Too glam to give a damn!
“When I was 5, my cousin brother and I were watching Kuch Kuch Hota Hai when I told him, ‘I want to marry Shahrukh Khan!’ Whenever my sister was gifted Barbies and I was gifted toy cars, I’d steal her Barbie’s and play with them; my parents never stopped me. In fact, when they realised I liked dolls and dresses, they bought me more!
During festivals and functions, I always chose to wear bright and floral prints; even at school. The other kids would call me ‘baila’ and girly. Once, the teasing got really bad. During PT class, these boys started poking me, kissing me on my cheeks and calling me ‘baila’. I went home and cried to my parents; the next day they came to school, complained to my principal and got those boys punished. After that, they didn’t tease me. If anyone did, I would ignore them, knowing that my parents were on my side.
I’d even often experiment with my hair and grow it long; my parents let me. My relatives would get angry and tell them, ‘He’s your son, not your daughter. Take him for a haircut.’ But my parents would say, ‘He likes it. He can do whatever he wants as long as he isn’t harming anyone.’
After school, I told mom that I can never be attracted to girls. She said, ‘I already know.’ I broke down; she held me and said, ‘It’s okay.’ Two days later, she told dad. He said, ‘As long as you’re happy, I’m the happiest!’
After that, everything changed. I brought my boyfriend home for the first time when I was 20. I never told my parents before, but they knew. We were applying makeup together, and they just smiled.
On my 21st birthday, my mom gifted me my first pair of heels. I was thrilled– I wore them, did a small dance and a ramp walk to Beyoncé’s 7/11 for my parents and sister. They hooted, cheered and absolutely loved it! My mom even encouraged me to join dance class, so I started belly dancing. After every class, I’d show off my moves to my parents.
A year later, they saw me all glammed up in makeup, a dress and a wig for the first time. Just when I was about to step out, mom put a nazar ka teeka behind my ear. After that, when I started performing in drag shows, mom and my sister surprised me with new makeup and outfits; last year mom bought me a sequined off-shoulder dress! And now, my sister and I share clothes since we’re the same size!
You know what the best part is? Directly or indirectly, my parents have made this my motto: ‘too glam to give a damn’! And thank god for that; stress doesn’t really go with my outfits.