It’s January, 2019 and we walk hand in hand in a crowded street in Kolkata. He’s late. And it’s time I make a choice. We’re both boys, you see.
In the Nightingale, Kristin Hannah says – If I have learned anything in this long life of mine, it is this: in love we find out who we want to be; in war we find out who we are.
I’m alright, stuck between choice and chance; between knowing how we can’t be and hoping that this night won’t leave, taking you with it. What do you do with this love? Where do we hide it? Where do we hide it for them not to see through? Almost pushing through me is the indomitable need to go all in, take all my cards and throw them at the dealer, wear my heart on my fluttering sleeve and wait for love or death, whichever comes first.
We’ve been walking for an hour now, and if we trace back, you’ll find a hundred eyes questioning our hand to hand gesture. Some smile, because they’re proud of the stance and they want us to know. But there’s always a darker side, isn’t there? Some look at us, as if we’re checkmate, and that leaves me second guessing, as to what they’re going to do next. Point me out to the other pawns in the crowd? Glare after glare after glare after glare. It turns everybody on the road into an enemy.
I remember the day distinctly. The broad daylight. The colors. The migraine pills I took. The drowsiness. The pain, fading away. Waking up on side of the street to unbuttoned pants and unzipped jackets and untouched emotions running haywire. It hurts most because I wasn’t deemed important enough to have consent. I wasn’t deemed human.
What is it that they’re so proud of? Is it that they could sneak into my insides? To see if homosexuality really exists? Does that make them more powerful? I wish they could trade their cowardice for a spine.
I wonder how we regret so bitterly the decisions we never even got to make.
We’ve been taught, drawing Straight lines, sprinting in Straight lines, thinking in Straight lines, and when the bell rings, its no wonder we want to Straighten out all the things that tend to curve or bend.
I may sound really angry, but I’m just torn, because in the midst of this and that, there’s one person I need to look at in the broad daylight because I’m tired of looking at it in the dark when no one’s staring. I should be holding a hand, and I’m holding shame instead.
We shout. We howl. We cry. We pray. For inclusive laws. But how do we make rules for changing their minds? “Not everyone supports the LGBTQ, and we need to respect their opinion too.” An opinion is whether or not pineapple belongs to pizza. When you invalidate someone’s gender, mistreat same sex couples or fight against inclusive policies, its oppression. Big Difference.
This Article has been contributed by Srishti Ray who is a student at National Law University and Judicial Academy, Assam.