While others walk on the road I'm pushed aside However I may struggle Can't change my side The road's usurped from us We walk barefoot I'd also drive those motorcars If at all I could They jeer at us, keep us hidden The road we yearn Is so problem ridden Don't segregate us It's unjust Our place we claim Our rage outbursts Let the road be flooded With people our kind Unity in diversity This way, we'll find
Evenings are high on love Morning dawns hushing it out Pulling a veil over our true selves Masked as we dwell All day long... We are made to be creatures of the dark Where curious gazes Don't invade Our sanctity Drinking our tears and love We feel alive at nights ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If poetry was a person It'd be Queer A mix of beauty In irregular mess Like a poet veiling true emotions Under heavy metaphor Of false life And hidden identity The person and the poem Both struggling to come out From inside the closeted diary... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Your smile looks like a crescent moon Your eyes blazing suns There's anger behind your mouth And a sadness in your sigh A hope in your heart And caution in your mind I'll try make a home One that's safe for you to inhabit And your rainbow not an exhibit anymore... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Grace Banu. First transgender woman to become an engineer. She worked seven years as software engineer.
All this seems pretty ordinary for us. Yet when you realise how full of hurdles her path has been and continues to be, is when you appreciate her enormous feat.
She faced brutal discrimination all school life being a dalit child who was going to school unlike most other dalit children. She was not allowed to sit with the other students in the class and asked to arrive and leave earlier than other students so that she doesn't pollute them.
Then she grappled with gender dysphoria and when she confessed the same to her parents they withdrew their support. She left home to live with other trans gender women and though their help continued studies.
She earned 95% marks yet was allotted a private college for engineering. She had no government scholarship or support to study yet with help from some individual charities she continued. Became the first trans engineer and had her SRS too.
She got placed on campus because of exceptionally good performance on her interview. However the job scene was very discriminating, given her dalit queer identity. They paid her less but her work hours were more.
After persisting for 7 yrs in software engineer field, today she is Founder of Trans Rights Now collective. She teaches other trans ppl to help them achieve government jobs to prevent them from begging, dancing and sex work which they often resort to for earning their daily bread.
She raised over 10 lacs during pandemic lockdown for trans ppl and helped over 300 trans ppl and continues the good work.
She adopted her trans daughter and helped her gain seat in medical college. She fought long legal battles to include trans category in admission forms for college.
The queer scene in India has got acceptance very recently, yet I am sad to see the hegemony of upper caste trans ppl like Lakshmi Narayan Tripathi and Trinetra haldar gummaraju there. They bring in their privileged brahminism and do not allow discussion on dalit queer struggle.
According to grace Banu, reservation for trans ppl is the only way to create safe space and opportunity for them to lead a respectful life. I agree with her.
Let's remember this great lady and share her journey of grit and persistence.
You don't have to listen And agree to the gender They assign to you at birth You just know your gender and it's not always the same as your biological sex. so it's a specturm out there and I'm not going to believe you telling me It's a binary Non gender conforming identity Is as valid as the sun in all its finery!
Another norm which is normalised is the hairless beauty While we are close to monkeys! Body hair is natural and I proudly flaunt it If shaving, waxing and doing other stuff Is by choice Then it's fine But if you do so to qualify as beautiful I'm sorry it's a failed life My gender and my body is a heavenly abode For my precious soul and life And I'll let it be as I like!
