In a crooked little hill town, the topic of sexuality was something we could not explicitly discuss. We were ignorant little fifteen year old teenagers, obsessing about boys from the enemy school. For us homosexuals were all men, trans-genders were ‘chakkas’ and bisexuals were indecisive. “You are so gay” was supposed to be an insult until someone in a P.T class retorted “Yeah, I am. So what?” Of course that someone was sent to Sister Principal and her parents were called.
Sexuality was not taught to us
We did not have a Professor Trelawney who asked us to “broaden your horizon”.
‘All about Boys’ stage became ‘All about Men’ stage. A significant amount of time was spent in secretly making of men who wore pink shirts and girls who walked in a “funny way”. Maybe she likes girls, maybe she likes boys. Maybe she likes both. “Funny way” implied being more comfortable in shirt and trousers rather than skirt and fancy top. The word “boyish” was used too often. And wonderfully enough, I was attracted to them in a manner that I did not think was sexual. As it is, I had deemed the bisexuals as indecisive, horny people who wanted to have it all.
Bisexuality was something of an offensive term to me
I had an over attachment to one my best friends in school but I thought it was friendly. We would play out parts where she would be the boy and I would be the girl. It is only in retrospection that I realised there might have been something more-than-friendly feelings for her. I got jealous when people hung out with her too often or she would sit beside someone else until I got to the classroom. All this feelings while I had a thing going on with a boy who went to the same tuition class.
You know how some homosexuals are homophobic? I was one of them. It would be too far to say I was homophobic but even though I understood the validity of man loving a man or a woman loving a woman, I could not wrap my head around the fact that someone could be attracted to both men and women.
Times changed. Fast forward a few straight school years after, I met a gay person who offered me a cigarette. He was a senior in college. Speculations had been that he was gay. He was not wearing a pink top, he did not talk with theatrical hand gestures and he did not change his shoes every day. He was a regular Karan or Arjun, so unlike what Mr. Johar had so vibrantly projected in the movies all these years. This senior of mine who I had a crush on was gay. Simply fascinating. I got remarks like “Oh my God. He is gay. Why do you have a crush on him?” Weird enough I was flabbergasted. It was only months after I could muster a reply “So I am supposed to check a guy’s sexuality before crushing on him?” to which I got a few raised brows as an answer.
Within the next year, I had successfully dated one of my crush’s friends. Then came the whole fiesta of dating men. Some were passionate in their affairs, some wanted to cop a feel only. Needless to say, my romantic endeavours ended with me losing feelings for them and being termed as a “bitch”.
It was in my university days that I fell for a woman
Though from a different department, we met through mutual friends and after a while, she started giving me hints about liking me. I went with the flow and I spent a starry night sipping wine and making out with a woman for the first time. I liked it. I have heard men say that women have the softest lips but I thought it was something they said to get laid. That day I learnt the softness of a woman’s lips.
When I told my best friend about my hanky-panky with a woman, she exclaimed that I had always been bisexual. Not once had she mentioned that to me but I did not mind being called one. Things proceeded with my girl-friend quite well. Some of my ex boy-friends (who stayed in touch with me) told me it was “just a phase”. When I finally came out to my friend about being a bisexual, she rolled her eyes, pointing out my relationship was based on sexual urges and that I cannot be a bisexual and that the fate of this relationship would not exceed more than six months.
Fast forward again, one and a half years later, I am still in a monogamous relationship with a woman – no indecision there and love knows no gender. The sex is so much better than the ones I had with men and there is no unnecessary jealousy or the occasional outbreak of testosterone.
I check out men and women too, on special occasions. I have come a long way from a girl who used gay as an insult to someone who is bisexual and proud.