“Witnessing a gay man in a corporate workspace evokes a strange feeling amongst peers, especially if they have to work under me and take orders. The focus is always on my identity, easily overlooking all my achievements.
However, as a child, I was blessed to be born into a household where gender didn’t exist. My sibling and I were treated equally, that only at sixteen, did I realize that some women aren’t allowed to/ provided with an opportunity to pursue a career. Even when I playfully told my mother that I am gay, she didn’t quickly diss my talk or my identity, but instead just reinforced me to focus on my education first.
Unfortunately, things weren’t the same outside. It started with the incessant bullying in school. Since then, I’ve realized that people have always had opinions or implicit biases about members of the queer community- right from how we dress, talk, behave to even how we ‘should’ infact be! It was all this that ignited in me a drive to educate society in a small way.
Initially, I used writing as an outlet to express my thoughts and eventually started working behind the scenes with volunteer groups and other organizations. Soon after, I launched a platform to document queer narratives in the city, alongside an enthusiastic friend. The idea was to not be the voice but be a platform to amplify queer talent. And after exploring different mediums, our passionate team consisting of both straight allies and community members launched India’s first-ever LGBTQ+ LIT fest. Even in my corporate job, I was able to slowly but steadily promote training and awareness programmes about workplace inclusivity.
Now, having done all this, my next big goal to build a community housing facility for the LGBTQ+ clan. With our members, either being patronized or treated with irreverence, I want to spark a conversation wherein the society understands that what we ultimately seek is just acceptance to coexist peacefully without being marginalized! After all, doesn’t everyone deserve the right to live without constantly receiving backlash for being their authentic selves?”
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