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- Closed on Tuesday, 17th October 2017
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Hi, My name is Katikela Sreeharsha Kishore, a 19 year old gay individual living in India. In a country like India where being gay is a crime, life as an effeminate gay man is pretty gruesome. The patriarchal society expects you to “man up” while your very being screams otherwise. The family that is supposed to support me see me as a liability and I am subject to constant mistreatment and threats from family and people whom I once called friends.
Growing up, there was no respect or love towards me. My parents abandoned me at my grand parents’ house when I was a kid and only thought about me when I got seat in a Polytechnic college and moved to a bigger city. I am seen as a constant liability and ever since I came out to them, things have gone to the worse. I was never allowed to pursue my dreams. I wasn’t allowed to learn Singing- which is one of my passions. The very family that is supposed to make an effort to understand my plea chose to thrash me like I was something worthless.
I was even taken to a psychiatrist for a cure and as I live in a country where being gay is deemed to be unnatural, the convenient doctor chose to prescribe me medicines to allegedly “un-gay” me. They led to me having to go through a prostate surgery last year. Am still the effeminate gay guy my parents detest.
Another aspect of my life is the constant bullying. I was a top student of my class during Secondary School but was subject to bullying, threats and mistreatment from my classmates. I was even abused sexually where classmates touched me in objectionable places calling me lewd names cause I didn’t fit in their definition of a “man”. Yes I am different. My voice and walk are different. No matter how much I tried to fit into the heteronormative world, I was still seen as the odd one- the queer one, and Indian society doesn’t see Queer in good light. I was reduced to a joke, a punching bag to my classmates.
Even the teachers who are supposed to protect and see all students equally alienated me cause I was different. I wasn't allowed to change school back then. My family pretty much dictated my life they starved me if I ever brought the topic up.
And since I grew up in a small town, these were pretty common. I tried to stay calm cause nothing sane could be expected of narrow minded country fellows. I wished for the day I would finally move to a big city where I would be accepted but I soon realized I was wrong.
I fought my way through that, failing at every step till I moved to Hyderabad- a city known for its broad minded people.
Despite everything, I made sure I studied well and secured a seat in a Polytechnic college after school and my demons followed me. I was molested back in hostel which has left a traumatic scar in me. I couldn’t tell my woes to anyone cause I was afraid my assailant would come for me. And it wasn’t just one person. After many encounters with different people I chose to change college.
The same followed. Constant bullying for being different, walking different, having a softer voice than what is “expected of a man”.
Comments like, “why do you need study? Go suck on a dick, f**!! Homosexuality is against Indian ethos! Leave India or kill yourself!! You people convert straight people gay” were something I faced on a daily basis. Terms like hijra, chakka were generously hurled at me- all cause I was rather effeminate.
I even tried moving to Mumbai, a city often termed as the most modern city in India, but life there for a middle class effeminate gay man is as dire as in the rest of the country. I had to return to Hyderabad after a couple of months.
I had to change over 9 schools over the past 4 years cause of the assault, bullying, and the abuse I faced. And I wasn’t even out in some schools.
After losing all hopes for a proper classroom education, I resorted to studying through distance mode.
To top it all off, family too wasn’t of any solace. Some people find refuge in family but I lack that privilege too.
I was the laughing stock to my cousins who imitated me, made fun of me on daily basis. Even the elders took a turns to comment about my being and my parents didn’t even stop them. It was initially about me being effeminate but things took a sour turn once I was out to my parents. I was dismissed as a mental case, taken to the psychiatrist to cure of my “illness”. As much as I tried to convince them that being gay is alright, they never listened. They started keeping tabs on me, spied on whom I talk with, whom I hang out with. I was made to break every contact men even though most were straight. I was stopped financial support cause I dropped out of college they wanted me in. The reasons for my dropping out never mattered to them. All they cared about the bragging rights they get to have if I was in the college of their choice. I was grounded on daily basis and if I was found to be talking to a guy, I had to face repercussions ranging from chiding for no reason to flogging.
And this has become routine for me.
To the rest of the society, my family is a happy lot, but this is what I go through between those four walls that people call a “home”.
They want me to get married to a girl once I grow up but I just don’t want to. It would be unfair to both the parties involved. But that doesn’t matter to my family cause all they care is about their stance in the society. I really fear of what they are capable of. My grandparents are respectable people in the society- with both my maternal and paternal grandfathers holding honorable positions in their respective societies and my parents would do anything to keep up their respect and honor. And honor killing isn’t so uncommon back in my hometown.
All through this I chose to fight! There have been instances where I sought for an easy way out and end it all, but I don’t want to go for it. I choose to fight further and I am not giving up on life. I just hope I would be delivered of this place and actually have a better life.
And I think Canada would be a perfect place to start over- away from where my family can’t get me, away from my demons, where I am treated as a human, where I would have basic human rights and not discriminated for being born gay. Each and every single buck you are donating will be helpful to me relocating from India to Canada. There I can seek refugee status and live peacefully without such evils.
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Katikela Sreeharsha Kishore
I'm 19 year old guy who wants to achieve lot many things and help same of my kind in the future. But is restricted to do nothing now and facing persecution. I don't wanna stop dreaming about my future. Hope you are one among persons feels it and please show some love.
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