Of course, one needs to acknowledge that this word did not magically turn up in the vocabularies of the ‘good girls from good families’ that came to a convent school to learn ‘good things’ everyday. The extensively gendered environment which promised to manufacture highly-marriageable ‘young ladies’, aided by the insistence of middle-aged spiteful teachers to absolutely destroy any kind of existence that does not constantly bow it’s pretty, two-plaited head to the heteronormative male gaze, created a suffocatingly toxic atmosphere.
Being an adolescent is never easy. It is the beginning of one’s life journey to answering the ultimate existential question: Who am I? It was E.E. Cummings, a North American poet, who said, “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” Now, I find that a little non-inclusive. Allow me to…
It is the winter of 2013, and my father and I are sitting at an awkward distance from each other on the living room couch, our eyes trained on the television set as a popular prime time news debate discusses a subject we have never before talked to each other about – homosexuality. It is only a few days since Section 377 has been reinstated by the Supreme Court, and the television and print media bombards us with discussion after discussion on ‘alternate’ sexualities and LGBTQ rights.
As I reflect on what I had actively buried and tried to constantly forget, I realise how crucial language was in defining how I viewed myself.
Despite the existence of various pockets in which a Northeastern queer could possibly reclaim and celebrate their racial identity, our sexual orientation conjures an awkward indifference and discomfort within our kin.