Know Your AIQA – Archa Banerjee

Hello everyone! This is Archa. I’m a postgraduate student pursuing Women’s Studies. I love creating and exploring. I’m into singing, songwriting, poetry, abstract art, etc. 
I identify myself as queer. Though, sometimes I label myself as a homo-romantic pansexual woman. My pronouns are she/her.
My journey has been quite unique and I consider myself pretty blessed. I always had mostly female crushes, ranging from celebrities to cartoon characters. I was unaware of the terminologies but I never felt it strange to like someone of my own sex. I remember writing my first lesbian love song when I was 12 years old. When I first fell in love with a woman, I was in 11th standard and I made up my mind to come out to my family. I first came out to my sister as a bisexual. And then to my parents. My sister accepted me immediately while my parents took some time to understand what I was trying to convey. But luckily, they respected my feelings and sexuality saying “We honor true love in every form & we’ll always be happy if you’re happy”. Such an acceptance from Indian parents is least expected but I was on cloud nine for their heartfelt support.

Archa Banerjee

I never fell for a man no matter what, only falling in love with women. So, I labeled myself as a lesbian. But sooner or later, I realized that I should stick to the label queer as sexual fluidity is natural. When I came out to my friends, most of them were happy for me but there were some who ended connections due to my orientation. I faced homophobia but never stopped being out and proud because I believe in myself. Moreover, my family is my pillar of strength. I’ve attended Kolkata Pride Walks & Rainbow Carnivals while pursuing my bachelor’s in Mass Communication. I fell head over heels in love with my senior and we’re still in a very compassionate relationship. She’s the most generous and selfless person I’ve ever known. 
I’ve always wanted to stay attached to the Queer positive organizations to be around other queer folks and work for the betterment of the lives of our LGBTQ+ community. I have many queer acquaintances and there’s much that needs to be done for us. All India Queer Association seemed very promising since I attended their webinars where I learned a lot and hoped for being a part of the extraordinary team. And here I am, now a member of the Creative Community & Study Circle of AIQA. 
I’d like to end my story with some inspiration and advice to my community. You might face horrendous situations but never get depressed; instead, stand out and proud, loving yourself for who you’re till the end of time. Remember, that you’re born this way, unique in your own way & raise that rainbow high as you ride your unicorn continuing your magical queer life! 
Story by @goddessiangaygirl