Published: 28th June 2021
Turning the tide with pride: All your questions about the queer community answered
This Pride Month, we at Edex answer all your questions about the queer community. There's a lot you can learn about them. Read more to find out
This is the 51st year after the first Pride March happened in June 1970, a watershed moment for LGBTQIA+ communities. Adarsh Basavaraj takes questions from students about the queer community and talks about inclusivity.
Why do you use the phrase LGBTQIA+ communities (and not singular)?
It's not possible to generalise or refer to the entire community as one community simply because there exists a community inside this large community, each of which have their own definition and unique characteristics.
Is there a good website/app where someone facing trouble with understanding their identity can turn to for help?
My personal suggestion would be to meet a psychologist and take counselling sessions on how to handle the process of coming out to your family or how to keep it under wraps until you're in a position to do so. I say this as we're yet to mature and open our minds to accept the LGBTQIA+ community in our country. Yes, there are many websites run by charities and NGOs which you can approach. Some of those are Nazaria, The BI Collective, Naz Foundation, The Humsafar Trust, Sappho for Equality, Sangama, Good As You and so on.
Do you think we will reach a point where queer folk will be so mainstream that we won't have to look at them differently?
I certainly hope so and wish that it happens soon and you can make it happen by leading the pack. People never expected EVs to become mainstream, today they're picking up the pace almost like a revolution in the sector. The same way, each life is precious and should be respected the same, isn't it? Each individual's preference should be respected.
What is the impact of making fun of one for being effeminate or too butch, when in school?
Simply put, you're making them go through hell, especially if it's during school years. You're scarring them for life as they're still trying to identify themselves and to understand what's happening to them. It's already tough enough as a normal teen and adolescent to pass through those phases of life navigating different challenges, making fun of them isn't just adding fuel to the fire, it's like throwing a grenade into one. The human psychology is that of finding differences that stand out.
Do you think coming out as a transperson will help the individual or society?
The former, I agree with! But the latter isn't that simple. Yes, we crave to be unique, possess something special or find ways to show that we have acquired something that not many others have. But it's mostly materialistic. There's a lot of taboo involved which will take some time for us to educate, sensitise and normalise the different sexual genders and preferences. Once the LGBTQIA+ is mainstream and accepted then comes your thought of being perceived as UNIQUE. Now, it's still in the stages of being considered more of as an OUTCAST, which is what we need to break!
How can I learn more about transpeople and intersex communities?
The best way is to interact without having any prejudice or assumptions about them and I would often interact with transgenders whenever I got the chance. You'll be amazed as to how much they'll appreciate being treated with respect and would love to interact. The best way to go about this for practical experience would be to see if you can volunteer with NGOs working with the community.
What does one go through when coming out as being queer?
The first challenge is the FEAR OF REJECTION from their families and friends. An individual is under immense pressure as it's harrowing to choose whom to tell first, when to tell them, how to tell them, who has their back or is ready to support them, what will happen once they come to know, how to deal with "You're just confused" or "It's just a phase" and so on and make people around understand. The next challenge is the fear of how society will react once it is out in the open. Will I be bullied? Harassed? Assaulted? Coping with the sudden isolation is quite challenging. Finding people to just talk to becomes a big challenge, forget finding ones to rely on.
How can one be more openminded about queer people?
The best way is to first, bust myths and educate people around you. Make them empathise with the community and pursue people to walk in their shoes. Use the concept of casteism, racism and so on which most can relate to and immediately emphasise on how this is a thousand times worse. Make friends within the LGBTQIA+ community and try getting one of the confident ones to join you and meet your straight friends. Let them interact and politely ask questions and clarify their doubts. In most cases, lack of knowledge is what leads to people rejecting something. Once they break the ice, they'll realise that there's nothing different. And to learn about the community in detail and equip yourself with all the knowledge, this edition of Edex should work wonders.