Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Goodbye, 2013. Hello, 2014!

2013 comes to an end, and boy, what an eventful and interesting year it has been!
This year, I witnessed plenty of happy moments, exciting occasions and downright sucky times. Here's a random list of the most important events that occurred this year for me:

1. Partnered with a good friend to set up a food based business that was bound to work.

2. Shut the whole plan down after investing 4 months into it to finally figure out that it wouldn't work at this point of time, not with the finances that we had.

3. Went for the last 'army' holiday with the family to Manali, Kasauli, Shimla and Chandigarh.

4. Won the Subway Global Challenge - was one of the 5 winners from around the world, and seriously, this is the first time that I've ever won anything on such a large scale.

5. Dad retired after serving in the army for 34 years. Got a cake for him that looked repulsive, but he didn't care. He was completely gutted about retiring though, all of us were. Being in the army life made all of us who we were.

6. Lost my hale and hearty grandmother the day she left Bangalore. She was staying at our house for the past year and was the one who was most excited about my win. One of the nicest women I knew, she commanded a lot of respect from everyone in her city and society. The oldest of 9 siblings, she worked 5 jobs (first woman to work from her family) in the 1950s, to feed her entire family and educate all her nephews and nieces. 25 years later, she became the Headmistress of a school that always had a male Headmaster. She eventually became a speaker of women's rights in her town until my grandfather passed away. The past year with her was lovely and my only regret was that I missed out on spending time with her all these years.

7. Went to the U.S. for the very first time for the Subway win and travelled internationally by myself for the first time as well. It was one of my best trips ever. I met a lot of fantastic people, and learnt so much more than I could have ever imagined. The entire experience was very enriching and I was grateful that I was picked as one of the winners.

8. Met a close friend after 7 whole years. It was almost unreal, because she moved to the U.S. and her chances of returning to India were slim. I never knew when I was going to see her again, and I did this time. We spent only 2 days together, but it's like nothing ever changed. We simply picked up where we left off. We were still the same, just that we had a lot more to talk about.

9. Watched one of my best friends get married, and soon realized that marriage was all that my friend circle was discussing lately.

10. One of my best friends had a baby girl, and I became her godmother. Also, here's a fun statistic: 14 of my friends got married this year; 9 are now pregnant.

11. My work as a freelancer was expanding and more clients started to come in.

12. Moved after living in the apartments at MG Road for 13 years. That's more than half my life.

13. Collaborated with a friend who set up his company and handed one part of his business. This allowed me the independence and flexibility in my work, yet get a fixed salary and company protection in case clients don't pay up (as has happened with me before).

14. Wrote a blog about how Shahrukh Khan blatantly plagiarized from an earlier speech by J.K. Rowling. Got attacked, received threats, lost my mind, ended up having a nervous breakdown. Ended up in the news and 'went viral' for all the wrong reasons. Went underground for a while till the chaos passed.

15. Landed my biggest client yet, an international one. Expanded my work, worked endlessly, worked hard. Amazing experience so far.

16. Ended the year today with closing another big client and have clients give me excellent feedback on my work so far, and that they're looking to continue working for the next year as well.

It's been an interesting and a highly eventful year. Here's hoping that 2014 surprises me much more.

That's 3 generations of women in one picture. One of the last photos we took with my grandma.
She's in a better place and watches over us everyday.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

When I was Cyberbullied

So I'm not sure if many of you know, but I was under fire recently for writing a very controversial blog post where I accused Shahrukh Khan on plagiarizing from J.K. Rowling's speech. What started off as an innocuous blog post to simply point out similarities on two highly acclaimed speeches turned out to be a massive hate campaign where I was heavily cyberbullied.

I didn't expect the story to go viral the way it did. I thought a few friends would read it, and simply say, "Well, that's a shame." But more than that just happened. People were sharing it all across Facebook and Twitter and the social media space was abuzz with it, and I thought that I didn't write anything wrong. The media soon picked it up, and I still thought that there was nothing wrong with what I wrote. People were just sending me random messages on how irrelevant the post was, or that I was a Shahrukh hater and I couldn't care less. If I really did hate him, I wouldn't be stupid enough to post a blog with my identity out there. I would have written an anonymous post and written whatever the hell I felt like about him. But I didn't.

