by Akula Sharma

Remember when Lorde asked radio host Kyle Sandilands of Australia’s KIIS FM, “What do you mean you’re not talking about ‘Ellen together’? Is there something wrong with lesbians?” Sandilands asked Lorde about her pictures with Taylor Swift and like the prior, many people are uncomfortable with lesbians. May it be the word or the people themselves.

Let’s start of, from the basics.

LESBIAN. Now, most of you have created a vivid descriptive image in your minds after reading the word, yes? What did you see? Did you sexualize the whole clichéd theme of two women having intimacy? Did you see Mia Kirshner on a poster reading the “L” word? Or were you, like most of the population, seeing it as an exotic term?

Well, I am a lesbian.

Wait! Before, all of you start assuming how can a Hindu Indian girl say that openly, hear my side of the story.

I love women. It’s a fact. I love women like how a man loves a woman. People have this firm belief that if someone identifies him/herself as a homosexual, it is all going to be about sex and being a “sin”. The word lesbian is derived from the name of the Greek island of Lesbos, home to the poet Sappho. Sappho was a prolific poet and she is well known as a symbol of love and desire between women. You see? It’s not derived from sex or sin from a place where love between women was freely expressed.

Like Sappho, I am a poetess, loves women, and writes poetry out of the endless romance for them. Yes, sex may be included but isn’t it part of any romantic relationship? I, personally, believe in love as intimacy and not carnal desires. I come from a cultural and traditional family wherein my mother raised me to be a respectful being and that includes not seeing other people as object or property. Trust me, I’m not the only one. We may come from different backgrounds but like you, us lesbians are in it for a real long lasting relationship.

A lot of people I met don’t acknowledge my feelings because I am a lesbian. Honestly, I am tired of hearing what they have to say about it and it makes me sad to always justify my sexuality to them. Like Lorde asking Sandilands, I ask you, “Is there something wrong with lesbians?” What’s wrong with “Ellen together” when Ellen is cool and an amazing person?

My dream is to someday have a family with my significant other, give her the respect she deserves, give my mother a beautiful bahu (Hindi word for daughter-in-law), and give my family someone that accepts our tradition, values and culture. I am not forcing any allegations of some sort to anyone now, am I? And doesn’t everyone want someone to go to bed with, wake up the next morning with that person beside you, play with her hair as you have deep conversations, and watch cartoons when either of you is scared or lonely? That connection… that beautiful mental connection! That’s love. It bothers me, why does it matter if your partner is of the same gender? Isn’t it love is about mutual respect and caring and not about a guy and a girl being together?

I am a lesbian and I am proud to be one. It is who I am and someday, I will have a family that I deserve. You may be gay, straight, or whoever you want to identify yourself and someday, you’ll have a family of your own as well. And someday, people will never have to ask me why I am a lesbian or tell me what I’m feeling is only sexual. Someday, “Ellen together” will be a norm and you’ll ask yourself why you made a big deal out of it.