*Tanika,19, is a student in Delhi.
So here’s how it went:
I: ‘So um...I like somebody’.
S: ‘WHAT OH MY GOD! Is it someone I know’?
I: ‘Actually yes. Yes it is’.
S: ‘From our school’?
S: ‘Ummm, but I don’t know anyone from any other boys school’.
I: ‘Uh I never said it was a boy’.
S: ‘Ahhhh of course. (pauses and thinks) But that doesn’t help me the slightest. We know a thousand girls in common’. (laughs) Though I have a feeling I know who it is’.
I: ‘Yeah? I mean it’s not that difficult to guess’.
S: ‘Is it her’? (she points to a place I commonly sat while talking to ‘that’ girl)
I: ‘Yeah. Yeah it is’.
S: ‘I should have guessed! I’m so happy for you! Are you going to tell her’?
I: ‘Maybe? I don’t know’.
S: ‘I think you should. And if it works out, then THAT'S GREAT! And if it doesn’t, it’s okay! You’ll find someone to make you happy’.
I: ‘You don't think it’s a problem? That I like a girl’?
S: ‘Listen, if it’s what your heart is telling you, then I fully support it. And regardless of who you like, you’re still the girl I became friends with and that’s not going to change. Okay’?
I: (smiling) ‘Okay’.
This was a few years ago but everytime time I think of it, it leaves a smile on my face. Sumati was the first person I ‘came out to’. And her response made it so much easier for me to explore my feelings going forward. Today I am dating a dude. I am a bisexual. Love is love and just like time, it transcends genders.
To protect the identity, persons in the picture are models and names have been changed.
*Tanika shared her story with Love Matters India for our campaign #AgarTumSaathHo - celebrating Support, Acceptance and Allyship at the International Pride Month 2019. Through the month, we will publish stories of support, acceptance, love, and respect that members of the LGBTQ community have given and/or received from friends, colleagues, parents, teachers, partners or society at large.