Then came a blog post from Shahrukh Khan's representative that seemed to give wings to the desperate Shahrukh fans who really couldn't figure out a way to defend their idol. Instead of logically arguing with me on Twitter, I had fans who splashed that link all across Twitter while spewing all kinds of inappropriate words at me.

At first, I tried  to not let it bother me. I simply ignored the comments on the blog post, hate tweets and Facebook messages. But within an hour of that post being out there, I lost count of how many messages were actually coming my way that attacked me for not just being a woman, but on my looks, my age, my other blog posts, my education, my body type, my skin tone, and the quintessential accuse of 'wanting my 15 minutes of fame' (famously instigated by the Chief Digital Strategist herself).

I couldn't for the life of me believe the magnitude of hate and threats I received for writing a post on a PERSONAL blog wherein I was allowed to express my opinion. I reported several users, and I later found that many took down their  tweets as they realized that the media was also scrutinizing the backlash I received. I found a couple of the kinder tweets though:




I could only take in so much, and after a point, I ended up having a nervous breakdown. I have never been subjected to hate in such a heinous manner before and somehow, I couldn't cope with this kind of bullying. I apparently wasn't strong as I thought it was, and I was suddenly filled with fear.

Someone created a fake email ID under my name and sent out inappropriate mails to people (don't ask me HOW they did this, I'm still trying to figure this out, already reported this user to Google). I deactivated my Facebook account the moment someone sent me a message about my family member's workplace details. People were looking me up on the internet, waiting to get any iota of information to use against me. I received threats that were hurtful enough to not share here.

Sure, you might think they were empty threats, and I really had nothing to worry about. But did you forget about the episode where the two girls got arrested over an innocent Facebook status? I was paranoid. I couldn't sleep, I couldn't eat. I didn't leave my house for a good ten days, I'm not even kidding you. My face was everywhere, and it only took one crazy person to act in a deranged manner to do something if I was easily recognizable in public. I wouldn't rest until my family was back home in the evenings. I was checking up with my friends (whose pictures with me were on Facebook) whether they were alright. I asked friends who were rallying with me on social media channels to stop doing so in case they became victims of this callousness.

The last two weeks were honestly the most traumatic weeks I've undergone and I still can't believe how I was attacked by a plethora of fans for pointing out some basic facts against their idol. No one wanted to logically argue with me, but found it far simpler to attack a 24-year-old helpless blogger instead.

With social media today, it's so much easier to simply gang up on someone and traumatize them, without actually realizing what one is putting them through. I'm certain that none of those deranged fans who attacked me would have actually had an argument with me face-to-face defending their star, but found it convenient to sit behind a computer behind an anonymous identity and send hate messages instead.

Bullying's latest avatar is cyberbullying and it is even uglier than its previous form. It's mind numbingly easy to form groups and target people on the internet and bully them mercilessly. It's a collective effort, yes, effort, and that means actual work that these bullies put in to intentionally hurt the victims. This includes anything and everything from spamming the user's walls, creating fake email ID's, harassing the user online, gathering information about them and try to use it against them.

The experience was painful and harrowing but it was more depressing to learn that this is what free speech in this country means. It means that you cannot express an opinion that shows an actor/politician/cricketer/godman in poor light. It means that if you want to write about something that irks you in the society, you wouldn't be allowed to write it. It means that you need to keep your mouth shut about issues that need a voice. It means that if you lend your support to anything that is morally right but remotely controversial, you will be forced into silence.

I probably faced less than 1% of cyberbullying than most other victims around the world did. But that was bad enough for me. Enough for me to go into 'digital hiding'. Enough for me to stay locked inside my house. Enough for me to experience, for the first time, to fear for my life.

But I'm trying to put it behind me, and moving on. Still, I am cautious about where I go, what I do online and try to protect as much as information about myself that I can. This whole incident has been a huge learning experience, and I'm just trying to grow from it. To all of those people who supported me and stood by me through this ordeal, I just want to say a big thank you. That was a ray of hope that kept me together and I appreciate it immensely.

I just sincerely hope no one else here gets cyberbullied (or has physical action taken against them) for expressing a personal opinion ever again. Please think twice before sending out a hurtful message to anyone on the internet. It might seem completely innocent to you, but the victim experiences hell. You might not even realize that what you're doing actually constitutes cyberbullying.

No one deserves targeted hate. Bullying/Cyberbullying is NEVER okay. Period.









