To save myself from my school bullies, I had to do whatever they told me to do
How much ever we disagree, when it comes to gender expression and sexual orientation, our society seems to forget about humanity. From being beaten up to being abused, it is something most queer kids go through in spite of whatever precautionary measures are taken to safeguard them. For some reason, our minds are so fragile when it comes to masculinity and feminity, we are quite rigid as to what a man and woman can do. This is something that happened when I was in 4th Standard studying in a catholic school.
I had been studying with the same classmates for around 4-5 years and most of them were also good friends of mine. After being promoted to 4th Standard, somehow after school vacations, the scenario completely changed, while all students were comfortable sitting together till last year, now wanted to have different seating for boys and girls and I could hardly understand why. By this time one statement that became common amongst all boys was "stop behaving like a girl" and that kept on repeating each day. This was completely confusing for me as I was having a hard time to even understanding what attributes of mine were making me seem like a girl as I was behaving exactly as I would since last year.
I slowly started getting teased and while initially, it was subtle, it didn't too much time when people would just walk in front of me and call me names. I still recall that at that time, we were not aware of the difference between gay, trans, and even what being effeminate means. So everyone who does not behave manly enough was called 'Chaka' and for some reason in my school, I was the only boy who was named so and without even realizing it, from my juniors to seniors everyone had started calling me that. My only mistake was that I had a soft voice and behaved a little femininely.
It really started getting in my head when people started physically assaulting me and taking actions such as not entering the washroom when I was inside and also walking at a distance from me being scared that they would also catch this disease, and while it was quite obvious to the teachers that this was happening in class, they didn't even find it important to address it, which encouraged the students even more. Now grouping me and hazing me became an ordinary sight during recess until one day I decided to fight back. Upon confrontation, things went very much out of my hands as the intensity and severity of their hazing increased like locking me in the bathroom, touching my private parts to check if I had any genitals, and even locking me up in the bathroom without any apparent reason.
One of the worst memory of all was the day when for them to leave me alone I was asked to kiss a girl on her lips. Now at that time, if I'm being honest I wasn't even aware of what my sexual orientation was as I had not really hit puberty yet! but the thought of forcing someone to do this seemed unjust to both me and whoever that girl would be. While I had to save myself from those bullies, I had no other option but to do that. I tried escaping from that conundrum but had to actually kiss a girl in order to save myself. While I've grown up now, every time I think of being intimate with someone I get a shiver down the spine as that memory just flashes in front of my eyes.
The only intention behind sharing this story is to make aware all bullies that while you think by hazing someone you are just having fun, this could easily leave someone a scar that will stay with them eternally.
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