By Ajai Rai:
Hi, my name is Ajay Rai. I am a gay versatile bottom and a social worker. I stay in Delhi with my mother and sister. I am a simple person with average looks, shy, soft-spoken, well-mannered, hard working, spiritual and a nature lover. I speak less and listen more. My list of passions is long: reading, writing, painting, music, movies, cooking, traveling, shopping, and I love to taste new dishes, especially in newly-opened restaurants. And that’s usually how I introduce myself when I’m swiping right.
When I was 14-years-old, I realised I felt sexual attraction to men only. And that’s true even today. When I have a crush on a man, I look for silly excuses just to start talking to him! And when I meet that one special man, I look forward to a romantic conversation with him, to hold his hand, and spend all my time with him. Sometimes, when I spot a man I like, and my heart beats faster, I feel younger and energetic! I want a boyfriend, simple as that. Someone I can do all my favourite things with:singing, dancing, and of course, eating at new restaurants. I’d love to have a playful evening at a beach with my boyfriend. But I’m still hunting for my Mr. Right.
At a time when I felt like no one understands me, and when I was lonely, I decided to go on an online dating app to find my soulmate. I’m not a one-night-stand kind of girl. I believe in long-term relationships, with stability and transparency. On the app, I was looking for someone who is clear about his gender identity, and clear about mine too. And guess what? I found that person!
It was at a time when I had just graduated from college. I chatted with him a lot, shared my feelings, spoke about my loneliness with him. We began spending a lot of quality time together (and I even fulfilled my sexual desires with him!) When we were seeing each other, we loved each other a lot. They say that the honeymoon period for any relationship happens only in the beginning. Lucky for us, it was for the entire five year period that we were dating.
But then, our lives took a different turn. He married a girl, and once again, I felt like I was all alone on this planet. It was soon my turn to be married. When I turned 26, my mom and younger brother were the ones who began pushing me. It was then that I told them I have no interest in girls. It was then that I told them, for convenience’s sake, that I am gay. My mom has been giving me blank faces for the last two or three years. She does not understand what “gay” means. It is a word that does not exist in her dictionary. I remember when she told me, “Tu bigad gaya hai, shadi ho jayegi teri to tu theek ho jayega (Something is wrong with you. When you get married, then you’ll be normal).” How should I tell my mom that I can’t change the way my heart beats, and for whom it beats?
I want each and every member of my family, my neighbours, and my friends to become aware about the various types of gender identities that exist, as well as all the sexual orientations among us human beings. I want them to understand them, respect them, and allow people to grow, no matter what their identity is. I want my family members, relatives, and friends to provide an equal platform for education and opportunities for people of different genders to build their career.
In my own small way, I want to be part of this change. I would love to work on education rights for transgender people, and I believe everyone can work towards this together. Having to face loneliness because of your gender identity isn’t fair. Trans people have sharp minds. We are caring. We are energetic. We have a good dressing sense. When given the opportunity, we perform great at our studies. And we have various God-given talents. The important thing is to provide trans people all available resources for us to perform well in life. I want trans- and gay-friendly apps, clubs, music, movies, and spaces to improve my quality of life. I want freedom for gay marriages in our country. After all, love is love!
In online dating, there are both good and bad experiences. All of us of course want the good ones. For that, here’s my suggestion to everyone: You should be honest about the information you reveal, like your name, work profile, hobbies and, yes, even your picture. My rule is to meet your date in public four or five times before you think about a relationship. So if dating is your plan, all the best to you. Keep hunting, and have fun!