*Sagarika,19, is a student in Delhi. She is bisexual and is ‘extremely proud to be a member of the LGBTQ+ community’.
Sanah and I both realised that we liked each other when we were in the tenth grade at boarding school. I still remember that day very clearly.
We were walking out of the school gates to go home on a week-long vacation. Before I could tell her I'd miss her presence, she very casually told me that she likes me. She also added that she may be bisexual and that she had feelings for me.
I told her I liked her too. Later that night, we took our relationship to the next level – I called her my girlfriend and she called me hers. I remember the feeling it brought – the tickling in my tummy and the smile each time my phone buzzed.
Scared to lose her
Everything seemed alright until I started thinking about the challenges I was going to face – the biggest one – my family. Who would tell them that I had feelings for a girl? So I continued to hide my relationship with Sanah from my parents.
Sanah and I came closer over the next two years and then it was time to leave the school. I was scared to lose her. She promised that she would try her best to get admission in the same city.
But who had seen the future?
Back home, I missed her terribly – our long walks, our discussions and all the masti. I confessed my feelings for Sanah to my aunt – who was very close to me. She suggested I made my parents aware.
Something so ‘normal’
I couldn’t sleep all night. I had so many thoughts on my mind.
Would my parents support me or would they drag me to a psychiatrist? Would I be asked in sarcastic tones how I intended to have children with a girl?
I was scared. I hadn't felt fear that intense ever in my life.
The very next morning, my conversation with my parents opened in a pool of tears. It took me an hour to form the words while my parents sat very patiently and waited. I told them I liked a girl.
They looked at me as if I was nuts.
It was funny how I almost passed out in fear of their disapproval before I realised that the only reason they looked at me like that was that they were surprised at how I had cried over something so ‘normal’.
My father held me tight that day and told me how it's all okay. My mother jokingly told me how she'd love to meet her new daughter-in-law. It felt so perfect to be surrounded by so much love. My father even said he'd gladly sponsor me if I ever wanted to be part of the Pride parade.
That day, I realised what empowerment felt like. It is absolutely beautiful to know that you have people who believe in your cause. Even though my girlfriend and I didn't turn out to be right for each other, I'm utterly thankful to my parents for accepting me as I am.
Sagarika 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.
To protect the identity, names have been changed and the person in the picture is a model.
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