Why I Compare Myself To Frankenstein’s Monster
On Feminity And Words
Frankenstein’s monster is a thing of utter despair. Its creator is a parent unwilling to acknowledge their child's existence and their right to live , even though he's the one because of whom the so-called monster comes to life in the first place. Once created, the ‘monster’ was shunned and thrown out of civilization.
Unfortunately, as bizarre as it may be, I have often reluctantly admitted to similarities between the lives of a trans-women, like me, and that of Frankenstein's monster.
Walking Into The Closet
Whenever I start talking about homophobia, I feel like I am a sham. To be honest, according to me, being gay in India is relatively easy. However, claiming and representing your gay identity isn’t. We don't get noticed when we are in public spaces, we don't have to hide our bodies, the way society expects transgender people to, and most times, because of our ‘normal’ appearance finding work is not so difficult. You see, India is not homophobic unless you want to claim your identity.
I was 12 years old when the feminine form became attractive to me. I wanted to emulate what actresses did on screen.
My Tussle With Homophobia
For a country where arranged marriages continue to be a norm and ‘love marriages’ scandalous stories that are kept within the families, India seems to have an unhealthy obsession with love stories. From folklore to contemporary cinema, our media is saturated with stories that glorify love as an unstoppable force, and an inevitable fact of life.
What’s more, all of these stories are about two individuals - most certainly a boy/man/ mard overloaded with mardaangi (masculinity ) and a girl/woman/ nari with no backbone – who against all odds (and logic) prove that nothing is impossible when you’re in love.
I'm Queer and I'm Here
Growing up in Lucknow was an integral part of my life. It molded me into someone who was always worried about what others thought about them. I always acted the way people around me expected me to, and shaped my gender expression into what was considered to be ‘masculine’ or ‘normal’.
But ever since I came to Delhi, I have witnessed a lot of changes in myself - physically, mentally and sociologically. But these changes have not always been welcomed or accepted by those around me. Heterosexuality is still considered to be the norm, and anyone who fails to comply with it is subjected to homophobia.
How The Image Of Sex In Our Heads Contributes To Exoticizing It
Ever since I was a little child, I could feel that I was not ‘normal’, precisely because that is how I was made to feel - every time I refused to wear a pink frock, every time I chose to play sports I was made to feel that I was doing something wrong. As I grew up, things became even more difficult and confusing. Puberty brought new challenges, especially the different way in which I experienced puberty as compared to my other friends, whose desires were as heteronormative as the desires I saw being represented in popular culture and media.
Sex Ed for me was basically guesswork!
When you’re a 14-year-old, there’s a lot of mystery and confusion around the word, ‘sex’. Along with this, there is also a feeling that you know more about it than your peers - or at least you pretend like you do. Not many grown-ups talk about how it all goes down, so eventually the ‘knowledge’ about sex comes from your own friends.
Tussle with Taboos: My experience of working with Comprehensive Sexuality Education
I first learned about periods in primary school when one of my classmates suddenly got hers during the first period in school. There was a lot of chaos, and some seniors were helping her. When my friends and I asked her what a period was, she told us that after a certain age, girls secrete some sort of liquid from down "there" (which according to me was the clitoris - I didn't even know there was something called a ‘vagina’).
It's a Secret. Period.
Till about a year ago, like many of the people around me, I used to think that Sex Education only revolved around teaching people about sex and the reproductive system. But because of the Know Your Body, Know Your Rights (KYBKYR) program, I learned that it was so much more than that. I liked the program’s agenda: providing Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) to young people.
Peek-A-Boo With Patriarchy: How I Learned To Stop Getting Too Comfortable
One day, when I was 7 years old, I was sitting in the car with my mom, my Taiji and my two cousins who are 5 years older than me. They were having a conversation I clearly wasn’t meant to be a part of. So naturally, I absolutely had to know what they were talking about. I mustered all my kid superpowers of asking many questions loudly and persistently, but my efforts were in vain - all I got was the word ‘napkins’, and the mumbled reassurance of “it’s fine you’ll know this when you’re older”, every child’s least favorite words.
This is How Pregnancy DOESN'T work
By Tara Vidisha Ghose:
While I was still in school, I remember telling my mother “I don’t understand why women cry so much about inequality. We can vote now and they reserve seats for us in the parliament. We are equal.” Sure, back then, it seemed that way to me, because it seemed perfectly normal that every boy in the boys’ football team in school was a hero while the girls’ team had spent years and years fighting just to be allowed to take part in inter-school competitions.
dharmesh ki dastaan
When I was in school, I was second to nobody when it came to cracking dirty jokes. I could find an innuendo in anything – but in very real terms, I didn’t know much about sex or about my own body. The funniest part about this was that I didn’t know how little I knew – at least, not until I started dating people.
Pride and Design: A Conversation with Shubham Bose Roy (Part 2)
queerness is more than just an identity. it forces you to look at how the world functions and makes you examine your position in it.
Pride and Design: A Conversation with Shubham Bose Roy (Part 1)
A continuation of the previous piece on Shubham Bose Roy's design work for Delhi Pride.
My Curious Life
As Delhi Queer Pride completes a decade this year, we take a walk down the memory lane with Shubham Bose Roy, as they share their experiences of designing the logos and posters for Delhi Queer Pride (DQP), their longest project till date.
#AndarkiBaat - What Did We Learn?
Hello all! I am Garima, a 23-year-old bisexual girl. I started exploring my sexuality only recently, and it has been an amazing experience.
Let's Talk About Sex!
Public toilets are private spaces, that provide the anonymity and audience that is unlikely to be found anywhere else in today’s world. Researchers have been studying restroom graffiti for decades now to analyze and assess the thoughts expressed by men and women in these single-gender spaces.
Experiencing, Thinking And Writing Gender And Sexuality
As a child, I don’t recall ever having spoken to my parents about sexuality. Only recently did I find out that they expected and assumed that my school would fulfil the duty of giving me sexuality education. Needless to say, my school did no such thing.
Metro train journeys are always interesting and harassing in new ways. From cold gazes and warm sweaty hands wanting to grab my skin, to inquisitive minds and fingers that pull on my hair, my entire body, for most of the eyes in the compartment is a fascinating biological and social question