Lesbian couple
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Living as an independent genderqueer lesbian in India

By Roli Mahajan Friday, April 21, 2017 - 11:54
How does it feel to grow up as a genderqueer butch lesbian in India? This week, we share a personal account of a writer from Delhi who’s lost hope in finding true love…

Geraldine Miranda (name changed) is a 34-year-old writer and editor living in New Delhi.

Finally an adult

Being an Anglo-Indian-Burmese, I have a rather disjointed cultural history. To make matters more complicated, I am also a genderqueer butch lesbian.

Some of my childhood experiences were not very easy. I was always singled out in school and college because they would always confuse my gender. I was poked fun at, punched and slapped in public, belittled and even sexually harassed.

I did not know terms like genderqueer or butch existed when I was small. Although, lesbian was used commonly but always to offend someone. I was naïve and believed that I would find love and fix everything when I grow up.

Kissing my piano teacher

I started dating a girl for the first time in college. She had an intense sense of guilt when we made out but it was my first love. I really thought I wanted to marry her. One year after our break up, my father caught me kissing my piano teacher.

I thought that was the end. I told myself that I was going to be thrown out of my home and college. I was afraid because I was only eighteen.

I was raised by my father. My parents were separated when I was very young. I was loved very much. The day my father caught me kissing another woman, I cried my heart out. I thought I was ‘failing him’. To my surprise, he was very sympathetic. He hugged me and said, “God made you the way you are, so how can it be wrong?”

Better to worse

As time passed by and my father got older, he got a little anxious and worried about me. “How will you cope? It’s so lonely out there? What will you do when I am gone?” These were his constant questions for me. I didn’t have an answer so I avoided them most of the times.

Finally, he got irritated and said, “You have really disappointed me.” His words hurt me the most. I could not blame him though — by now I had been through four relationships. I was nowhere close to finding love and emotional stability. Simply because none of them seemed to stick around long enough.

Lost love and hope

It did not matter to him that I am an independent person writing for a leading newspaper and living on my own in a major metropolitan city. My father was disappointed because I would not get married, have children and more importantly find true love. What does it mean anyway?

I have been pretty much alone after my father died. It is hard being gay, lesbian, bisexual (Yes, I have tried it with men too and found it not quite my thing) or transgender. You can never be yourself.  I find it hard to come home alone to my memories of lost love and relationships that could not work out.

I do not care anymore if people turn around for a second look on the streets or if they often mix up my gender in bathrooms, female dormitories or ladies seats on public transport. Yes, the road is marked with thorns, but I trudge on. I am sure I’ll find love. I am trying hard to be cynical about it, but somewhere I am failing hopelessly.

To protect the privacy of the author, the people in the photo are models.

Have you been in a similar situation? Share your story with us. You can comment, go on Facebook or visit our discussion forum

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