I’ve always known I wasn’t straight; that was the only statement I could make with any certainty. I think where the confusion crept in was looking for something to identify as; maybe bi? I was attracted to both men and women growing up. In 2014, I was 15 and decided to conform and started dating a girl. More than a romantic relationship, all I saw was a friendship with her, and I told her about my suffocation in this twosome honestly, nine months in. I distinctly remember watching Big Boss at this point and their representation of people outside the binary. I started exploring, reading and learning everything I could about gender, being gay and identities.
Today I identify as gender fluid. This means I don’t conform to a particular gender, whether within the binary or outside of it. I can be a complete girl at one time (or should I say feminine), and other times completely masculine. I come from a conservative family, so around them, I act completely straight, but in college, I can be myself, I can be gay. Society has a heteronormative narrative, and it makes you ask yourself if not male or female what are you? Being able to find yourself, find an identity that represents you is empowering and gives you more freedom.
I live in a hostel in the suburbs of Gurgaon. One night I increased the range on Tinder and Swiped Right on a guy with a fascinating bio and some interesting expressions in his photos. It turned out to be a match. The next morning I had a formal-ish message from him, very basic ice-breaking conversation. After an initial exchange, I was straight up and said I’m looking for a relationship. One and a half months from meeting him, we are in a relationship. I usually take things slow, but this time something just clicked! My experience with people from the community on Tinder has been nothing short of positive, people are genuine, and I can say I’ve also made many friends.
For me, the question of gender equality doesn’t arise. I don’t view people as male, female or trans, I think of them as human beings. And I think this outlook would serve everyone to be better to each other.
Aayush Kumar as told to Tinder