Saturday, October 5, 2013

From J.K. to S.R.K., word sure travels uncredited!

Yes, we've all been talking about Shahrukh Khan's inspirational speech at AIMA. Some claim that it was one of the best speeches of his career, and the humility and honesty expressed in his speech and demeanor make him the true superstar that he is.

I'm not a big fan of the man himself, but when I began to read the speech, I thought that it was mighty impressive (I was still on page 1 of a 3 page article). Then I read the second page, a part of which sounded eerily familiar, but I could not place it. When I finally came to the third page where Shahrukh Khan was concluding his speech, I was certain that I had read some bits of this somewhere.

It was from J.K. Rowling's commencement speech at Harvard in 2008, 'The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination'. I would have to say that this is one of my favourite speeches of all time, largely because Rowling talks about failure, and how she learnt to accept it and most importantly, how she learnt her lesson from it and grew to be a better individual. She talks about poverty, about her family, her broken marriage - about her failures, and the benefits that came with it that made her who she is today.

Mr. Shahrukh Khan also talked about his family, his poverty and also about his failures and the benefits that came with it in his speech, which were a little too similar to that of Ms. Rowling. No, scratch that. They were exactly the words of Ms. Rowling.

Excerpt from J.K. Rowling's speech where she talks about poverty:
Source: Harvard Magazine
While Shahrukh Khan also talks about how poverty is not an ennobling experience at all:
Source: The Times of India


And J.K. Rowling concluded her speech with these wise words:
Source: Harvard Magazine

And Shahrukh Khan decided that he will too:
Source: The Times of India
I hope your humility is helping you survive your failure's vicissitudes, Mr. Khan. Because this is B.S.! Stealing someone's speech is deplorable and keeping mum about its source is downright disgusting.

I know many of you are probably thinking that it's just a few lines that have been ripped off, but the man literally quoted those lines verbatim and didn't even credit her for it. He came across as this humble and honest guy who spoke from his heart, while a couple of parts of his speech were clearly stolen.

I don't know if his speech writer messed up or he intentionally stole it; either way, I don't like this one bit. And even if he did want to use parts of Rowling's speech, the least he could have done was credit her or maybe paraphrase some of those lines, but no. The man concluded his speech with the choicest of words plucked from Rowling's speech that earned him a standing ovation.

Maybe he did have an impoverished childhood. Maybe he did live in poverty. Maybe he became the best that he could be after his failures. But does that justify blatantly stealing someone's words without giving them due credit? This to me, is despicable and is honestly very insulting to Rowling. I hope the media stops singing praises of his speech and actually points out where the parts of brilliance in his speech actually were from.

You can watch the original speech of J.K. Rowling here (I highly recommend it):



References:


*disgruntled* *annoyed* *needs a hug from a fellow Potterhead*

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

God bless Miss America!

Yes, we've all been talking about it. It's on the news feeds of our social media pages, and there is no escaping it. Nina Davuluri, an American of Indian descent was crowned Miss America 2014 and some Americans took to Twitter about how upset they were. Let me emphasize on 'some'.

These were some very classy tweets.


       Source:Buzzfeed

This whole story went viral, probably because of Buzzfeed's post. But the number of Indians and Americans both equally upset over this was something to really see. Americans were upset that this is how they were portrayed - racist, bigoted and highly ignorant. The Indians were upset that a beautiful woman of Indian origin was humiliated online.

To be fair, both sides do have a valid argument, but there were some pointers I just wanted to add.

1. Not all Americans are racist and ignorant. These were 20 odd tweets that made the news, but that doesn't represent the entire American population. If we're trying to avoid generalizations, we shouldn't be associating the racist tag with all Americans.

2. My Indian brethren, while it is right that you're upset over Nina Davuluri receiving online hate, do realize that if the Miss India winner was the daughter of Bangladeshi Muslims/Sri Lankan Tamil immigrants, we would be having much worse things than just racist tweets in our country. It's very likely that we'll have a certain party protesting against crowning a Muslim the Miss India title, and there would also be a good chance of the pageant getting boycotted.

3. Also, we all know very well that Nina Davuluri's gorgeous dark skin tone would have served as the first obstacle towards her winning the crown. Since we are a country that are obsessed with fair skin, the poor girl would have been frowned upon in the first round itself. She's not even 'wheatish' which would make her skin tone acceptable to most Indians, but dark. Sorry, Nina. No chance for you here. Unless you're willing to undergo skin bleaching treatments and apply Fair & Lovely five times a day.

