Priya Arora Profile picture
Sep 6, 2018 20 tweets 10 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
When I was 12, I kissed a girl for the first time. I didn’t know what it meant.
When I was 14, I self-harmed for the first time. I didn’t understand why I felt so alone and so different.
When I was 16, I held a girl’s hand for the first time. I wasn’t sure why my heart was beating so fast.
When I was 18, I fell for my best friend. I didn’t know what Love was, but I knew what I felt was wrong.
When I was 20, I dropped out of college for a semester amidst a deep bout of depression and repression. That summer, in my childhood bedroom, I finally realized what had plagued me for so long- I liked girls.
I came out to my brother a few days later, and he was incredibly supportive.
When I was 21, I moved home after college and back into the closet. I wrote for @GaysiFamily under a pseudonym, wondering what it meant to be Desi and queer and if it was even possible to be both.
@gaysifamily I soon found Satrang SoCal, and went to my first Desi queer event: a beautiful mujra night where I saw a room full of beautiful queer, trans, bi people being their complete selves. It fundamentally changed everything for me.
@gaysifamily When I was 23, I moved to New York. Through @SalgaNYC, an org I barely knew but would become my lifeline, I applied for a scholarship to attend DesiQ. I met hundreds of people from around the world who spoke to and about the very things I had grappled with for years.
@gaysifamily @SALGANYC I made lifelong bonds, and my journey as an activist began. That summer, I came out to my parents- and much to my surprise they were supportive too... and vowed that no matter what, they would be by my side on my wedding day.
@gaysifamily @SALGANYC When I was 24, I cut my hair and started dressing more masculine of center. I felt more like myself than I ever had- and decided I could probably never return to my motherland as our family had every winter throughout my childhood because of my gender presentation and sexuality.
@gaysifamily @SALGANYC When I was 26, I swiped right on one of the few desi girls I saw on Tinder- she was beautiful, with piercing green eyes and a captivating aura. I lost my heart immediately. This time, when I held her hand and kissed her, I knew it was right.
@gaysifamily @SALGANYC When I was 28, I worked up the courage to start a project that was close to my heart.
@gaysifamily @SALGANYC .@QueeringDesi, born of an idea that there were so many stories yet to be told, brought new life to this journey, connecting me with thousands of people around the world who craved a safe space to listen and share.
@gaysifamily @SALGANYC @QueeringDesi When I was 29, my parents and brother crossed all geographical and emotional boundaries to support, cultivate and celebrate a big, fat, 3-day queer Desi destination wedding for me and that special woman I had met.
@gaysifamily @SALGANYC @QueeringDesi On our wedding day, my dad gave an emotional speech about his journey of acceptance and knowing that #loveislove, no matter who we love.
@gaysifamily @SALGANYC @QueeringDesi It was something we had never spoken about over the years, but his love and support throughout had finally led our family to this day- one that 12-year old me thought wasn’t possible.
@gaysifamily @SALGANYC @QueeringDesi On this historic day, as India scraps its colonial-era #Section377 and pushes forward towards equality, I think of my family.
@gaysifamily @SALGANYC @QueeringDesi If I am anything today, if I have the strength to love who I love and fight for what I believe in, it is because of the humans who raised me so brilliantly, and the brother who has fought for and marched with me, and because they have unconditionally loved me through it all.
@gaysifamily @SALGANYC @QueeringDesi Congratulations, India. You’ve always had my heart, and I can’t wait to visit again 🏳️‍🌈🇮🇳✌🏽💕

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