An ally for life!

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Learning about the difference between gender, sex and sexuality has been a long journey for me. Until recently, I struggled with understanding gender and sexual identities, and how they are an expression of someone’s being- likes, dislikes, preferences, thoughts, emotions, and actions.

As an intern at Alliance India, I have been welcomed with open arms in to one of the most inclusive and diverse workspaces. The organisation keeps equality at the heart of its work, and aims to provide a positive environment for everyone irrespective of their gender, sex, class, religion or sexual orientation to the truest extent. I have had the chance to learn and grow through my interaction with people from the LGBTQ community.  Working and learning from people from the trans and gay community, I have come face to face with the harsh realities of life. I have realised the importance of ‘live and let live’- to allow people the way they are and vice versa. My journey towards acceptance is only enriched with the numerous coffee breaks, informal conversations in cubicles and playful banter that we share- as an ally and community member. The continuous cycle of learning as an ally through self- reflection and observation help me educate my friends and family members as well.

Being an ally of the LGBTQ community was never a conscious effort or decision for me. My belief that all of us are equal and same was reaffirmed once I decided to look beyond any barriers that were created by gender and sexuality. The choice is always up to us; to choose to look or choose not to look beyond an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

In simple words, an ally of the LGBTQ+ community is a person who supports equal rights across genders, LGBTQ social movements, and challenges homophobia, transphobia and biphobia in any form and at any platform. I am proud to be an ally and I say with pride #NOGOINGBACK #Scrap377

Aishwarya Mall is a communications intern working at Alliance India.

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