The YouTube star “Superwoman” Lilly Singh took her fans by surprise with a tweet which said, “Female. Coloured. Bisexual. Throughout my life, these have proven to be obstacles from time to time. But now I’m fully embracing them as my superpowers. No matter how many “boxes” you check, I encourage you to do the same.” It is very courageous of Singh to open up about her sexuality on social media. We all know, being an Asian woman, it doesn’t come that easy.
Throughout my life these have proven to be obstacles from time to time. But now I’m fully embracing them as my superpowers.
No matter how many “boxes” you check, I encourage you to do the same x
— Lilly // #LateWithLilly (@Lilly) February 25, 2019
- Popular YouTuber came out as a bisexual on social media today.
- Being an Asian woman, it doesn’t come that easy.
- We grow up with cultural values which forbid us from thinking about sex and sexuality.
- No one should feel ashamed or fearful of being gay or bisexual.
Your sexual orientation is that one truth that you cannot ignore, no matter how much you try.
Singh may not be an Indian citizen, but for South Asian women around the world, sex and sexuality are topics their close-knit community runs away from. Overseas or in India, young Asian girls grow up with cultural values which tell them that sex is forbidden, let alone same-sex love. We aren’t supposed to think about it or talk about it. But sexuality never abides by cultural dictates. Your sexual orientation is that one truth that you cannot ignore, no matter how much you try. It stays with you and keeps knocking on your consciousness till you accept it. No amount of dictates can suppress that truth. However, they make it difficult for a person to accept his or her reality.
A majority of Asian girls are made to understand that their bodies are only meant to please their husbands’ and that there is no such thing as ‘desire’ for a woman. Our culture desexualises our bodies and physical needs so that we do not question its patriarchal ways, where a man’s needs are always placed above that of a woman. Which is why the realisation of being homosexual or bisexual doesn’t bring joy to women. It fills them with a sense of panic and guilt. They feel angry at themselves for not being able to comply by acceptable social norms and being “different.” But then why do others get to tell us what is different or unacceptable and what is not?
No one should have to feel ashamed or fearful of their sexuality.
Millions across the world still see bisexuality as some kind of deviance. They do not want to understand it or discuss it. Singh has often spoken up about dealing with mental health issues, and one wonders if her struggle with her own sexual orientation has had something to do with it. By not accepting people for who they are, we make their lives more miserable. They deserve to be happy with who they are. No one should have to feel ashamed or fearful of sexual orientation but our prejudices put them on the path of self-loathing and depression.
Perhaps with Singh opening up about her sexuality, we will have more lucid conversations about bisexuality and how little we understand it. The YouTube star enjoys a massive fan following in India. Her courage may also encourage young men and women to not be afraid of their true selves. To embrace who they are, irrespective of what the society wants them to be. As for us, we need to ask ourselves, why are we okay with putting regressive dictates above the happiness of our loved ones?
Picture Source: MalaysianMail
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Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.