The Struggle of Embracing Identity- International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia
“I’ve never had an interest in fading into the background and becoming invisible. Let’s start with this powerful quote: ‘I am who I am because I have chosen to be this way; this is my most authentic self. For a large part of my life, I felt as though I was committing a grave sin.'”
Meet Raziya, born male but deeply yearned to express herself through wearing a saree, bindi, and makeup. These desires made Raziya question her identity, as societal pressures and the judgment of those around her reinforced the notion that something was fundamentally wrong. Today, at 35 years old, Raziya reflects on her childhood, marred by depression and thoughts of suicide, all because she felt her true self was a punishable offense—the most natural version of herself was deemed criminal.
However, Raziya’s story is not an isolated incident but rather representative of the experiences of many transgender individuals who navigate a world that fails to accommodate their existence. Sacrificing one’s identity, happiness, and self should never be the price of fitting into a society that is ill-equipped to understand and accept them.
After all, aren’t we all striving for personal happiness, loving relationships, fulfilling careers, and secure lives? Challenges are an inherent part of everyone’s journey, and denying people the freedom to be their authentic selves only exacerbates these difficulties.
In India, cases of bullying and suicide are tragically prevalent among LGBTQ children. Living in constant fear of discovery, grappling with their own identities, and enduring relentless bullying from those around them, they are made to feel ashamed and unacceptable for who they truly are. This persistent struggle to conform to societal norms pushes them deeper into the grips of depression and other severe mental health issues.
As a society, the least we can do is foster kindness, understanding, and compassion towards all individuals and communities. On this International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia, let us come together to create a world where everyone feels comfortable in their own skin, where each person is loved and accepted for who they are, and where we wholeheartedly embrace our differences.
Join us in supporting our various projects that work towards empowering the LGBTQ community by visiting www.endaidsindia.org. To learn more about these projects visit www.allianceindia.org Together, we can make a difference and build a more inclusive world