Footprints from Formative Years
I started my journey in 2015, while I was in London pursuing my education. I have to give a lot of credit to the atmosphere I was in for forcing me out of my shell and assisting me in coming to terms with my identity. The free upbringing, I experienced there is what shaped the early memories I still cherish now. Every caste and community were warmly welcomed in London, which had a very liberal culture. In contrast to Indian upbringing, where it is more difficult to even initiate a conversation about acceptance. This clarifies why I consider my upbringing in London to be a blessing.
I ultimately went on to earn my master's degree in gender and sexuality, and during that time I also maintained a suitable level of Instagram activity. I recall that my usage of hashtag "#londonfashionweek" led to the issuance of my first invitation to London Fashion Week. I wore an Indian dhoti to the event, which I accessorised with a blazer and a Pashmina scarf. I started openly donning Indian attire outside of India at that point, and that was my turning point. I later started using lgbtq hashtags on my Instagram. I quickly came out about my orientation and started living the life I had always desired.
Building the Warrior Spirit
For a person who is homosexual, problems become a part of everyday life. Also cross-dressing in India is really frowned upon and connected with being a transgender. We are all aware of the treatment given to transgender people in India. People don't even realize that if you're cross-dressing, you're actually a transvestite rather than a transgender person, which would make the difference between a transgender and a homosexual man extremely evident. In light of this, educating young people is crucial. Leaders have been working hard to raise awareness on this issue, despite the fact that it is not an easy undertaking.
Regarding the enormous difficulties I personally had to face, there were several assaults on me; whereas physical assaults were few, verbal abuse occurred very frequently. It was evident on social media just as much as it was in person. My best friend instilled in me that ‘I am a Diva’ and shouldn't be upset by all of these things and continue to be a torchbearer for other people in the community. My devotion to spirituality and my chanting for Krishna have also assisted me in controlling my thoughts and maintaining positive energy.
The LGBTQ+ community: Acceptance and Inclusion
The only distinction between individuals who identify as a group collectively and those who are still in the closet is simply that the latter are still too afraid to come out. Being adamant about one's identity and sexual orientation is the only way, in my opinion, that these numerous individuals may succeed in their endeavours.
On the plus side, we can see that the community has just experienced a significant increase in acceptance. The celebration of pride month now includes corporate participation, rainbow desserts made by bakeries, and the sale of rainbow-colored goods. All of these play a part in raising awareness and promoting acceptance for the community, even if done as a means of attracting additional attention.
Role of Spirituality and Fashion in Life
Spirituality has always been a part of my life. I started dressing up my Radhakrishna deities and that’s when I initially learned the touch of fabric. Besides this, I’ve always placed God above everything else. This has helped me throughout life- both personally and professionally.
All throughout my journey, the role of spirituality has helped me bounce back each time I felt like I was falling. It could be anything from coping up to new surroundings, being with people or through the biggest miseries of my life. Spirituality helps you incline to your own ideals about perceiving life and understanding people. It is like the gift of sixth sense that is endowed upon you. One who is spiritual finds God’s way in doing things, you’ll get an intense feeling if you’re going the wrong way, and you will save yourself from any trouble that is to come.
In the fashion Industry, I’ve had many like-minded people who also swear by and pray for this gift of spirituality. All of us bond really well and love to discuss this mutual passion we share.
Sources of Powerful Lessons
To mention about the mentors in my life, there’s none other than my mother from whom I borrowed tremendous strength. I had no godfather for me in the industry and I’m glad and proud of the struggles on my way up which led me to be independent.
One lesson that I have for the community, youth and the upcoming generation is to be humble, kind and generous, if you do not know how to bow down, be courteous and humble enough then there is no way that you can make anyone be fond of you.
As the old saying goes, what goes around comes around. If you pelt stones, they’ll be thrown back at you. In the same way, if you choose to be generous, people too will be generous with you. I believe that if you fail to fulfil your utmost duties of taking care of yourself, your parents and your god, you might be able to grow enriches for a few days but will eventually and surely come tumbling down.
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