I grew up gay and confused. I also grew up ashamed of and repulsed by physical attraction and touch. Together, they amalgamated themselves into a person that was afraid of expression, love and her own queerness. I forced myself to pretend to like boys I didn’t care about while I dreamed of writing poetry for girls. I dreamed of what they would smell like.
My confusion regarding attraction and my own queerness manifested themselves into who I am today. I am 19, and I haven’t figured out how to navigate queer or even heterosexual romantic spaces yet. And I believe that because I have been so afraid of my sexuality, I have always loved women who would never love me back. Perhaps I have never dared to put myself at risk, perhaps I am still scared.
I dream of all the women who have broken my heart. I dream of kissing them, and of what it would feel like to lay next to them or how it would feel to gift your heart to them. And when June comes around, I never know what to do with my pride, with my heart. I can’t cry to my mother about my pain and ask her to protect me.
I have bad habits – I get obsessed too easily. Every time I speak to her, I feel so dirty inside. Every time I think of her, I feel sick. No, not because we’re both women – but because I feel like I am exploiting the friendship that you are offering me. She turns into a muse for my poetry, a dream for me to fall asleep to. Most importantly, I feel so dirty because I have violated myself – degraded myself and moulded myself to her liking. Am I allowed to think of her? Dream of her? How much longer do I expect myself to hurt myself? How many more women must I pretend to fall for until I forget about you? How many more conversations with other people must I have until I learn how to forget about the shape of your collarbones?
How do I stop myself from being disgusted with myself for feeling natural emotions?
I have waited forever to be loved and to love – but at 19, all I feel is shame. While my friends speak of the girls and the boys they kiss, I go to bed and cry. My brain is everywhere and nowhere. My brain is retracing our conversations. I speak to her when I make dinner for myself every evening, but there is nobody in the kitchen but me.
And when June comes around, all I do is cry.
Ansuya Mansukhani is an undergraduate student of Liberal Arts in Pune. She expresses herself through writing and enjoys reading, cooking, photography and everything ordinary.