By Natalie Sharma
“It doesn’t seem fair that only gay people have to come out. Why is straight the default?” Said by Simon from Love, Simon. But doesn’t it seem legit? Who said that being straight; boys liking girls and girls liking boys is the default of our sexuality? Every teenager goes through all types of rites of passages; first drink, first kiss, first time getting involved intimately, first drugged up manoeuvre, and of course, first time questioning their sexuality. For straights it’s easy; I like girls, vice versa; I like boys. But what about; do I like boys and girls? Do I like boys only? Do I prefer their personality no matter what gender they are? Do I like girls only? Do I even need or prefer anyone? As a society, we say and claim that we accept the homosexuals, transgender’s, and more. But do we really?
A majority of our youth has taken to the path of acceptance, respect and love for all genders no matter what, but what about the previous generation; or the so called “Boomers”? When a group of students befriend a boy who has a certain femininity to their personality or befriend a girl who has a masculine flair to their body language either of the two situations take place:
The sole reason to befriend that boy/girl was to make fun, mock him/her for something he/she has no control over, and ultimately bully him/her emotionally, physically.
They really accept him/her for who he/she is and are proud of the fact that he/she doesn’t change the way he/she behaves no matter what people say about him/her.
I’m really glad to say that the people in the second case are more than the first. But that doesn’t mean that the people in the first case don’t exist. Many people aren’t familiar with the fear, anxiety and stress that teenagers go through when they realise that they aren’t sticking to the norms. They fear whether they would be accepted or no, respected or no. They fear their family’ reaction. And I can say this with clarity that only some households to this day accept their children for who they are and genuinely do not give a single care to what the ‘society’ thinks. Because of this there are so many teenagers, young adults who suppress what they actually are just to keep their families together and keep the “respect” they have in the societies. It isn’t easy for them in the first place and this makes it an absolute worse. People not being comfortable in their own bodies; and everyone says love yourself. How can I when I don’t feel like myself in what I am? There are numerous things that we have to normalise in our society, but one of the crucial part is the LGBTQIA+ community.
Where; homosexuals, bisexuals, pansexuals, asexuals, queers, transgenders and intersex do exist and have been for quite sometime. Some may be non-binary; who don’t identify as a male or female. Or maybe some are still in questioning and curious about all. Where some may seek comfort in a female body if they are a man, and vice versa. Coming out of the closet, or confessing that you are gay, bisexual, lesbian, trans, etc is not easy. You feel the worlds entire pressure on your shoulders and it feels like for a fleeting moment you have exchanged places with Atlas and you feel the weight coming down on your shoulders. This moment are one of those moments that no matter what you cannot forget. Why? Because it’s a make or break moment. This is worse than than the math test you had been dreading for weeks now because this test means more than any lousy sheet of paper can. Friends play an extremely important role in the coming out process. We as teenagers, find our peace, clarity in our friends, and no matter what they say will leave an impact on you. We often hear groups of people calling something or an action ‘gay’ or in hindi terms ‘chakka’. Why? Just because someone decided not to go and follow the mainstream it makes them ‘gay’? Such people who use these terms in places where is makes absolute zero sense are those who actually are completely clueless as to what the word actually stands for, and that makes me really sad. We as humans are and will always go through stuff and challenges as long as life goes, and in the mean time we can at least try and make it easy for some people who need it more than us for a while.