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Why is your heart so small that you so easily reduce my identity to a joke, an angry reaction on Facebook, a slur on Instagram and abuse on WhatsApp?
Why are we hated so much?
And why am I hated so much?
What is it about me that triggers you so much?
The fact that I, a man, love another man?
Or that I, a woman, love both a man and a woman?
That I, a woman, refuse to live in this body you call a man?
Or, that I, a human, refuse to identify with a fake label that YOU created?
June was Pride Month, a month of joy, celebration, love and hope
Yet, when I look around, I see the exact opposite
I have to hide my identity every single day
And pretend that I am someone else
I have to argue with people that I am “normal” and “natural”
And every single time, I feel alone
I feel misunderstood
I go on Facebook and check my notifications – the “hate reaction” on LGBTQIA+ posts triggers me
And I ask: Why am I hated so much?
What have I done to YOU that makes you hate me?
That makes you hate who I am and who I love?
What I have I done to you that makes you think that I am less of a human?
You think that I am psychotic
That I am not worthy of living
And that I should kill myself
That I am going to Hell
And that I am wrong
But I know, deep inside my heart of hearts, that I am in the right and YOU are in the wrong
Your hatred and bigotry makes me angry
I used to cry, I used to feel afraid, but not anymore
F** the political correctness and f*** the politeness
If your religion says that I am a sinner then it is YOU who needs help, not me
For we are all God’s children and who are you to judge me anyway?
Isn’t that God’s job? Since when did you become his spokesperson?
And if your government calls me a criminal, then I ask you this –
What if you were gay? How would you like to be sent to jail for being yourself?
Where is your empathy, your heart and your soul?
I have begun to lose my trust in people, in governments, in religion and in institutions
How easily you are brainwashed to hate when all you need to do is look at children- the innocence with which they do not judge ANYONE
Children do not understand who is a Hindu, a Muslim, who is Gay, Straight, Black, White, Rich or Poor
They only understand pain, feel love and seek joy- the simple things!
Where did that childlike innocence go when you labelled us criminals, sinners and apostates based on who we love, who we marry and how we identify?
Society says “be yourself, achieve your dreams,” but that is a lie isn’t it – and you know it!
You can be yourself PROVIDED you don’t cross the line. And this is a line that has been arbitrarily drawn by YOU
YOU, who is in a position of power, who sees gender as a binary and sexuality as a singular
By YOU who has no tolerance for diversity and no respect for femininity
YOU who lacks empathy, respect and humanity
And by you who hides behind his so-called “GOD” to justify his bigotry, hatred and violence
I used to pray for you, hoped you get better, that you heal and that you learn to love
But sometimes I feel that praying is not enough
The damage you have done to me is irreversible
I can no longer trust, love and feel the way I used to
Because the closet suffocated me enough
Every time I meet new people, I feel afraid, I am worried and anxious
Will I be judged, will I be hurt, will I be asked to leave?
Will I lose my job, my apartment, my career, because of what I do in my private life?
In what world is this fair? How can this be right? And why is this kind of discrimination NORMAL?
I now go back to what you said.
You said that I am abnormal, but honey, it is YOU that is abnormal
You said that I am unnatural, honey, your HATRED is unnatural
Whatever be the case, I am done hiding, done staying in the closet and done cowering in shame
I am me, I am proud and I am unapologetic
And I will not change. I cannot change. Even if I could, I would not change for any god-damn thing in the world
I want my presence to be painful, to be confusing and to be maddening to you
May YOU question your identity by watching me live my life unapologetically with another man
Try to harm me if you wish, but I am way stronger than you think I am
Call me whatever name you want, I don’t f****** care, because it is YOU who will burn in Hell, not me
If God does exist, God would be kind, compassionate and loving- unlike you
And while I do not believe in God, I know this much: That you are neither his spokesperson nor his representative
So, screw you and your fake morality and fake beliefs, I am done with it
I started this poem by asking the question: why I was hated so much, and I still do not know!
But the one thing I do know is that I am stronger than I was yesterday and will continue to grow stronger with every passing day
You can criticise me, make fun of me, “laugh react” at me, “angry react” at me, but the joke is on you
Because I am not going anywhere. I am a man and I love a man, and I will be that way forever
Today, every day, forever
A version of this was earlier published here
Picture credits: Pexels
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Kanav is, as of June 2021, pursuing his Master's in Development from Azim Premji
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