Know Your AIQA – Mansher

Hi! I’m Mansher and I’m a student at CHRIST, Bengaluru, studying a triple major BA degree (Psychology, Sociology, English Literature). I identify as a homo-demisexual man, my pronouns being he/him. 

Having come out almost 2 years ago to my family and friends, it’s been a very liberating experience. It’s a pretty cliché statement but truly when people are supportive or even if not supportive but just not radically against your reality – it feels like this huge burden that you were carrying due to which you weren’t able to breathe fully (Simon reference) has been lifted. And it’s never easy, I’ve cried in shame when saying I’m gay for the first time. Today, I say it out loud and sometimes still I find saying it uncomfortable. 

One thing I’ve learnt is coming out is not a one-time thing, I come out almost everyday and the queer movement is much like that. We can celebrate the SC Judgement but we can’t stop there, we can’t be satisfied with breadcrumbs. 

Mansher at a protest against TG BILL 2019

As someone who has evolved from an apolitical, privileged cis man to a political, privileged cis man- the movement can’t be confined to one marginalized group. MLK had said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”, and in the same spirit – AIQA’s feminist, socialist, ambedkarite ideology is what I believe is the right way forward for an intersectional movement for queer rights. Queer liberation is not just for the rich, the cisgender, the White, the Savarna, and so on, it is a movement of ALL queer individuals. 

I guess my message would be to just be compassionate – towards others as well as towards yourself. Understanding oneself can be extremely confusing and often you’ll not find rigid answers. Be okay with uncertainty, be okay with confusion. Basically, be okay with everything you feel. You’re valid! Your feelings are valid! Feel the way you feel, don’t ascribe to labels if it suffocates you, or ascribe to them if they comfort you. To sum it up I’ll quote from one of Kacey Musgraves’ songs, “Just follow your arrow, wherever it points”.