If you could say anything to your 15-year-old self, what would you say? Would you pride yourself on how far you have come? Would you speak about the struggles you overcame? Or, would you just remind yourself that you are loved?
Imagine what you would tell yourself if you grew up feeling like you were wrong, even disgusting, for how you identify.
Mumbai’s LGBT Community recently had some wise words to tell their 15-year-old selves about their journeys and acceptance in their Indian community.
Indian social experiment and comedy group Being Indian makes videos on YouTube about going through life as a 21st century Indian. In a recent video, the channel asked members of the LGBT community at a Pride Parade in Mumbai what they would tell their 15-year-old selves.
Many of the responses voiced concerns about feeling accepted and beautiful in their own skin. This is something that LGBT members of every age should be reminded of, regardless of where they reside in the world.
Some of the anonymous responses emphasized being comfortable in who they are.
“Never compromise on your dreams.”
“You will try to change yourself, but I can tell you that you won’t succeed.”
“Remove those thoughts of wanting to kill yourself, because you are going to grow up to be this powerhouse of a person who will put people in their place if they need to be.”
These comments are synonymous with LGBTQQA+ individuals around the world. Sinking feelings of self-worth and confidence plague most members of this community, which is why it is so important for them to rise together and speak on the positives of loving themselves.
This video is reminiscent of the popular It Gets Better campaign, created by Dan Savage. Created in September 2010, Savage set out to communicate to LGBT youth around the world that life gets better, and that progress is coming.
Due to the Internet, the dialogue about equal rights has become a more globalized conversation. These campaigns, among others, are reinforcing the ideology of acceptance.
Watch Savage’s first video for the It Gets Better Project on their YouTube channel here. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IcVyvg2Qlo)
Much like the videos on the It Gets Better page, Being Indian’s inspiring testimonies of hardship and overcoming adversity are transparent during their two minute video. They speak of reclaiming their lives and growing confidently into who they are, which provides great insight for any youth who is still struggling to accept their identity.
One of the interviewees urges viewers to “Look for Queer role models in your life, and if you can’t find one, be one.”
Whether you live in Minnesota, Mumbai or Mozambique, being exactly who you are is beautiful. No more, no less. Love yourself and share your journey with others. Being prideful of who you are may inspire someone who is just like you were when you were 15-years-old.
Watch Being Indian’s video “Dear 15 Year Old Me (LGBT Version)” here. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3EO2u5Iz9IQ)