Few days ago one of my classmates was suspended from the college hostel on a mere suspicion of her being a lesbian. The professors, without giving it a second thought, let their homophobia take decision regarding the girl’s future instead of their rationale. Since I am a student of Mahila Mahavidyalaya, I am aware that this indifferent verdict was derived out of a rumour.
The girl is a victim of classroom gossip, where her unusual behaviour towards the fellow hostellers caused prejudice against her. From what I witnessed, the girl had an aggressive nature. She used to talk in a masculine and confronting voice and would get physically close to girls in a rather intimidating manner. Her way of talking and mannerisms were different from the rest of the class, but that might have also been due to the fact that she belonged to a remote village area. These acts were taken as intentional and labelled as homosexual tendencies. What was more shocking was, that apart from the professors of the University, the girls of her own age group became discriminatory towards her because they ‘thought’ that her sexual orientation was different than theirs. Being a witness of the bigotry that took place against her, I heard her saying that everyone in the hostel disliked her and she was afraid that they might be plotting something against her.
It is a case of females with homophobic and sickening mentality ganging up against a girl who they thought was different than them. No one gave her a chance to explain her motives and intentions behind those acts. Evidently her behaviour wasn’t “normal” but it didn’t deserve such a drastic action. The girl, who is also differently-abled, needs extra assistance with her studies. Her actions may have some different meaning which is being misunderstood as homosexuality, fuelled by the gossip.
It wasn’t clear to us whether she was a lesbian or not, and in her statement to Scroll.in , she refused to accept any allegation put against her regarding her sexuality. And for her it is unimaginable to be in love with a girl.
I once saw her approaching a girl and asking her for marriage. Chances are that it could have been a joke which was interpreted wrongly. Possibly it was a joke, maybe it wasn’t, and if it wasn’t and she actually liked a girl, she can never come out to her parents and friends because of the bias that took place against her.
It is not easy to live with complete strangers in an alienated environment and a new city. It’s only been a month since our session has started and we are still learning to adjust in a room with three other roommates. Whilst this process of getting used to hostel environment, there are chances that she might have ended up doing certain things that jeopardised her relationship with her roommates. This must have happened because they all belong to different background.
But instead of understanding all these factors the warden and the fellow hostellers turned hostile towards her. Had it been a co-ed college and a boy had made similar advances, chances are that he would have been warned for his actions and left without a warning because a boy approaching a girl is normal in the eyes of these conventional orthodox people. The direct suspension of this girl without any prior warning or discussion shows the true nature of the ideologies this college holds for people with different sexual orientation.