4. Let's not hate on America about how intolerant they are. These tweets by some people might make you make that general assumption, but it isn't true. Let's remember that all these racist idiots are only a small part of the country that crowned her Miss America in the first place, respecting her individuality.

5. I am mighty surprised that this show is still watched by many Americans. With all do respect, I thought the fad with beauty pageants ended a decade ago, but I guess that's just me.

 You go, Nina! You're awesome. Haters gonna hate, potatoes gonna potate.

Source: USA Today

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Rape Guide


Rape. One word that sends a chill down every woman’s spine. We know what it is. We know it can happen any time. We know what ‘scenarios and places’ we must avoid to lower our chances of us being assaulted. We’ve dealt with molestation and harassment at least four dozen times in our lives. We’re women. We know. Then why don’t you believe us when we tell you if someone has actually raped us?

"Of course I'm making it up! Why would anyone want to rape ME?"
In just the past eight months, there have been a lot of rape/molestation cases in India that have been brought to light. More importantly, we’ve also learnt the views of politicians and people in power and authority on matters like rape. It was shocking to learn about the Delhi cops who openly said “She asked for it” or “It was consensual, not rape”. And oh, dig this, Sunil Kumar, SHO, Ghazipur adds “In Delhi pubs, you’ll find women who will drink with you and have sex with you. But the day someone uses force, it is rape.” Pity our own police forces don’t know what rape means, huh?




                                              Rape IS forced sexual intercourse, you morons!

"Er, not my fault. Sorry. Media's fault. ALL media's fault. They LET women talk after all."
Not to be outdone, a few days back, Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) leader and former Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala backed the view that the marriageable age for girl be lowered to prevent the rising number of rapes in the state. Khap panchayat (community council) leader Sube Singh this week said that the lowering of marriageable age, which is 18 years for girls at present as per law, would help prevent rapes. Not to be outdone, yesterday, a Congress leader from Haryana, Dharamveer Goyat said that “90% of all rapes are consensual and most girls cook up such stories”.

Seriously, are they THAT stupid?

So I wanted to clear the air for all those people who don’t know what rape actually means (including our oh-so-smart prestigious politicians). Also, I’ve busted a few other myths that might help (and added random views wherever necessary).
  1. Rape is forced sexual intercourse. F-O-R-C-E-D. Even if a girl has agreed to get hot and heavy with you and changes her mind last minute, and you decide to have sex with her anyway, it IS rape. Overall, sexual intercourse without her consent/against her will is considered rape.
  2. Sex with a woman who is unconscious//drunkish passed out/fast asleep IS rape. Sexual advances on any woman who is unconscious is NOT okay.
  3. Sex with a girl who is under 16 years of age with or without her consent IS rape.
  4. Women who go to bars, drink and smoke have equal rights as men who do the same. Just because she goes to a bar does NOT mean she asked for it. And certainly does not mean she deserves to get raped.
  5. When a woman gets raped, her ‘virginity’ status must really not come to question and any such virginity test should NOT be required. Why do they have that silly test anyway? (ah, yes, to check if she was a morally dissolute woman or not)
  6. If a rape case is brought to court, questions like “Did you enjoy it?” or “How did it make you feel?” are irrelevant and unnecessary. It’s clear the woman abominated the evil spawn that violated her body and soul. There is NO way in hell she enjoyed the experience.
  7. A woman can wear whatever the hell she wants to. Her attire should make NO difference in case she was a victim of molestation/rape.
  8. If the marriageable age for women becomes 16, chances are the country will get extra populated soon (well, I’m not entirely right on this one). It will NOT lower the rape rate (this, I’m certainly right on).
  9. Rape is the most traumatic event that could happen to a woman. No woman in her right mind would cook up a story on how she got raped (yes, there are always exceptions, I know). When a woman approaches someone for help and registers a complaint on her rape story, for the love of God, please BELIEVE her and take necessary action.
  10. Most importantly, when a rape incident does happen, always, always, always blame the perpetrator, NOT the victim.


Unfortunately, the people sitting in political pedestals in our country have such sexist views on rape and everything related, that no wonder the rape rate is high and women feel unsafe here.

God bless India! (time to make this phrase popular, eh? I’m so tired of hearing ‘God bless America’ in every Hollywood movie!)

