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Hello, everyone I am Arya Kayla, today I am going to share with you all a story, which is not a story, it’s a real-life instance from my own life. A rather hard part where I have to fight a little with society, which is normal, but I also have to go against my family, which I never thought was even near possible.
Before moving to America for my post-graduation, and before meeting Kayla, I lived in Delhi with my parents. Even after being Indian parents and belonging to a sexist and orthodox family, they allowed me full privacy and made me independent. There was only night curfew which started from 8:45 PM and can be extended till 9:30 PM, and it was for both me and my brother. So, you see no sexism, nothing of that sort.
Another ritual of our house you can say was dinner, Dad always made sure he came back before dinner, and our dinner table used to be filled with gossips that dad overheard in office, how all the vegetable vendors are increasing price just for mom, our crushes, to the time when I along with my brother got high, and he vomited on a police officer which ended us both behind the bars. Dad acted all strict in front of officers, listening from the tone he was talking to the officers, I thought today we are done! but my dad is a damn good actor. He tricked even us into thinking he was mad.
Maybe these are the reasons I was so transparent with my parents.
Even after being a total reckless person, I never let that affect my studies, and was admitted in Stanford University in my first attempt.
After spending two years in Stanford I met Kayla. In the beginning, I used to admire her from afar. She was neat, no smoking and only occasional drinking, great in athletics, good in academics. Also, super sincere. I never knew I would like a rule abided person. (smiles)
I thought it’s just a crush like my crush on Taylor Swift, but more real. I knew I felt something, but at that time concept of LGBTQ was not very known, people were not so vocal about it as they are now. My best friend Lee suggested me to go talk to her, which I was totally against. At times, I wanted to tell her about my feelings, but I was scared how she might react. Lee knew I was going through a tough time and I knew he is only trying to help me, and I also knew this fear of rejection is so much bigger than my confidence, that I decided to not take that step, at least not for now.
For holidays I went back to India, I felt a little relieved there. Everything was as I left there, our rituals were back on, and it all felt like beds of roses. You know when Life gives you Beds of roses you never think where the Thorns went. One night while my mother was oiling my hair I told her about Kayla, and next morning I was forced to wake up early to do some rituals, there was a priest he did something with these new utensils and I was forced to tie this black thread on my right hand, which I was not against at all. Next thing my mom told me my feelings for Kayla are just my imagination They are not real, that I should find a MAN. And that someone has done some black magic on me, thus the black thread.
As I was saying when Life gives you Beds of roses you never think where the Thorns went, but then life flips upside down and there your bed of roses is now bed off Thorns. So, congratulation, you found your Thorns.
Can you imagine? A well-educated independent family and their thoughts stink more than months old milk. It was hard to believe they were the same family who made me so independent and now are acting like orthodox. Every day I spent there it was getting harder to breath, they were making me feel guilt which I was not supposed to feel. So, I packed my bags and went back to Stanford. But this time I was different I was already rejected by my family, which killed the fear of Kayla knowing about my feelings. I waited for her classes to get over and even though I was so sure of telling her how I feel it was hard to find the right adjustment of words. I repeated the whole conversation in my mind again and again. The bell rang, and with that my heart started beating at a faster pace. As soon as I spotted her among her friends, I cornered her, and told her everything. And she with the calm that she always carries on her face and her voice said, ” Let’s go to canteen.”
In canteen we took a table and she told me she wants to be in military and serve her country, and if I will be okay with that. It took me a minute to understand, and I stammered a little, even in my mind. I asked her if she meant it and this time, she used real world, “I like you Arya, will you be my girlfriend.” I never felt so accepted, I thought I can never forget the way my parents treated me when I told them about my identity. But that moment I just wanted to enjoy and get high on those words. Suddenly I discontinued smiling and my face showed concern, I knew, I have to tell her about my parents, so I did. She held my hand and told me not to worry, her parents were like this too, they haven’t completely accepted her yet but they are learning to.
“When our parents teach us, how to speak, crawl, walk, write, and about everything in world. They are patient and calm and try their best not to lose it. And when their child rejects to learn, they try harder, try differently, take him/her to doctor and still be patient and calm. We have, to be the same, they are totally unknown about this thing, about love not being limited to genders. We have, to teach them, and be patient and calm, use different ways, and if they still don’t listen, there are doctors, psychologists. If you will, insist they will surely go with you. They love you.” those were exact words by her.
She was so right, it’s not their fault that they have these kinds of thoughts, its inbuilt, its forced by the society , I promised myself, when I will go back to see my parents I will talk to them, and hopefully they will accept me.
And I aren’t telling a fairy tale here, that I talked to them and everything was happily ever after. No, it took them ages to accept and I gave them all the time, at times it broke me, and I used to cry. They did accept me but there were instances when insecurities overtook them.
When things are deeply rooted in people’s mind it’s no use cutting them from in between they will find their way back again. The only way is to give the plant acid little by little until it’s no more in existence. And I Hope that day comes soon, when others will have it easy.
Me and Kayla. When the same sex marriages legalized in, America we picked a date and got married, I took her name as my surname and she took mine. It was my idea. So, now I am Arya Kayla and she is Kayla Arya.
My mother’s biggest concern was if I will ever have a family and sure I do. We adopted a baby boy and because I so wanted to carry a child, we found a sperm donor and I carried a life in me for 9 months, and gave birth to a healthy baby, my daughter Jasmine. In America she calls herself Jazz and when we go to, India she is Jasmine (punjabi accent).
In conclusion I just want to say, just because I am a Lesbian, I didn’t deny anything in my life. I have love, a caring life partner, a family to go back home to, a career of my own choice. What more can I ask for!
Things will take time to Normalize. It might take ages for people to accept, but for the sake of others to have it easy, we have, to have it hard