6 February 2009…Chiangmai…third and final day of the Knowledge Fair. In the first two days, I had thoroughly enjoyed the exchanges with teams from different countries of the world.
Then began the third day with a jolt of shock. Some of my newly formed friends were not what I had thought they were. They were casually sharing their sexual orientation, they were gay/ transgender and I was getting confused, and growing uncomfortable by the minute. I am from India where discussing sexuality is a taboo and MSM is a subject better left alone.
My whole day was turbulent, spent in reflection and introspection. Had I not felt at ease with them for the first few days? We had become like a family and were finding it hard to part. So, why suddenly their identity would create a chasm between us? And then a bell rang! My upbringing and my long-held but wrongly misinterpreted beliefs showed way to a new way of thinking.
By evening, my discomfort was beginning to vanish. I had realized that we are all human beings with concern and love for each other and this is what gives us strength to respond to challenges of life. The Knowledge Fair was a big eye-opener, which brought me a lot of friends and a new way of thinking. I was light and happy!
Congratulations to the Constellation team for organising an excellent event which saw a lot of sharing and exchange of experiences.