My name is Ava Mary Pie. I realised I was queer when I was 14, my best friend helped me come to terms with it. I realised I had feelings for girls the way she had feelings for guys and that it wasn’t just friendly crushes. There was something more in my heart for them. I came out to most friends then, and to my mom at 15. She said she just wanted me to be happy. I came out to my dad in 2018 and he too had a similar reaction. I started questioning my gender identity when I was in a relationship with a straight trans man who said there was no way I could be anything but cis because of how feminine I am, as he didn’t want to date someone who didn’t completely identify as a woman.
I realised I am non binary, but that I identify as a woman along with that, a few months ago and I’m still figuring out this whole gender thing and in regards to what I want and transitioning and all of that. My mother knows, she’s supportive even though she may not fully get it. I am still feminine presenting, but I did shave off my hair twice and now I’m sporting a more masc haircut, but I do plan to grow it out and dye it. And then cut it or shave it again someday.
My experience in India as a queer person has been that of immense privilege and luck. I was surrounded by friends and family that were tolerant, if not understanding and accepting and my parents are the kind who love me for who I am and don’t dictate my aesthetic choices. I am currently in the process of legally changing my name from my deadname, because I want my name to reflect my unique identity, separate from my family and from my past.
My advice to baby queers in India would be that it’s okay to not have everything figured out and it’s okay to be a late bloomer. There’s no window you’ll miss for reaching some romantic or sexual milestone. Let your life’s course be yours, it doesn’t have to be like anybody else’s. And stay loud, stay proud, drown the queerphobic noise out.