When I started dating someone who was born in the 1970s, I realised what being a millennial in a lesbian reality meant.
I have always taken my status as a woman to mean Wonder Woman. Always. I could never tolerate hypocrisy between the genders. I fought tooth and nail to be ‘free’ with my parents and this reflected in my outlook towards relationships.
A millennial Tam-Brahm in my eyes is well educated, trusted and free, well, freer. Although orthodox thoughts followed me, my educated parents have always given me the freedom of expression, as a small-town tomboy, as a mechanical engineer and as an intellectually and financially independent woman. Besides concerns for safety, all my decisions and arguments were accepted with near rationality. My mother often said God swaped genders between me and my brother. And so, gender expression was considered a choice.
And heterosexuality the biggest presumption.
Though not a fan of the institution of marriage, my mother has always suggested I find a ‘vegetarian guy’ to be my partner. And in some ways, I thought so too, expecting to suddenly discover a guy and fall head over heels for him. Someday.
But now in my twenty-second year, no boyfriends and no male crushes, and the sudden realisation—I love women!
I get flashes of my first crush in school, appreciating the fair and lovely beauties more. Buddha must have felt the same that day under the Bodhi tree.
Through the difficult acceptance phase, I saw this colourful world through disillusioned lenses, ready to poke and prod my new truths (note the plural). Newly introduced to the concept of polyamory, I started seeing it as a fascinating and ‘possible’ way of life.
The most radical view, though, was that of how I saw heterosexuality. I have truly empathetic and knowledgeable friends who have been protective, supportive and knew more about lesbian sex than I did. This, I realised, was the big part that was missing from the life of an LGBTQ person a decade ago, especially those in small towns. This has been a life gifting attitude. All the love I have received has led to two important appreciations
1. Being a lesbian is a ‘part’ of the whole me. I need to grow as a person in all ways. Believe it or not, this is a difficult ‘Eureka!’ to reach.
2. To show empathy and acceptance towards every person I meet. Kindness towards others is the biggest necessity of life!
My best friend has been my peephole, in a good way, into the world where lesbians lived happily, openly. This gives me a warm fuzzy feeling, hope for happiness.
The stark difference in outlooks I saw everyday led me to believe that I was extremely lucky to be born later not sooner!
My girlfriend had quite a different experience altogether. Orthodox households, blatant homophobia and very little initial acceptance can have a deep impact on a person’s psyche. I am very aware of how our realities are different, and how our views on relationships too.
And now, although the Supreme Court has decriminalised homosexuality, there is still a long fight ahead for equal familial rights, women’s rights, the dilution of the patriarchy, and the awareness of the gender and sexuality spectra.
Shruthi is an engineer of the nuts and bolts kind, a very vocal feminist and a music enthusiast.
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