By Ishita Katyal
I am 15 years old. For close to five years now, I have been working very passionately to inspire the youth around me.
I want to create a positive impact and spread awareness about how everybody is unique. I have always believed that it is very important for my generation to understand that we need to create opportunities for ourselves and others around us and start working on what we love to do from an early age.
I strongly believe that age is just a number and no matter how old you are, you can always create a wave of change. For me, it is always the little things in life that matter the most and I think we should strive to make the best out of the limited resources we have at hand.
I became a deep-rooted ally roughly two years ago when I made an effort to educate myself about the LGBT+ community.
I remember that from Grade 5 onwards in school, some of my friends would be teased just because someone was not behaving in a conventional masculine/feminine manner. It had become so common to hear words like, “Oh, you’re acting so gay!” or “Oh! You’re acting like a lesbian” around me.
As a child, I did not really understand what these terms meant, or what the LGBT+ community stood for, so and I asked my parents what it meant. When they explained it to me, I did not really have a problem with it. In fact, my close circle of friends and I actually found the concept to be very beautiful.
So we were shocked when we realised there are so many people who were not accepting of the LGBT+ community, and that pushed me to become an ally. I did a lot of research and read up on coming out stories, gender identities, usage of pronouns and more. I felt that while there will always be people who will oppose the community if I could spread some positivity at my level, that would be great. It made me happy that I could use my voice to stand up for others and be there for them.
For the allies who are just starting out, commend yourself that you have made an effort to become informed. Take a stand for any act that you feel is not right. Put your voice out there and educate yourself more and more about the LGBT+ community. If my generation were to join hands and unite, it is only going to be a great future ahead.
Excerpt from the book EQUALLY: Stories by Friends of the Queer World. Published by Rupa, the first of its kind anthology put together by Pride Circle is due to be released on 9 April 2021. Find more about the book here.