Personal experiences Being a hopeless romantic in the queer world

Couple in the park
Couple in the park | Photo (detail): Manak

I am a hopeless romantic. I believe in forevers. I believe in happy endings. Inevitably I suffer from terrible heartaches, breakups and series of bad relationships.

However I have never given up on love. Rather love has never given up on me. This is the story of majority of people in my city I guess. We are stuck in an era between nostalgia and hopelessness. The twist lies in the fact that I am also a lesbian. Though I hate such labels, it’s important to set the context of my narrative.

Self-imposed isolation

In this world of ostracisation, where we tend to get marginalised for our religious practices, our class, our lifestyle choices, our caste and so on, my orientation makes me all the more vulnerable to the jibes of society. However that did not deter me from coming to terms with my sexuality at the age of 18. I was shamelessly attracted to people of my own gender. They inevitably attracted my interest. I felt connected. My first serious affair was during my college days. She was psychology major-introverted, smart and extremely well read. I made no qualms about my attraction towards her. It seemed a very normal and natural process. Fortunately she reciprocated. When my friends started talking about their affairs to me, I felt stifled. I realized they are not prepared to hear about my story. Hence I maintained an unnecessary secrecy from my gang and in the process felt very isolated. It was a self-imposed isolation that I opted for because I was afraid to face the consequences.

However with time, I became more and more confident. I realised if I don’t stand up for myself, no one else will. Hence I opened up to my mother. To say the least the consequences left me damaged. She was stupefied and ordered me to think otherwise. After a series of open sessions with her, she was more open to conversations but definitely had her guard up. It was a liberating experience. I felt powerful. I realised very early that the freedom I crave for is a distant dream for many. I realised I do have a class privilege. The kind of lifestyle I have chosen will be a path less taken.

Solace in the commune

I associated myself with an organisation that works with people who identify themselves as LBT (Lesbian, bisexual and Trans). I started going for their meetings and workshops. Somehow a sense of oneness developed in me over time with the others members. We shared our common angst, struggles and it became a commune. I understood that I am not alone. I found solace in the company of many who spoke of struggle and revolution. It was a difficult dream but not impossible. My heart was filled with hope and dreams of a better future. I knew hat for freedom, struggle is imperative. I knew I was ready to undergo the necessary struggle.

I am 26 now. I have had a series of good, bad, memorable relationships. But one thing that is common is my growth. Each woman I have courted has taught me some important life lessons for which I am grateful. Maybe one day homosexuality will be decriminalised in my country. Maybe one day, I will be able to live a life of dignity. Maybe one day, I will no longer have to fear the judicial system and decide who I want to live with. Maybe one day... Miles to go before I sleep till then.