References:

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Eve's Life



So I’m officially at a loss of words. For once. First, they convince all women to baste themselves in fairness creams as fair skin will bring them success, a great career, many suited proposals and a happy married life. Then, they bring out some vaginal fairness cream that is supposed to brighten up your lady areas and make your husband want to have sex with you again. As if that wasn’t bad enough, we now have the vaginal tightening gel being introduced in this country that will again, make your husband want to have sex with you, and not pick a virgin over you. Welcome to India.
Now that I'm fair, I'll be a successful career woman!

Sick. It makes me sick that such ideologies exist in today’s world. I’m a dusky woman and for the largest  
part of growing up in North India, I was called ‘Kaali’ everyday. It used to hurt me then, but now, I love my skin tone and wouldn’t trade it for anything. Not all women think so though. Dusky women want to be fair, fair women want to be fairer (no, it’s not like the US, where they want to get tanned). Girls are not allowed to play sports after they turn 14 as they will get tanned. Matrimonial ads begin with ‘Looking for fair, slim girl’. It’s sick, it simply is.

As if escaping the sad looks of all my orthodox aunts on my skin colour wasn’t bad enough, some genius company has to introduce vaginal fairness wash. I mean, what the hell is that all about when? The TVC is even more disturbing. The dutiful wife brings out a steaming hot cup of coffee for her husband, who seems completely disinterested in her (I’m assuming the dark coffee denotes the dark skin tones of her vagina). She then showers herself and uses the vaginal wash, and lo and behold – her husband is in love with her again! Kissing her, cuddling her, adoring her. Awww. All because her vagina is now fair. Yay!
A fair vagina is a confident vagina!

And if things just couldn’t get any worse for us women out there, they now had to introduce the vaginal tightening gel. If you use it, your vagina gets nice and tight so that your husband will have sex with you again. The TVC of this ad is simply weird. There is a married couple doing hot dance moves in presence of the entire family. I’m not sure if I’m entirely against the product than I am to what the woman is crooning to in the ad. She keeps singing ‘I feel like a virgin.’ Seriously? I mean, seriously? What is the message here again? Use this gel, tighten up your vagina, and your husband will feel like he’s having sex with a virgin again and you will feel loved again with your tighter vagina. Woohoo!

As you may have guessed by now, I’m a feminist. I don’t see a reason not to be, but more on that later. But there are distinct male-dominated themes in what I’ve discussed here so far. Fairness creams were made for women as men preferred faired women as spouses for the longest time (this has changed slightly now, though not entirely). Mothers-in-law would never want a dusky daughter-in-law, worse, a dark child. Dusky women were never the favourites in the country.

My husband won't have sex with me because I have a brown vagina. Waaahhh! :'(
And this country that worships fair skin took it so far so as to create a vaginal fairness wash. And the ad theme is clear as well, make it fair so as to your distance, loveless marriage will be revived as your husband will want to have sex with you again because of your now fair tone of your vagina. Even the tightening gel focuses on how your husband will have sex with you now since you apparently ‘feel like a virgin’.

If that vaginal wash had a message that said it was to be used for more hygienic purposes than to make you fair, it would have made sense. If ‘I feel like a virgin’, wasn’t repeatedly crooned to in that ad, I may have tolerated it. If Fair & Lovely ads simply promised fairness and not success, happy marriages and fame associated with it, it would have been ok. But I have a problem with these associated messages, connotations, pleasing your husband techniques and fair skin worshipping.

No, I’m not asking for them to introduce a product to brighten up a man’s privates, but I’m simply tired of new things and products that are being dished out to lower a woman’s morale. Now that these creams and gels have come out, in addition to all the waxing, tweezing, facials, office trouble, tending to kids at home, women now have to worry about if they can give a ‘virgin-like’ sexual experience to their partners again. That to me is just depressing.

Most women are insecure about their bodies and perfect images of how women are supposed to be that are portrayed in the media don’t help at all. I know some incredibly beautiful women that have perfect bodies, yet they find themselves ugly. It’s a disheartening thing to see some amazing women lose out on their morale as they find themselves never physically competent enough.

I didn’t want to make this another blog post on how society is shaping crazy demands off women, but I guess this has simply become so. And I fear women will continue being pawns this way unless the societal mindset in this country will change. Which I don’t see happening for a long, long time.

