for – palak paneer! Kabhi kabhi – hain na? Bas like that – no one should tell us who to love, who to have sex with. No one has a right over our body, our desires. Only we do.
But zaalim duniya, most LGBT people are unable to exercise rights over their bodies and desires. You will be shocked beta – at the amount of stereotyping and discrimination that people have for people who are not ‘straight’ i.e the usual – boy loves a girl. Everyone must do the same! So if a boy loves a boy or a girl loves a girl – duniya gets upset!
If a person is not ‘straight,’ the world is up in arms about sanskriti and culture being at threat! Homophobia – prejudice and hatred for homosexual people – is a rampant reality for many people in our country – in our homes – in this world. Even the law makes it difficult for the LGBT people to come out and express themselves freely.
So let’s say beta Sanya, you love a boy, but your best (girl) friend loves a girl – you both love – so is your love better than her love? You want care and concern, safety and trust form your partner – she wants the same. Bas, you want it from a boy and she wants it from a girl. Is she lesser than you? Nahi na?
Auntyji’s funda is simple beta. It ultimately does not matter what others think. It matters who you are and who you think you are and what you feel about yourself. No one should stick anyone under a label or pack them in a box. Everyone has the right to say who they are, who they want to love, what type of sex they decide to have, with who and where… Bas pyaar do, pyaar lo. Kya bolti tu beta, Sanya?
*To protect the identity, names have been changed and the person/s in the picture is/are models.