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As A Gay Man In India, Even Today, Why Do I Need To Hide My Identity Every Single Day?

Posted: July 23, 2020

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

Hurt

Alone

Dejected

And lost

Why am I hated so much?

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

Why do you judge me so?

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?

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 labelled criminals?

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?

Who gave you the right to draw all these lines?

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 am scared that I’d lose it all

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 am proud and unapologetic!

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

And I am done!

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 am strong and proud!

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

Why?

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

Thank You

A version of this was earlier published here

Picture credits: Pexels

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Kanav Narayan Sahgal is a post-graduate student at Azim Premji University, Bangalore where he'

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