My Tussle With Homophobia

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.

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I'm Queer and I'm Here

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.

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Sex Ed for me was basically guesswork!

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’).

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The YP Foundation
Tussle with Taboos: My experience of working with Comprehensive Sexuality Education

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. 

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The YP Foundation
It's a Secret. Period.

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.

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The YP Foundation
Peek-A-Boo With Patriarchy: How I Learned To Stop Getting Too Comfortable

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. 

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The YP Foundation
This is How Pregnancy DOESN'T work

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.

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The YP Foundation
On Toxic Masculinity and Queer Pride

WHEN WE MET FOR THE FIRST TIME: “I have no problem with ‘them’ but I would not like to associate myself with them” – First statement he made when we went for a chai date, “I mean you understand right!”- He sought some support.

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The YP Foundation
#AndarkiBaat - What Did We Learn?

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.

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The YP Foundation
Let's Talk About Sex!

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.

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The YP Foundation