Special Messages From LGBT Citizens of India This Pride Month
Video Editor: Rahul Sanpui
What does it mean to be a part of a vast community of people who are still denied equal rights in their country of residence? When the state, the patriarchy and, more often than not, the heteronormative Indian family, rejects your identity and the person you choose to love, who do you turn to?
For Ashiesh, 28, who identifies himself as “a cisgender homosexual gay man”, it is his friends from the community who are like family:
However, Ashiesh believes it’s okay to not have that acceptance immediately, as long as one is proud of “who” one is and “what” one is.
For me, personally, my friends are like my family. And I think it’s a great feeling to have that community – to know that you can connect to them sometimes more than you can connect to your own family members or loved ones. It’s amazing how a bunch of people have just come together from different sections of society to support each other and spread love.Ashiesh, 28
“I Think My Soul is That of a Woman”
Shyama, who hails from New Delhi and currently lives in London, considers herself “lucky” to have had a mother who was accepting of who she was and who she chose to love. She also firmly believes that it’s time that a community be made up not only of the people who identify as LGBTQ+, but also heterosexual men and women who can be staunch allies –
Balaji, who professes to love cross-dressing (“I think my soul is that of a woman”) credits Sukhdeep Singh, the editor of an LGBTQ magazine (Gaylaxy) he writes for, with his understanding of gender fluidity –
Anwesh Kumar Sahoo, who was chosen as Mr Gay World India 2016, says that while he came out at the age of 16 to himself (“and that was a big deal to me”),
Rudrani Chhetri, a model, actor and social worker who identifies as a transwoman, hopes that people beyond the community, too, will spread the message of Pride beyond the Pride Month –