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I dreamed of dressing like them during festivals like sakranti, saying, "Mai apne saheliyo jaisa dress pehenna chahta tha."

During my childhood in Kolkata, all my best friends were girls. I dreamed of dressing like them during festivals like Sankranti, saying, "Mai apne saheliyo jaisa dress pehenna chahta tha." Fortunately, my family never objected, and my siblings were supportive, although one sister was initially angry when I dressed up as a girl for Kali Puja. However, she later understood me.

Growing up in a loving Bengali family with one brother and two sisters, we faced a tragedy when our father passed away 10 years ago. Despite name-calling and bullying from friends and neighbors, who called me "ladki" and "kinnar," my family was always supportive of my expression.

While watching movies, I felt different from male characters and sometimes confused with female characters, wondering if I could be one of them. After completing my schooling, I moved to Gujarat at 16 to support my family financially, starting work in a supportive environment where I attended a pride event. The constant struggle with my identity ended in Gujarat, as I started accepting who I am.

In 2017, my first visit to Mumbai included attending a Pride event and making new friends, attending Humsafar's events, and learning about HIV testing. I fell in love for the first time with a guy I shared a room with, though the relationship lasted only two months. Returning to Gujarat to focus on work, I've built a good circle of friends who sometimes ask about my sexuality, and I'm always open to answering their questions, advocating for queer acceptance.

In the future, I aspire to pursue college and obtain a degree in science, history, fashion, or jewelry design. I want to be self-reliant and prove myself, saying, "Mai khud kuch banna chahta hu. Dikhana chahta hu ki mai kuch ban sakta hu life me."

Despite struggles, I remind myself that I'm earning a living and supporting myself, giving me hope to love myself and work towards realizing my dreams someday.


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