“Love is love” – roared The Internet on 6th September 2018 as the Supreme Court abolished Section377. The landmark moment that decriminalized homosexual relationships (and finally abolished an inherited, outdated Victorian law) is a big step towards true equality in the eyes of society as well.
Dharti and Shubh are in love and like any other couple want to look into the future with hope and dreams. But they had to wait till this verdict to be able to breathe.
With stars in their eyes and rainbows on their path, they share their dreams of the future and the struggles of the past. WeddingSutra Favorite – The Photo Diary gives us a glimpse into their bond that makes everything worthwhile.
1. Tell us a little bit about your journey about realization, struggle, and acceptance?
Dharti: I was only six years old when I felt attracted towards a girl for the first time. Back then I did not realize what was happening and I was confused all the time. We’re always only told about love between heterosexual couples so it felt weird having crushes on my school teachers and other girls. It was only when I was in the 10th standard that the realization hit – that I was lesbian. But I ignored my feelings and stayed in denial because of a fear of society. Finally, seven years ago, I accepted the way I am and couldn’t be more proud of my decision to be myself.
Shubh: Growing up I saw a lot of failed marriages in my family and neighborhood. My mother always told me that marriage was important, that society expects it from us. Even my little mind understood that this kind of thinking was totally wrong. I always pictured my partner to be kind, brave, independent and loving. I never considered what society would think about his/her gender, caste, status etc. I realized I was a bisexual at the age of 17 and soon I accepted my sexuality and started loving myself.
2. How did you come out to your loved ones and their reaction (family/friends)?
Dharti: I came out to my brother for the first time and it was very random. One fine morning I woke up, went to him when he was watching television and told him that I am into girls. He was very shocked and told me that this is something that is only in my head. I came out to my mother a few years ago and she was just as shocked. However, over the years my family accepted the fact that I am gay and it can’t be changed. My friends have always been very supportive of me and I didn’t lose a single one because of my sexual orientation.
Shubh: I came out to my mother when I was in college and she thought I was only joking. After that day my life has been a constant struggle to prove myself. I love my family and also understand that all her fears and insecurities come from a place of love. I am patiently waiting for my parents to accept me. I hope one day they will grow to love me the way I am.
My friends at that time said since I’m bisexual I could choose to love a guy but I laughed at them. You don’t just choose to love someone. It is something that will happen on its own. Luckily for me, these friends were temporary. I have a few close friends who now accept me the way I am and inspire me to focus on my life and be the best version of myself.
3. How did you two meet and what was your first impression of your partner?
Dharti: Shubh and I met on Facebook. She sent me a friend request and we chatted for a couple of months before we decided to meet. I instantly liked her when I saw her for the first time waiting for me near a shop wearing a black kurta. She was very self-conscious because this was the first time she was meeting someone with whom she had connected online but her attitude was very sweet.
Shubh: On a confession page on Facebook, a girl wrote about being depressed because of the society. Dharti’s inspiring reply to her comment caught my eye. When I first met her I fell in love with her beautiful smile and eyes. She was very charming and down to earth which made me fall in love with her.
4. How did your relationship take shape into a romantic one?
Dharti: Shubh and I really liked each other from the first time we met. We started spending more time talking to each other about our days and lives. We’d talk for hours and Shubh always had some fascinating story to tell. Days went by and we started getting close. Before long, we knew that we are soulmates and fell in love with each other.
Shubh: We have always had this spark which, when we are together, makes everything in the background fade away. While our relationship grew more romantic, it also made us each other’s best friends. We inspire each other to grow and make the best of our lives.
5. What was your first date like?
Shubh: Well, I was meeting a stranger from the internet so our first date was in a public place with lots of people around! Both of us were apprehensive about what would happen. As it turned out, we shared a great chemistry which is why eventually the location became insignificant.
Dharti: After that, we would often meet at a small lake near her house. It is our favorite place to spend time together. Our dates were never that fancy, just holding hands and hugging whenever we got a chance was the most romantic thing for me.
6. What makes you click?
Shubh: Dharti and I are two are very different personalities with different thought processes. I am the practical one while she is more emotional. However, what makes us click is how we love and respect our differences. Not only does it help us bring balance in our individual lives but also teaches us ways in which we can better ourselves. She has taught me so much in these five years. She has made me a better friend, daughter, sister and a better human being.
7. What do you love about your partner?
Dharti: I love how simple Shubh is. She is positive (most of the times), hardworking, smart and funny. The best thing about her is that she is very inspiring. She knows what will cheer me up and what will light up my mood when I am sad. Though she is practical, she knows how to stay in touch with her emotions and seeing how ambitious she is, makes me proud of her.
Shubh: Dharti is a kind soul who won’t hesitate to help and motivate others. She is my biggest cheerleader who I trust to have my back no matter what comes my way. She is an honest and loyal girlfriend and truly makes me feel like I am the only girl in the world!
8. What are the kind of things you like to do with your partner and the kind that you prefer doing alone?
Dharti: Shubh is not only my lover but also my best friend so whatever I do or wherever I go she has to be there!
Shubh: Going on long drives and listening to soulful music on the journeys is something that I love doing with her. We both are foodies so exploring new dishes with her is great fun too. However, when it comes to working, I prefer working alone in my own cave and I don’t like being disturbed.
9. Tell us about your dreams together.
Dharti: Both of us want to be successful in our respective fields so that we can buy our dream house. In fact, Shubh already has all the decor ideas in mind! We want to be able to live happily with each other more than anything.
10. What does love mean to you?
Dharti: For me, love is respecting each other, dedicating your body and soul to each other and always being honest and loyal to each other.
Shubh: Love is when you are happy together. When two people commit to stay and work on their relationship despite all the forces that go against them, when your efforts to make each other happy keeps you happy and when you accept each other’s flaws and inspire each other to grow – it is love.
11. Are you involved in any work for the LGBTQ community?
Dharti: I have a YouTube channel called “DHARTI” where I upload videos about LGBTQ people and their daily struggles in our society. I have also made a video about what LGBTQ people go through mentally and there are also some funny videos about Indian lesbians and stuff. My efforts are focused not just on normalizing gay lifestyles and preferences but also supporting those who may be feeling lost and alone due to their sexual orientation.
Makeup Artist: Shaili Shah
Photography: The Photo Diary