-By Shikhar Singhal
21, Architecture Student, Queer, Artist, Feminist. I’ve always known I’m a very different person from the very start and I discovered I was queer around the age of 5-6 and I didn’t think much into it. Then after many years of internal struggle I think I was 16 years old when I accepted who I was but I still needed to understand myself, which I’m still trying to do. I’m still trying to figure out how do I identify as. I’ve always been an effeminate person and I was bullied for the way I was from a very young age and it affected me lot. Even at home, I had to listen to things that I should man up and I should be trying to be more manly and I figured there was no use talking to my parents about it because they wouldn’t understand me, they never did and never will. I developed an eating disorder and used to self-harm in 2013-2014 and then after I came to Lucknow for my studies I met so many amazing people over here and leaned and explored so much about myself. Even in college, people make fun of me and it just made my anxiety and depression worse. I have no one in my college who can give me emotional support and it sucks. But it’s okay, I’m a strong person and I’ll make it through. I’m still struggling with a lot of things and trying to unlearn all the prejudice and misconceptions I’ve been told and made to believe while growing up.
Why did I choose to be a part of AIQA: Because I believe I can contribute to the queer community and help educate people and grow and become a better person and making a world a better and safe space for women, and queer individuals.