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‘I had been abused by men’

I’ve always liked women. In fact in Class 7, I gave a classmate a card and it went all over school. Everyone teased me and called me gay. While I was embarrassed I wasn’t sure what it meant until at 17, I learnt the meaning of the word lesbian.

delhi Updated: Jul 05, 2009 00:32 IST

Neha Nath, 27

I’ve always liked women. In fact in Class 7, I gave a classmate a card and it went all over school. Everyone teased me and called me gay. While I was embarrassed I wasn’t sure what it meant until at 17, I learnt the meaning of the word lesbian.

I had been abused by men when I was younger. I was all of seven when a bus conductor misbehaved with me. My karate professor turned out to be a creep. The worst though was an abuse I had to bear by an uncle in the family. I was so scared. I didn’t know how to react and couldn’t tell anyone because such things were not discussed in our family. My first relationship was when I was 17.

Appearance wise, I was more boyish earlier than now. Often on local trains, women would snigger saying, “Ladka hai ke ladki?” ( Is it a boy or a girl?) Each time, I would break from inside. But today, after therapy and repeating the word lesbian out loud, I am at peace with my identity. I feel comfortable about confiding in a woman as a friend or a lover.

My parents know but haven’t been able to come to terms with it. My father still dreams of me marrying a man someday. But my relatives are ok with my choice. If it’s really about grandchildren, lesbian couples should legally be allowed to adopt.

And the upside to it all — it’s a lot more fun being with a woman — you get to know more about shoes, bags and clothes!

— As told to Shalini Singh