Posted by Sasha Ranganath
I’m 17 years old, and I started my coming out journey at 15. There wasn’t a particular moment of realisation that I was queer, but looking back, I always had an attraction towards girls and thought it was normal, and that everyone experienced that regardless of gender. And of course, I was wrong! So I decided to join an LGBTQ account on Instagram to get a better understanding of the queer world and gradually I got on to exploring my gender identity. I went through a whole whirlwind of changes and questions, and I now identify as just genderqueer.
I came out to some friends at school in the 9th grade and I am so grateful that not a single one of them has ever turned their back on me for this reason. Although using the right pronoun “they” for me has always been a task for them, I still am thankful. I came out to my parents after that, and they just laughed it off and said it was a phase, and I wasn’t expecting anything else, to be honest! In November 2016, I was at an open mic, and I decided to get it recorded, and I came out to the watching world. And my family saw the video and I am one of the luckiest people on earth because all of them wholeheartedly have supported me. I have never really had an issue with being discriminated because of my identity, but I have seen so many friends and strangers alike going through hell for it. I really want to put in a helping hand, but I lack the resources or information as to how to go about that.
In December 2016, I realised I had feelings for one of my friends that I had met online. She lives in Sweden, and I live here in India, so I really didn’t expect much to happen. But I decided to bite the bullet and tell her, and to my utter surprise, she said she felt the same way. And today although we aren’t exclusive, we have something beautiful between us and we try to stay optimistic about the future. I think my life has been a constant ride through wonderland, and I will never take that for granted.
In the near future, I hope to take an active part in identifying and solving LGBTQ issues, even if it isn’t on such a large scale as Section 377. I can’t change the world on the big stage, but I can change the world of someone standing in the crowd.
Sasha is a 17-year-old with a passion for poetry and performance. They aspire to work beyond borders to get people the rights they deserve with a ‘go big or go home’ attitude and no compromises. You can follow them on Twitter @SashaRanganath.