“Until class 10, I wasn’t aware of the concept of men having attraction towards other men. I used to play with dolls, and most of my friends were girls. The name ‘chakka’ was thrown at me relentlessly, implying that I acted like a girl. I was a confused individual, struggling to live as a straight person. I even had a girlfriend. Even now, my biggest challenge is pretending to be someone I’m not. I learned about the LGBTQ+ community from a guy I met online. But I haven’t come out to my parents yet. My mother sometimes jokingly says I’ll bring home a husband. I know that my family questions my sexuality, but they’ve never voiced out their thoughts.

Even though I knew I wasn’t alone in this battle, accepting myself openly was still tricky. I want to be myself, but the thought of not being accepted by society, or worse, my family, terrifies me. One time, some people said really harsh things to me, and I resorted to self-harm. My cousin helped me through it and told me that I shouldn’t let the world decide what kind of a person I am. She saved me from almost taking my own life. I still get a lot of rude comments from people. I often spend time at home crying. I hardly like to go out because of all the discrimination I face.

A few months ago, I saw a YouTube video called QueerTalks. Watching that motivated me to open up about my sexuality and emotions. I felt proud watching fellow queer people coming out openly and with pride. Doing such interviews and providing platforms is the best solution for people like me who struggle with confidence. Our society needs to learn about respect regardless of gender or sexuality.

I currently live with my sister and brother-in-law. I’ve worked as a DJ, a dancer, and a lab assistant. I had to leave all these jobs for some reason and am now helping my parents run their business. My only wish right now is to be able to be who I am and come out to my family and the society so that I can live a free and unpretentious life.”

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