abeautiful_soul@colourfulgreys oh okay thanks for helping me learn this♥️ HAPPY NEW YEAR Very few convos yet, but deep insights I've earned Colours are filled so well in you, they shine they smile when they be with you. Stay awesome stay the same beautiful lady. Hope this new year brings best to you♥️
jaya___@abeautiful_soul oh my!! Thanks a million darling means a lot your kind and warm wish ♥️♥️ happy New year to you and your family tooo
Living in a bubble You and I In fact not a bubble it is But a prison Made of thick bricks Impenetrable, opaque Around your head Covering your sight Closing your ears And locking your tongue Educated morons Working and ruling A game to impress between Vainglorious you and me Blind faith in superstitious religion Proudly trampling over personal boundaries Abject rejections of one’s identities Plastering standards as normality Blatantly denying sexual violence Gender a construct rigid as iron Trapping love in heterosexual cages High caste rules over subjugated trillions High class apathy to the plights of the ordinary Shaming fat people, hairy people and people with disabilities But we choose to keep mum on homophobia, and workplace atrocities We brush aside rapes, molestations, harassment, bullying as we approve honor killings and arranged marriages leading only to deaths due to dowry All this happens under your privileged, patriarchal nose A daughter is best inside your home A wife domesticized and the queer child murdered or maimed Your kid molested by a relative is fine The kid choosing, as an adult, a sexuality or partner of choice is ostracized If this is what you call a life Then down with it!
I have always had such an admiration for womanhood, and its unfathomable powers. Mostly their brains and also their bodies. I had this deep seated awed admiration for their breasts. Their extreme attraction. The way they amazed me, with the power to feed life, produce food from their own selves. The way a baby sucks them to live, derive its only life source. Their roundedness, their supple moves, the grace and unabashedness, their eternal love.
Long till my adolescence I slept with my mom, close to her chest, and I cannot even with the best of the words available explain the feeling of that closeness, tenderness, safety, gaiety. One woman I admired deeply was my didi, she was my neighbour, 11 years older. Loved me as a little brother, cared for me as her son. I used to spend a lot of my time with her. She was a strong headed teen when I was still four-five, but I always was her secret keeper, friend and recipient of all her motherly affection and sisterly scoldings. I remember the music she listened, her school mates and crushes, and her Agatha Christie's novels. I remember when she used to dress up and do her make up at the dresser. I always used to admire her femininity. Assured and confident, non imposing and open. I used to see her bras, many of them of adorable colors, which she allowed me to see, when I opened up to her.
She was like that. Anyone could tell her anything. I told her once, I remember my agony and dilemma those days, that I recognized myself as a girl. That I want to sway my hair like she does, do my hair on my shoulder like she does. Dress up like her, wear a bra and have the power of femininity. I remember how confused she looked, seeing a 9 year old go on in such misery. But I also remember she didn't rebuke me or not take me seriously. She was not able to comprehend my situation completely but she was sensitive and did not shove my words like the elders. She was accepting and listened. She had asked me, "What do you want to do now Rosh?" And I had said "Di, I want to accept myself as I am, and come out as I am in public and I want to become like you", tearing up in the middle. She had hugged me, and promised me a way to get things done. I will never be able to express the relief I had felt in her arms. Of being understood. It was like I was living in the open for the first time- coming out of an attic of self doubt and suicidal thoughts and bullying and confirmations.
She made me her best girl friend, showing me her girl things, gossiping with me, and allaying my anxiety and watching over me. She was amused by my fixation for breasts and told me that when she was 13 and had started sprouting breasts, she was not such a fan of them... she didn't want them to grow as they made her conscious of what she wore, how she walked and ran. She told me how men had started leering and whistling at her, how she had felt uncomfortable every time her scooty jumped over speed breakers. But all this never came to hinder my love for the most pristine and beautiful creations of God.
When I was 15, and I had fights at home with parents, over my trans choices, I had made up my mind to undergo a sex reassignment surgery done. Be what I am. I remember how the two of us had researched like hell to get the details of the best place to get it done. We have zeroed in on Thailand and laughed and cried our hearts out at the cost of this huge step. Over time, my parents understood and decided to be my side, which is such a privilege.
Turning 18, I was nervous and excited to get my surgery finally when I came to know of her leaving for Canada for her research. She had tried all her might to postpone but it could not be done. We cried that night as it was our dream to see me transform.
Today, it's been a year post-op and an excruciating painful journey of recovery and self discovery, I have been blessed with all I wanted to be. I have breasts (silicon ofc) and till today I can't believe myself with these blessings and haven't met di yet but today i received the gift she sent me ... A La Perla bra (just like hers!) which I had always admired in her wardrobe!
