We are all gifted with the innate ability to feel and recognise love as an emotion and expression. But, we are never taught how to use it and how important it is to accept that love exists in many forms. I guess we really need to learn how to ‘use’ our love, that is, ‘understand’, ‘support’ and ’embrace’ the love we have for ourselves, and the love we have to share with the world.
As a queer person, while it is really important to ‘understand’ the love we are capable of sharing with others, we also need to understand and acknowledge the love that exists within us.
The frame titled ‘understand’ visualises a mirror in the hands of a person who is trying to understand themselves in this storm of emotions and states of mind to really recognise who they are. They see the bright sun peering behind the clouds, which relates to the way we feel when we haven’t ‘figured ourselves out’. This is the first and most important step to be able to fully experience life as a queer person: understanding our needs, our wants and our capacity for love.
The next thing to do, naturally, is to ‘support’ people who are going through what you might have just gone through. What would someone want when they’re unsure of what comes next? They’d want someone who can say “me too!” and “it’s okay!’, but also one who’d tell them that “it’s going to be hard.”
What lies behind the mountain of stigma is the true relief of having climbed all the way to the top, only to realise that it isn’t as high as we thought it was. What are higher are the morals that assure you that your identity is valid. Pictured in the second frame are two hands in a firm grip of ‘support’. Which is what you should be and what you should look for, outside of yourself.
And finally, after what may have seemed like a struggle, one can exhale and truly embrace what being queer feels like. Embrace its implications and your responsibility to share your experiences, to make other people aware of queer rights and issues – and to just be the person you are, in the healthiest way possible.
It isn’t easy standing up for yourself – but if you truly believe that you are who you need to be, you can make sure that good things will come your way.The final frame titled ’embrace’ shows the interlocking of two hands which could imply the acceptance of everything for what it really is.
Together, we can all fight against the stigma. We just need to truly believe in and stand up for what is right and what our right is.
The author is a creator trying to create for the sake of change. She uses @bangaloretraffic to talk about mental health and being queer.
In celebration of Pride Month, The YP Foundation is running an online campaign to spark conversations around issues specific to queer youth and their engagement in queer politics, through narrative pieces, articles, essays, comic strips, artworks, and personal interviews. Through these, the campaign seeks to explore the importance of the queer movement in India and the intricacies of queer organising. it also looks at the different ways in which the queer movement in India is forging alliances with other movements, through the active engagement and involvement of young queer people. This campaign is a part of a larger international campaign hosted by CHOICE for Youth and Sexuality.
To submit your stories, poems, articles and artwork, send them to email@example.com by June 20, 2018.
Featured image used for representative purposes only.