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I’m a queer human. I’m 23 years old and that’s not really the point. Being queer, reaching this stage of life where I felt that I really really want to jot down that most of us queer people miss out on, as soon as we start getting a feel for something called ‘Life’.

It’s easier to ask us to feel positive, to keep hope, and not to feel alone. I can’t even imagine if it was really that easier to get over that every single experience, every next second, night, day, birthday, month, and year when I was surrounded by lights and yet, so dark.

I can’t forget that childhood, those nights and every single word used by my friends, family members that would make me cry. But I then became used to all these; realizing that ‘Maybe this is what it’s like to be a human?’ (At that time I was not even able to comprehend what I was going through, just had a feeling that it’s unacceptable by everyone, a feeling that I was different.)

I remember those days when I tried to change myself, tried to act like others do, tried to talk, sit and live the way a ‘Mard’ does and every time I failed and ended up disappointed.

I remember how every time I’d cry for being called a ‘Chakka’, and now, I have lost count of how many times it broke me into tears. 

I remember how every waking second I would try to laugh so naturally, I would try to play games I would love, hang with girls I wanted to, and how I would try to act like a child, the way most of them were. But, I was not accepted. 

I became totally used to hiding my identity as it kept my parents, people around me happier (I wanted to feel accepted, loved, and appreciated and did everything I could). I decided to care for others’ happiness and not think of mine. I remember how every time I’d cry for being called a ‘Chakka’, and now, I have lost count of how many times it broke me into tears. 

Now at this stage when I look back at the childhood I deserved and the one I had throughout these 23 years, I feel like crying. I cry like I’ve lost a life already.

When most of my fellow students would laugh, play and have fun, I would think over and over ‘why I’m the only one so different?’, ‘Why ain’t they playing with me?’, ‘Why are they making fun of me?’, ‘Why is my smile not being appreciated?’ 

Before I could understand this feeling, it was all already gone. I decided to make myself independent, a stronger person so that even if there’d be a day nobody would be around me, I’d be enough for myself. I decided to buy myself happiness, life, pleasure, peace, and everything possible.

It’s not something to get over when it’s a part of you. When every other second haunts you, that you might be thrown out on streets, might get beaten, you might become more empty, you might lose family, friends, maybe a job and everything. 

Never ask queer people to get over their experiences. Help them get through times they’ve been through and are still managing.

When most hetero ones start dating, start thinking of living, queers are figuring how to stay safe, happier, and with a hope that things would change someday. They don’t even receive sex, love, and dates easily if that’s something that matters. They don’t get to hold hands together at a very young age and click photographs with their loved ones. They already carry so much burden, not because they care but because they feel unsafe, surrounded by fears and danger of non-acceptance. 

Never ask queer people to get over their experiences. Help them get through times they’ve been through and are still managing. Promise yourself that you won’t let any child lose his childhood in crying, figuring out his fears and become a perfect one. Love them, treat them well, tell them they’re beautiful, nothing different and are meant to be loved.

Jai Gautam
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