And a note which said that it was I who made her love her feminity in true sense and appreciate the power bestowed in womanhood... I cried bitterly and kissed the note...she helped me make my discordant thoughts into a splendid poem.... And I am happy....
//A poem begins as a process of stripping myself naked and covering myself with figures of speech// ...................................................... Copyright Jaya Harfkaar 19-9-20
A leaf transitions from vivacious green to sombre ochre to an earthy brown- it's life span so short that we can observe it's entire life from blooming to withering... Loving all its phases and taking lessons from the bright young birth to its sublime shedding... Each shade is a phase of a pristine lifetime. Yet some plants don't have leaves. They have thorns ...like the cactus...thorns which are modified leaves to conserve water in the arid conditions in which they grow. And they are no less spectacular. Inspiring to adapt and survive with grit and grace.....
Knowing so much still acting surprised at the amazing variety in humans is idiotic. Imagining a race with only two poles is idiotic. Creating a cis-tem is inhuman in itself. Turning eyes into blind holes of gender binary is preposterous. Yet we do it all the time. Making so many assumptions that reality is non-existent and all is left is artificial intelligence and augmented reality. With no real humans.
Real people do not necessarily confirm to the genders you created. They have a sex and can choose any gender. We should respect us. Our lives are not just outcomes of two people having sex. They have meaning, image, thoughts and prayers. They are created to love, and firstly themselves. Don't snatch our bodies and associated identity for the sake of your boxed games. Sex reassignment surgeries and its excruciating pains, or not doing it and the hideous shame.... Either ways it's trauma for us.
Like leaves of different shades and different forms, humans too are so. Have some decency and courtesy to let people bloom and wither the way they want. And you do your life.
Cries To be Accepted In your world so Impotent to let seeds of my love grow.
Seeing the other's insides I always thought I'd cringe, yet when I did, it seemed so natural, normal and everyday that I was surprised at myself. My sexuality and it's unabashed callings too have amazed and amused me time and again. Seeing you like that, was exciting to me. There were so many things that were a secret to me and in early teens a lot of curiosity made me search for the explanations but Oxford dictionary was too polite to answer. Then alone for the first time in twenties, I was again groping in the dark. But I guess answers to the questions of the body are best answered hands-on... And I thank you for answering my questions and uncovering mysteries that used to cloud my mind. I was naive, I admit and too trusting. And you broke my trust, and now I can never trust again. Yet the moments of love were so eternal, pure and ethereal, that I never gave up on love. And today with answers and a knowledge of my own choices and likes, I feel stronger and empowered. And do not regret you and my quest. To know and love.
You Afraid Of my love Too unholy My purity you labelled as folly. ___________________________________ Copyright Jaya 16-9-2020
Puberty hit and hit hard. Suddenly everything was different. One day I woke up and was destined to be someone else. My body no more the same. And my mind dancing in frenzy. Hairs sprouting in places I had never imagined, and shame sprinting faster than Usain bolt. My sleeveless sports jersey now useless because my armpits were not the same as yesterday. Neither my calves. And what the goddamn hell was there between my legs?! A fuzz and blood. And I thought I would die that freaking second. What's the softness in my chest and my tomboyish frame getting a curves or two!! Was it me or some random witch possessed me and freaking the life out of me? Wearing skirts and shirts at school in that goddamn state...god must be kidding me and way too badly...and what did mom say? "I'll get you a bra darlin" and "oh it's normal, a monthly routine only, darl, don't worry!" Oh please, all this hurricane shaking me head over heels and you saying don't worry...I though moma was optimistic but now I know she is freaking mad!
And now I have new friends: say hi to them- bra, sanitary napkin and razors! Like what in the heavens name! Well the drill started and I hated hairs, all kind of.
And what was this utterly confusing feeling when I see the new admission? A warmness rising in my pale cheeks and my fingers continuously (without any commands from my dazed mind) just keep tucking hair behind my ears at jet speed! Her name ringing in my mind and I stand like a jerk behind her in assembly line. Damn I am flabbergasted. And I hate and avoid them girls now too! I know this is strange that while all other girls are gawking at Justin, I gape at her slender figure.