Here’s a link to the vaginal tightening gel ad. *barfs*
I hope you despise it as much as I do.






Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Gay Pride!



Gay Pride Day was celebrated just last week, on June 25, and I found a very interesting Oreo graphic that the brand posted on their Facebook page. The ad simply had two Oreo biscuits filled with six layers of rainbow coloured icing celebrating homosexuality. The graphic drew more than 52,000 shares and 177,000 likes in 24 hours, sparking an online debate which translates into free adverting for Kraft Foods (the parent company of Nabisco), which introduced America's best-selling cookie in 1912.

I, for one, thought this was a brilliant campaign and it was nice to see how strong international brands could leverage their popularity for promoting a cause. Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres tweeted “As if I needed another reason to love Oreo”. Another user on the fan page commented “I never liked Oreo cookies. But I’m going to start eating them henceforth.” While the ad received a lot of positive response from the public in general, the backlash it received was immense as well. Many called for a boycott of the product.

"This is absolutely disgusting. Your attempt to 'normalize' the behaviour of homosexuals has cost you a customer," one commenter wrote.
"Disliked Oreo page just because of this one post. Think about how much business you just killed, Oreo,” wrote another. “I can't support a business that supports gays.”

A "Boycott Oreo" Facebook page sprung up just the day after the image. The creator of the page wrote: "No. I do *not* hate gay people. I am not a ‘homophobe’ "I am against the lifestyle choice, however. It goes against Biblical principles and against how nature intended. That being said, I refuse to support the lifestyle or what Oreo/Kraft is doing. So I have decided to not buy their products."

The Oreo graphic that sparked controversy


Oreo is not the first brand to face such backlash from the public. Target, American Apparel and Starbucks are just three other corporations which were faced with anti-gay boycotts after either publicly endorsing LGBT rights themselves or releasing special products which did so. And oh, J.C. Penney, which has been condemned at least three times this year alone after hiring Ellen DeGeneres as their spokesperson and featuring same-sex couples in Mother's Day and Father's Day catalogues respectively.

What I absolutely fail to understand is, that how can such idiots actually exist in 2012? We talk about leaving a better planet to children, we’re becoming freakily vegan and switching to organic diets, we’re taking up causes and fighting for them, we’re volunteering to help at hospitals and the homeless, we’re teaching the illiterate. Yet we’re so fucking backward in our thinking that we simply cannot accept how homosexuality is simply a way of life.

We can’t deal with gay people. Gay people make us uncomfortable. Why the fuck are so many among us wired this way? We are okay with short-lived marriages like those of Britney Spears that lasted less than 60 hours (I’m not even sure if we can call that a marriage) and okay with the fact that divorce rates are climbing steadily everyday. Yet, we have something stuck up our ass when it comes to legalizing gay marriages or letting a gay couple adopt children.

A lot of couples tend to have children as ‘accidents’. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t condemn straight couples. Neither does that mean these couples love their children any lesser. Gay couples are not blessed that easily to be able to have children as simple ‘accidents’. Firstly, openly admitting you’re gay is hard, for all the possible ridicule you might face. Second, finding your true love in another partner is hard. Some families even disown their children if they learn about their homosexual relationships. Thirdly, when these gay couples decide to have children, it’s because they really WANT to. They’ve had it tough so far and want the opportunity to be good fathers/mothers to their children. Because of the fact that they’re gay, their paperwork is extensive when they decide to adopt. There is a lot more running around to do. There is a lot more work and effort required. In the process, they might be discriminated against because they are a gay couple. And they’re willing to undergo all of this so that they could be parents to a child. Yet, the fucked up society has to act like being gay is a sin and being a gay parent even more so.

I’m not asking people to be staunch activists or create support groups for gay people. Merely treating them as equals and not discriminating against them is a great step to start with. Why do we have to stare and point like they don’t belong? Why do we have to use the word ‘gay’ as a way of insulting or offending someone? Why are we so uncomfortable and stuck up with the idea of accepting gay people as one of our own?

I’m not gay, neither am I a gay right activist, but I do believe that one should simply live and let live. I don’t think it’s my fucking birthright to tell people how they should live, whom should they live with, etc. I just think this should be a fair world to be in and people should live however they want to. No one should decide upon certain ways to live just because a holy book or your stupid societal rules tell you so.

You don’t have to be gay to support gay rights. You just need to be human.