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.
A year ago, when I got involved with LGBTQIAP+ (A-Z community, as I call it), I saw myself as an ally. It made sense because I had only dated men. And even though I was interested in girls, I had never really acted on it. One of my IGNOU classmate had posted about a leadership summit by a LGBTQ+ friendly community; and me being me, registered without knowing anything – Just because I wanted to meet new people. On the day of the summit, I googled to see what exactly does the organization do, and it said that it was a LGBTQ+ friendly community. I was very happy because I had no friends from the community. When I went there, and sat with so called ‘unnatural’ people (as society refers to them), I realized that they were no different from me. They breathe the same air as I do and have likes and dislikes as varied as I have; the only difference is in our perception.
I am so glad that I was a part of that event, as I met some lovely people there – some of whom are now my closest friends, and it so happens that all of them are gay! We talk like any other group of friends would - what I learned through my experiences in the group is that there is much more to a person than their sexuality. If I identify as a bisexual, that’s just one part of my personality.
What continues to baffle me is that when a person says they’re straight (which I think no one is), people don’t ask anything after that. But the moment you say I am Queer, everybody becomes CBI. I personally don’t mind answering questions as long as they are not nosy, and make sense. I would happily answer any question that you ask to gain awareness and improve your understanding of the community.
Today I proudly call myself an A-Z activist and I am no longer fighting for THEM, but for US. I am so lucky to have heard a lot of positive coming out stories from my friends. One friend of mine came out as gay to his younger sisters, and their only reaction was – “So when are you finding a partner?” Another friend told his mother, and she replied back saying I love you the way you are.
I recently tried to come out to my mother (But based on how the conversation went, I think I was unable to explain myself properly)
Me: Mom, I am bicurious (Before meeting my girlfriend)
Mom: Ye kya hota hai?!
Me: I also like girls.
Mom: You are weird.
Then mom saw this picture (to the right) on my laptop, which resulted in this conversation:
Mom: What is Queer?
Me: People who are questioning, and people say we are influenced by foreigners but we are not.
Mom: Haan, tumhara toh khud ka hi dimag kharab hai, tum kisi ki kyu sunoge!
- End of conversation -
I usually don’t say this, but I feel I am very privileged to have grown up in such an environment, where I can be myself, and have the confidence of talking about these things without thinking twice. That is the level of safety and acceptance I want in this world.
After I kissed my girlfriend for the first time, I realized it is not what the other person has between their pants that matters, but the feelings. When I am with her, it does not bother me that she is a girl, I love the person she is, and everything about her. Being with her has made me realize that love just happens, and it’ll find you even if you’re not looking for it.
So, this pride week, take pride in whoever you are!
Garima is an explorer who loves hugs, smiles, and challenging patriarchy. On the professional front, she works with Be.artsy as a communication facilitator and is pursuing her PG diploma in women and gender studies from IGNOU.