Nowadays, being a member from the LGBT community of India is considered as a big experiment, because these people are always considered as gender minorities in the society and the queer life is always full of adventures, especially to the ones who are open to the society as "Queer!" The strange part is regardless of the development scenario in the country and in people's mindsets, the capital city of India, is still carrying the tag of the most unsafe place in the country, for everyone. But, it has been always my favorite city since my childhood, because this place gave me the strongest content to explore myself, others and especially to write about the metropolitan mindsets!
The mindsets of people here are opposite to the word called "Metropolitan". It is kind of an ironic situation, considering most of the Delhiites as sophisticated and broadminded walking souls. Hence, being an open and proud gay guy, I wanted to kick start my birthday vacation with a social experiment in Delhi. Trust me, it wasn't easy at all. But, if you don't try, you never know what people think about you and most importantly, you can never excel in life. The social experiment, I immersed myself in, was a sort of a fashion adventure.
Androgynous fashion is currently rocking and shaking the fashion industry of India. Non-binary looks, unisexual looks, Gender fluid looks are interestingly getting a lot of appreciation on ramp walks, but what about walking on the real streets of India's capital city? Do you think, people are welcoming enough when they see someone wearing clothes exactly opposite to their gender? Surprisingly, 40% of people showered their love on my looks, 40% of people criticized me to the core and the remaining 20% of people struggled whether I was a guy or a girl, indeed they didn't have any idea about androgynous looks! Keeping all these statistics apart, I have encountered some beautiful, appealing souls and some demeaning narrow-minded soulless people!
It was on the day one of my visit to Delhi, on Jan 23rd, in the night around 10:30 pm, after getting decked up in a crop top and tiny shorts with my long hair and piercings, I went to my favorite cafe to fill my tummy. After the store got closed, I stepped out and roamed around the blocks of Connaught place. The night was gorgeously chilling and the people were killing me with the stares I got used to. While I was buying smokes, a girl passed by me and came back to me, just to compliment my total attire and asked me never to chop off my beautiful hair. That compliment, made my day, but within no time, my moods got completely changed by another Punjabi Sardar. I was on my phone with some of my Delhi pals. They were warning me not to roam alone because it was night and it was Delhi. I was kind of striking their words because I was appreciating the warm compliments in that cold weather. Suddenly, one Sardar was shouting at me to get out of his way while he was driving his two-wheeler in one of the blocks. He shouted "Ye ladki Jaise dikhne wali ladka, hatt ja", which means, Hey, you guy, who looks a girl, just get out of the way! There were many people around, especially some other Punjabis. But the strong point was, they looked at me with pity and they were in a helpless mode to oppose their friend. I was shocked and stood there for a while, in a numb way. As the night was getting darker, I have decided to get back to my hotel and take a nap to forget the situation!
The following day, I dressed up in white short dungarees, it was both androgynous and breaking stereotypes experiment, because it was short and white. So, I decided to take the critics of both fashion and racial judgment, because of my dark complexion. It went well, in the "Dilli Haat" of the INA. I enjoyed roaming, shopping and eating amidst many judgmental stares. A Rajasthani Miniature artist has painted my nails with this elephant art as a gift because he thought my fashion sense was on point. I was overwhelmed by his gesture, but soon after I came out of the place, I encountered the most demeaning stares from the Delhi Police. Due to protests, all the security officials, Delhi policemen, and women, came for some meetings or some procedures to tighten the security for Republic Day Celebrations. A few Policewomen gave warm smiles to me and also waved back. Some security officials scanned me from top to bottom and gave such annoying looks that were indescribable. And then came one Policeman, when I was about to sit on the brink by placing my shopping bags aside. He told me, not to sit there. And I could see people happily enjoying their natter on the same brink. I felt weird and unhappy with his nonsense.
What someone can do, if a person who has to protect without judging us, act so differently and biased from one person to another, basing on how they look and especially, how straight they are. The policemen were irked off because I was gay and showcasing my androgynous personality. I have decided to leave the place, having a bad opinion on these protective forces of Delhi. But, there came the twist. I was waiting for my cab with a lot of shopping bags and one policeman has been watching all the while. At first, I felt scared but later, when he approached me saying to allow him to grab the bags while I was courting the cab, it made me feel inexplicably good. While I was going back to Connaught Place in the cab, I could only think about the person who helped me, not the person who criticized me. That's the effect of spreading positive vibes to another person.
Now, tell me, which behavior should I consider? The warm compliments or the weird stares? Delhi is one place with a mixed population. The crowd has mixed opinions on the LGBT community. Some spread their arms to help and some tighten their fists in disgust and anger. The behavior towards a queer person is in its extreme when you roam around the capital city. And to know that, you must step out on the roads of Connaught Place of Delhi. That is the only place, where you can find various people belong to various social statuses. From poor to rich, narrow-minded to open-minded, undernourished to sophisticated, you can find all types of people. And hence, I chose that place to execute my social experiment, which I did for consecutive four days of my vacation!
Never step back to explore. Excel yourself and your orientation by appreciating it to the core. Because, if you can't carry yourself, don't expect others to bear your personality. Acceptance must come within yourself first than from others!! I'm sincerely conveying my gratitude to the capital city and the people of Delhi...