I am a Social Activist, Tech Lover, Feminist, Author, Secular Humanist, Freethinker, Health Enthusiast, Nature Lover, Restaurateur, wannabe Serial Entrepreneur. Even though I am all the above, for my everyday bread and butter, I am a boring techie like majority of the Bangaloreans. Raised in a fanatically religious Christian family, I turned an atheist when I was 13.
I am a woman, a lesbian, and an atheist – three minority identities that have, over the years, created a strong personality I am proud to call my own.
I came out when I was 13 years old. It was not a planned coming out but an unplanned chain of events. I was in a hostel and the hostel warden caught me and my first girlfriend kissing. So it was an involuntary outing. When my parents came to know about the incident, they tried to show me verses from the bible to tell me that I am a sinner. I came out to them as an atheist then. I still don’t know what appalled them more, my being a homosexual or my being an atheist.
When you are only partially out, the people who have the privilege to know about your sexuality mentioning it to someone who does not know about it can also can be considered as outing you without your consent. This has happened to me many times, being outed without my knowledge. Then I come to know that some of them were proud of me for the courage I was displaying, some cut-off all ties, some were neutral and some wanted to pray for me. There were even women who were offended that I was not sexually attracted to them in spite of me being a homosexual. Throughout it all a few close friends stayed through thick and thin always being there for me.
If people accuse me of wearing my sexuality on my sleeve, I am unapologetic as it took me years of personal and social struggles to get to where I am today. Coming out is a long process; for some it is a lifelong process. The first stage of coming out starts with accepting yourself. Then you slowly come out to people as and when the need arises or when you feel is the right time.
Lesbians in India are conspicuous by their lack of visibility in mainstream society. Lesbian invisibility has become a deep-seated feature of society. As nothing can be a greater blow to patriarchy than a woman who can live happily without a man, our patriarchal society will do whatever it can to silence lesbian women.