“There is nothing wrong about being in the closet, and it doesn’t make you any less gay” – Adrija

1. First of all, tell us a little bit about yourself. How do you identify yourself? 

 I am 17 years old . I was born to kolkata and  2013 I shifted to Mumbai and been here ever since. I identify myself to be bisexual , to be more specific androgyn sexual and as for the gender I prefer not having labels but being called a ‘she’ works fine for me . 

2. How did you come to terms with your sexuality and at what age? 

 I guess , it was a long term process for me . It started when I saw the video of Boulevard of broken dreams and i saw Billie Joe Armstrong wear lipstick and eyeliner and I was in awe because that’s the first time  that i consciously remember I saw a man in makeup . They looked pretty good and i thought why don’t men wear makeup . Later on in class 8 , i had this deep desire to be friends with this girl which was weird because I’m really asocial and that just wasn’t who I am . I realize now that she was the first ever girl that i had a crush on. 

Then when i was about fourteen years old , there was this girl who used to sexually assault me and while it felt like my privacy was being violated , I realised that I liked that . Then started the denial period , I  was in denial for like one and a half years until this one girl came along and I came to accept myself and that this who I am . I was sixteen when I came to terms with who I am . 

3. Who is your biggest supporter in your life today and why? 

I don’t discuss my  emotional issues with anyone in my life since people in my life have too much on their plate already but as for inspiration , I turn to Green Day because they introduced me to a world where men wore makeup , where people could oppose authority  and Billie Joe Armstrong (frontman of the band) is bisexual himself . 

4. Have you came out to your parents yet? If yes then please tell what was their reaction? And If no, then why not till now? 

I’m out to my mother , like she is homophobic but she handled it a lot  more calmly than I expected . She thinks it’s just a phrase which will pass and we have this running joke in our family where my family pays me for stuff they don’t want me to do like they don’t want me to smoke so they pay me and so she said jokingly that I will pay this much amount of money . If she is really pissed she would just say that your not geting any of our property if you marry a girl. 

As for my father , I’m not out to him and truth be told I don’t know how he would react . My relation with him is quite distant and I don’t want to come out to him.  

5. As a bisexual, how would you explain your sexual orientation to our readers? 

I think I like opposites , I am attracted to men who are feminine and I’m attracted to girls who are masculine . Also, with men I only crave a physical intimacy but with girls , I want a devoted ,long lasting and fulfilling relations. For a long time , I used to think that this was weird but by interacting with other bisexual people , I’ve realised that this happens to a lot of bisexual people . 

6. How is it like, being a part of the LGBT+ community and living in a country like India, which doesn’t often support people from this community? 

7. What would be your advice to other closeted LGBTQIA+ people who are afraid to come out? 

There is nothing wrong about being in the closet , your safety matters more and it doesn’t make you any less gay, even I am mostly closeted .Not because I’m ashamed but because i believe that people see you in a different light  . Also , If you’re in denial that’s okay too , i just hope that you figure it out fast . And if you ever plan to come out always  test the waters before you come out make gay jokes, call them gay ( as an insult ) see their reaction before coming out , It will say you from unwarranted harassments . 

8. What are your plans for the future? What do you want to do when you graduate?  

My plan for the future is to help the causes of poverty, environment and LGBT+. 

I plan to join a law enforcement agency after I graduate because I watched way too many detective shows as a child and also I believe I could help the society by doing this 

9. According to you, do bisexual women in India receive more criticism than gay men? If yes, then why? 

No, I don’t think so . I don’t a lot of gay men so I’m not in a position to compare. 

10. Please share your top 3 myths about being a bisexual woman that you have encountered in your lives. 

So , like the first one isn’t a myth but the most common thing a guy comments when I come out , they go like “great, now we can stare at girls together” . As for starts , just because I like girls doesn’t mean i like every girl , I have my types and they often don’t match with guy’s tastes .  

 I understand they are trying to be supportive but this exactly the best way to support me rather the conversation then shifts to their preferences and other stuff which I don’t want to hear when I’m coming out to someone 

Second one is that bisexual girls do it turn guys on like if a girl is bisexual then they can do this whole threesome thing with him . I abhor this kind of statements because it a reinforcement of patriarchy 

Third one is that ,bisexuality is 50-50 attraction to men and women. This is not true like take my case , In terms of romance I am not at all interested in boys but in terms of sexual attraction , I do like them .  

11. Can you throw some light to domestic abuse in LGBT community since a lot of people are unaware about it? Have you or anyone you know encountered the same? Please elaborate as much as you can to help others who are facing the same situation.  

A lot many people in the community suffer domestic violence, a lot of the trans folks are prostitutes and violence and sexual abuse is widely prevalent in that domain. As for domestic violence , people belonging to the the community are often denied jobs and many of them are ousted by their families , in those circumstances they are either dependent partially or fully on their partner’s income , these partners often have the upperhand and they can domestically violate their partners and the partners having no means of substatince or support becomes bound to live with the abusive partners. The long term solution to the problem is obviously to create awareness so that trans and gay people are not victims of abuse and do not face problem securing employment . Also, recognising gay unions as legal would also help as it enables the abused partner to file a case under domestic violence act or claim alimony 

12. Have you seen any different in the way Heterosexual Indians treat you after Section 377?  

 I always come out to people whom I know are not homophobic so the way they treated me did not change much but I have seen  straight girls doing romantic stuff and saying  stuff like the effects of decriminalization of section 377 and other homophobic comments. 

13. What are your thoughts on national campaigns such as FSOG? What kind of role do they play in today’s India? 

I think they are quite important until the point being gay is considered to be as natural, Organizations and campaigns are extremely important . They show that being gay is not something wrong and help people experiencing those feeling  accept themselves and come out . As for me , it gives me a sense of hope that their others around me feeling this same thing . 

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