And I am conscious of my dark skin now too! My entire life I never gave a shit about my complexion, always too busy in my own dreams and plays, but now her fairness itched my eyes and I felt ugly. ____________________________________ All these years I had homophobia, hatred for the brown skin, and disgust for body hair. A boy I remember called me monkey coz my arms had hair and I had a little amount of hair on my upper lips and never got my eyebrows done.
I was suffocating under the stink of all my anger. All this hate towards hair and queer people and dark skin was nothing but a fear of my own self. My own darkness, my hairy body and my lesbian sexuality.
But now I know better. I have not given my poor body and soul a chance. Not loved them back. I have hated myself for too long.
Now I am learning - to be kinder to myself and others, to love myself the way I am, and be happy in being me. This soul now doesn't stink that bad, learning has fragranced it with its cologne. And I am accepting myself more. And that is the way to go and embrace the real me, the ebullient me. ______________________________ Copyright Jaya Tripathi 10-9-2020 Is it fiction? Maybe. Check out posts On my LGBTQIA life at #J_for_lgbtqia
I remember clearly the time when I was a teen and it was my post exams holidays. One day I just had an urge to paint my nails red. Being in a strict school discipline I never did that in school and before this time never even wanted to. But that day I felt like it, on seeing an attractive high end nail paint sitting pretty in the cupboard. So I picked it and painted my nails and still remember how obsessed I got with my own hands, I had painted only my left hand as I couldn't get my left hands to do the painting on the right (oops!) It was considered a normal desire for a teenage girl and I was indulged and I enjoyed it a lot, I admit.
Today when I get to read experiences of so many trans people who were born in male bodies but we're in fact girls and how whenever they wished to do things which have been stereotyped for girls, they were made fun of and harassed and discouraged. It feels traumatic and for them it must have been no less than lived hell. To be wanting to paint nails, a harmless beautiful act, and being denied that and to be tortured for thinking like that, is such a monstrous act.
Humanity is what we all are born as. Gender is a psychological concept. Not the same as sex which is a physical concept.It does not need your validation and is just the way one feels.
I pray and hope that my generation develops into parents who don't impose gender onto their kids and let them be what they want. And dress like they want. And express the way they want.
The universe is unending and we but a scintilla. So let's make it worthy till we last. Amen! ________________________________ We are also human Yet deemed lower Dubious questioning gazes Always on us do hover. A world where I can wear lipstick Without being rebuked Where I don't need a uterus To get my feminity proved Where I can wear a skirt And be a man still Where I ain't called a monkey On not doing the hair removal drill Where I am still deemed beautiful Without arms, legs waxed and upper lip done Where virginity doesn't decide Whether a girl be married or shunned ______________________________ Past A pedagog Maneuerving Your future
//Our imagination flies too but their flight is so short lived, we have to bury them soon// ________________________________ Copyright Jaya Harfkaar 8-9-2020
Working all day without respite Under restrictions strictly tight Unloved by stepsister and stepmother Her world limited to home, no further. Despite all hardships gentle she stayed Diligently worked and every night she prayed. The fairy godmother pleased with her grace for the Kingdom Prince's ball prettied her face. Dressed in glorious drapes and shoes of glass Looked not like a pauper she, but royal class At night she slipped from home First time seeing the world, freely did she roam But had to return before midnight magic would end then and she'll be a poor sight. The prince saw her at the Ball For her grace and beauty he did fall Choosing her over others, he took her aside She was elated and so surprised! Trying to speak, he broke in tears The Prince so brave was full of fears. He asked Cinderella to keep his secret He was a sinner and dying of regret Told her he was a gay and of her incapable In love with a boy working in royal stables. Flabbergasted at the story she heard Heartbroken yet tried to remain unflurred. "It's not a sin, dear Prince! You are so brave to let the truth evince" Promising him to help him get the love of his life She ventured then on to her new strife. The boy at the stable lived next door to hers And for the prince he too had the same emotions. Arranging horses and calling prince to the forest Her talks helped the prince gain courage. He eloped with the man of his choice And Cinderella in joy rejoiced! Yet the gaiety died too soon The couple was caught by guards before noon. Rebuked torturously, the three were hanged till death Because to their society homosexuality was a threat.
