Posted by Vihaan
I was not sure about my plans. I was not sure what I was going to do. I was confused. Due to the continuous pressure of marriage from my family, I was unstable and not clear about my thoughts.
As a trans man, I was finally at a stage where had I decided to come out to my family due to all such pressure. I decided to leave Bombay. One of the reasons behind it was fear. Fear of life, fear of parents, fear of death, fear of being killed. I decided to come to Delhi. I currently had no job. There was no money in my pocket. I didn’t even have a bank account. Empty-handed with empty pockets, I just packed my bags with my clothes and some books and I left Bombay.
It was 14th April, Ambedkar’s birth anniversary. I celebrated it in the morning and come to the station with one of my Ambedkarite friends. He had come to the station to see me off. On my way to the station, I was still confused about whether or not I should be leaving Bombay. I was confused about whether or not I should come to my friend’s place. I was confused about what I would do once I reached Delhi. My mental health was in a very bad situation. I had to be on medication.
Finally, I reached the station. It was the last 15 minutes for me in Bombay. With the bags in my hand, I was at the station with my friend who had come to drop me. I was confused about whether or not I should ask him to go back. I was thinking of staying in Bombay because I had a job in Gujarat. I was confused if I should just join the job which I got through my campus placement. I had decided on moving to Delhi because I had a support system in Delhi. My chosen mother is in Delhi. My lover had also shifted to Delhi. I was really confused about giving up my job offer. I was worried thinking if what I had considered as my support system would be there for me in my difficult situation or not.
I was aware that my community would not leave me alone but the fear remained—fear of being alone, fear of leaving home, fear of death, fear of being a person who has no one in a new city.
What if I did not get any job opportunities? Who would be with me? I was worried whether this community of friends would be able to help me or not. I had complete trust in them. I had known them for such a long time. I knew they would help me. I was aware that they would not leave me alone but the fear remained—fear of being alone, fear of leaving home, fear of death, fear of being a person who has no one in a new city. It was not even the case that I had some money so I could take some time by relying on it. I cried a lot in the station and messaged my chosen mother, “Pakka Delhi aa jao na?” (You are sure I should come to Delhi). She said, “Yes, please take the train.” Finally, I decided to board the train.
Journey in the train was really confusing and troubling for me. Coming from a Bahujan background I really needed to support my family financially because they had supported me till now, even though they found it difficult to afford my education.
I reached Delhi on the 15th. My mother and my partner had come to pick me up. I soon reached my mother’s place. From the very next day, I started looking for a job. Within 3 days I got 2 jobs in Delhi. I was so lucky that I had the choice to decide where I would work. I was privileged due to my education. Then soon after, I joined one of the jobs.
moving to a new city was possible due to community support I received—for which I call them my alternate family. This alternate family played a very big and important role in my life.
I spent one month at my mother’s house. In this one month, I came out to my parents which were a really difficult task for me. I was worried about them. I was worried about myself. I kept having panic attacks and was not able to manage myself. But I kept showing that I was strong enough to deal with it.
Coming out was the most difficult task for me. I was worried that my parents would try to take drastic steps to find me and perhaps even harm me. We had decided to inform the police about my situation. Informing the special cell of the police about my parents and writing to my university to not give my degree to my parents was really difficult. Not going for my convocation, cutting off from several of my older friends, changing my old contact number and deleting my facebook account were all very difficult for me. I knew I was losing a lot of friends who I had known for many years. I was losing a lot of relationships, losing all the things which were important for me.
I was running away from home. This running away included losing many things. But I gained many new things in the process. There were a lot of people who supported me to be in a new city. To deal with my mental health situation, Blue Dawn sponsored my counselling sessions. To have a shelter in the new city, Maa gave me a home. While dealing with my mental health and all other personal issues, my organisation allowed me to make mistakes and work freely. While dealing with all the difficulties and critical things my partner supported me financially and emotionally. I can’t imagine surviving in the city without them.
Also read: My Pursuit Of Finding My Home As A Trans Man
Moving to a new city was possible due to community support I received—for which I call them my alternate family. This alternate family played a very big and important role in my life. I was really privileged to have such a support system around me. Some of my friends and professors from Mumbai helped me by constantly being there for me, advising me and reaching out to me at all times of the day. I will never be able to thank them enough. This journey of social transition and leaving home at the same time was very difficult. But this experience has given me a lot of strength and showed me that people who really love me will be there for me in any situation.
Vihaan is an Ambedkarite Queer feminist trans man.
Featured Image Source: Rough Guides