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.
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.