//Had to write a different ending to a fairytale. My version this is. How the brave youngsters missed their flight of hope and true love. It's sad. But alas, our reality is sadder.// Copyright Jaya Harfkaar 7-9-2020
I wriggle through tears every time I see my friends and a part of me cry. And commit suicide. Or survive another failed suicide attempt. for the only reason that they can't look like the cis people. That they can't say they are male or female. That transition is a word they refer to in a astronomically different way than you use. That they don't feel that they belong-- to their body and to the society. That they are something and not someone. My body may be of a man. But my soul is a woman. And I can't be anything else. I think of Lily Elbe. Born a man called Eignar Wegener. I think how she was always trapped in a man's body. How she gagged in a suit all her life as a man. And her suppressed only desire to be a mother. How she died in trying to become one. I am effiminate and I can't pretend any more. I am not a man. I am a woman and all of you thinking that I'm not doesn't mean anything to me now. You tell me that I am acting strange and that therapy will cure me. What will you cure me of? I am who I am. And it's not a disease. I like to wear corsets. I can't wear a tie anymore, to please you. To become a part of your parties. To be what I am is above what I look like and what you want me to be. I am. Just me. Not a moon. Not a sun. Just millions of meteors falling together and burning ablaze.
I am a bird fluttering in the sky Suffocating in open air This sky a cage for me An untransferable cage Immutable cage Widely loved, beautiful cage A bird always meant to fly A bird always adorns the sky Yet I gag Lightning ripping my soul Demented, squealing, writhing I fly with my feathers sore The water shining catches my eyes A fish I am escapes my sighs Laughable, devilish, ridiculous My thoughts against the will of nature Hunted by other birds Pecked till I bled and died The world was kind, the world had lied. -- I a Trans woman
//To all preachers of normality Come and see my Blood is red too//
What'd you say? If I told you that I am a gay... You'd surely say that I have gone astray If I tell you that I not straight I know you'd show Surprise and shock Cause I am different from the flock... Looks of terror would follow My stomach's drawn into a hollow Wish I could wrap myself Into the warm normality quilt But I stand naked in my pit of guilt
Why do I feel What I feel Why can't I be Just a normal guy Who's macho and not just shy...
Why do I like boys? And fall headlong into the devil's ploy I can't imagine myself with a girl The thought of it makes my stomach curl
Why do they torture me? Making me want to flee From this daily hell From this doom into which I have fell You save rapists from rightful punishment To me you offer this brutal predicament
I am no molestor- not one of the eve teasers... Why then you all hunt me like wolf chasers? Don't make me a parriah I want to be my own Messiah
Each day I am forced Behind closed doors To be a man... Which means I can Beat a woman Be inhuman Go and kill Netflix and chill But.....just FORGET my REALITY Remember that I've no choice Expect me to retain my poise... You break my character into bits Driving me to the stage where my wrists I slit-
If finally I leave this world to be myself Will God too keep me on a separate shelf?
//I daily see our brutally binary world. It's horrific and us cis guys never truly appreciate the previleges we get simply because we are one of the binary. It's a rainbow out there and we all are a part. Life is not monochrome. It's harlequin and all shades exist. I am troubled by this very heartless barbaric treatment we offer to our fellows who are not born in our defined stereotype. It's a personal plea. Please be kinder.//
//Dedicated to Marsha P Johnson-- gay rights activists as a tribute to the pride month ❤️//
Forlorn amongst The "normal" community I stand gathering My flailing sanity. Detested, forsaken Left to moan Solace denied To people my own. My harrassed soul On the cusp of denial Rejected, dejected Fleeing my trials- I came to new york To be unchained Like yet another prison It kept me restrained. A transvestite A drag queen Scowls of many I have seen. Survival sex Petty jobs I have since Tried them all. Liberty, and free will Still an arduous Journey uphill--
But I won't let it Remain forlorn.
30June2020 Copyright Harfkaar
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