I am tired of being told my struggle doesn’t count, or that in fact it isn’t a struggle at all. I am tired of being told that I may be different, but not nearly different enough for it to mean anything. I hate being rejected from one community of people for not being as far separated from the other, to belong with them. I am a 19-year-old cis gender girl (or at least that’s the amount of self exploration I have achieved thus far) and these are the confessions of a bisexual woman.
I was once told by a closeted gay, that I couldn’t possibly understand what she was going through because I had the best of both worlds. I have been told by several guys that I am a turn on for them, reduced to an erotic fantasy. I have been told by a straight woman that she wishes she were bisexual because that widens my dating pool by double, well as the popular joke goes, 2 times zero is still zero! I know to most of you that are reading this, none of what I’ve said so far seems like a real problem, and let me clarify right away that my sexuality, definitely isn’t a problem. I’ll admit that I have had it relatively easy, considering that I always knew that this would be a non-starter for any family whose opinion mattered to me.
I always knew that the few friends I had wouldn’t even blink an eye at this identity development. I know that I have never had a problem with this part of my identity, and that I am only glad that I have managed to discover something about myself that I can claim as true without a doubt. However, the LGBTQ+ community is often segmented by the very letters that compose it, and that’s what is disturbing.
The LGBTQ+ Community is supposed to be a tag, a label, and an identifier of empowerment. It’s a means of taking out the negative identification from not being straight, which has long been a societal norm, especially in India. Pride parades have recently taken place over various metropolitan cities in India, and it is a great show of solidarity and support for the LGBTQ+ Community.
However in reality support is rarely all pervasive, even within the community. For example, although transgender men in India are associated with some sort of godliness, they’re ostracised in society to the extent that they have to take to the streets exchanging money for blessings, because no office would employ them. This community is rarely ever a part of the urban LGBTQ+ Community which is directly a result of their socio-economic status and nothing more. On the other hand, another example of otherisation within the Community is that of bisexuals from gays.
Bisexuals are often considered to be privileged within the Community, and the reason that this is highly disturbing, is that people within the community know better than most what it is like to be separated on the basis of ones sexuality! People that have fluid genders, or aren’t cis gender, are sometimes included and other times excluded from this Community, which is again problematic since the entire point of the Community was to be an empowering mechanism, for EVERYONE that finds themselves differentiated from society for not fitting the sexual and gendered norms.
This otherisation is increasingly being recognised among the urban youth on social media, with the popularisation of memes such as ‘what do you thing the B in the LGBTQ+ stands for?’ however there definitely is a long way to go in this respect. Socio-economic differentiation is a massive problem, since the Community when restricted to urban well to do populace is necessarily exclusive of those that are ‘different’ in far more extreme circumstances. It is up to the proponents and participants of the LGBTQ+ Community in India to be conscious of this and actively include people who aren’t otherwise included anywhere!
It’s time we who have it relatively easy to be different stop shouting slogans for things that don’t immediately affect us, but do everything in our power in taking action that will immediately impact millions; BE INCLUSIVE.