Palak and Rutesha met each other for the first time in their high school, in Australia. They were both 17 when they kissed for the first time. And that’s when this realisation hit – they’re both into girls.
Rutesha and Palak shared their journey of self discovery and love, with FSOG this week. Dive in – to also understand what it means to live as a desi lesbian couple, in a country like Australia.
They were both classmates:
The first time we met each other was in school. Palak had recently joined the school and we were in the same class. I remember seeing Palak walk in the assembly hall, with her best friend who also joined the same school. My first thought was wow she is so beautiful but I never thought anything more of it.
She is a swimmer and there were a lot of people talking about how good she is, so my friend wanted me to go upto Palak and ask her timing. Palak says I came across as rude and snarky because of my expression but I don’t agree. I later helped Palak choose subjects for her class as well.
The first date:
The first time we went on a date was when we were in high school. We lived in a boarding school. It was really hard to get out and go anywhere near civilisation. It was also hard to get any junk food from outside the school inside.
So for mine and Palak’s first Valentine’s day together, our friends set us up a date in our room with our favourite cup noodles, chocolates, nice music and pringles.
Since we both lived in different states in India, it was hard for us to meet during vacations. We missed each other a lot; and they weren’t things physical things like kissing each other. 8 months into this and Palak finally called me her girlfriend and said I love you!
Australian queer life:
There is homophobia here like there is anywhere else, but at least homophobia is regarded as a bad thing not homosexuality. There is more stigma against gay men rather than lesbians. But it is very very rare and does not crop up in daily life.
One thing that’s really annoying is how sexualised lesbians are. A lot of men we meet ask us for a threesome and it’s a little offending because they obviously wouldn’t do that to a straight couple.
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Palak was actually bullied by me when she had just arrived to the school; but the bullying wasn’t instigated due to her sexuality. Both of us have had negative experiences with people discovering about our sexuality. We have been outed to friends and students in the school without our permission or choice.
And we’ve also been through a lot of rumours that especially spoilt our last year of high school. We have also had the statement- “I am fine with your sexuality just don’t try to kiss me” told to us when coming out to friends.
Community life outside India:
India just recently legalised same sex relations and has yet to legalise same sex marriage. There is still a lot of stigma around the community and people are getting accustomed to the idea.
Considering this, other nations are definitely more open minded about it because change in their country for our community happened earlier.
For the youngsters who are willing to come out:
Our advice would be to be smart about it and not take unnecessary risks. Evaluate the environment around you before you come out because that is something you can never really take back. We know that you want to talk to someone about it but; if you are in a homophobic environment, it’s best to keep it under wraps till you are in a safer environment. And once you are in a safe and loving place, don’t be afraid to let the gayness freaking SHINE!
Platforms like Fifty Shades Of Gay are literally life-savers. Young queer people who are unsure of themselves and are going through difficult times in their lives can feel loved, accepted and feel like they belong simply by scrolling through their IG feed. The best part is that you get to talk to people going through the same thing as you do, and that really validates your feelings.
We were in a boarding school which did not allow mobile phones or anything and was super-homophobic. We would have given anything at that time to find a community like this.
Head to Rutesha and Palak’s YouTube channel for more videos that will make you go ‘awww’ and laugh your ass off at the same time!