Pride Month: Pride began as a protest against the system that was oppressive and we must carry it forward

Shikar Singhal writes about growing up different in a hypermasculine space where he was often bullied for being different. He wants the queer community to fight against injustice and homophobia

Representative image (Pallavi)
Representative image (Pallavi)

Shikhar Singhal

I’m 21 years old and I’m doing my graduation in architecture. I identify as queer and as long as I can think, I have always been different. I was an effeminate guy growing up and it didn’t do any good to me because people can be really mean. It has always been difficult, and I’ve always felt like an outcast, an alien trying find his way home, but terribly lost. I’ve been bullied for as long as I can remember, and one can understand how traumatic this could be.

It took me about 5 to 6 years to finally come with terms with my sexuality and it’s been six years now. It’s really hard for queer people to grow up, especially in the Indian scenario because people here are so afraid of change, so afraid of being the black sheep, so afraid of being different. They bully you in hopes that you too will fall into the same toxic patterns that’s been going around for centuries in our system. But guess what! I’ve always been a damn rebel, and it isn’t easy.

It never was and it never will be. From being bullied, to harassed in so many ways, to being depressed and suicidal as far as I can look back, it has never been an easy ride and I’m somewhat glad it wasn’t. But I sure would have loved some company, some friends on the journey. I’ve been a lonely kid all my life, no close friends, no best friend, no one has been there for me when I needed someone to hold on to. Music was there for me when no one else would be there.

I really hope people change and be empathetic because it’s really important and empathy is what most of the people lack. I’m sharing my story so that whoever reads it, finds out they are not alone and that, there are people just like you and me, here, trying to find a way back home. I hope I can help find someone the courage to keep fighting back and to not lose themselves in the process of figuring out who they are. I’m here for you and you’re not alone. For me, being queer have been different at different phases of my life and it’s okay for it being that way. You can define it however you want. It’s your life and your story and you should get to write it how you want.

Since, it’s Pride month, I want to remind you, how it actually started. It was a protest against the system, the brutality, the hatred, the phobia, by trans-women of colour and drag queens. If it weren’t for them, you and me wouldn’t have the freedom we have today. Pride month have been always about fighting for your own rights, and your own life, and it should be that way. It’s time for us to fight for our own rights, and silence has never done us any good, and it wouldn’t any now either.

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