I only knew one thing: I would accept my daughter the way she was!

“When my daughter, Koninika Roy, then about 21, came out to me in 2014, I was more relieved than anything else as I knew she was struggling with it for a very long time. In fact, I prompted her to come out to me on FaceTime as I knew both of us couldn’t take it any longer. She was in the UK completing her post graduation then. But I had only known half of the story that she is lesbian. She told me she’s bisexual and that was news!

I only knew one thing: I would accept her whatever she was as that was her identity, not something our genes or family name gave her!

My first instinct was to hug her and kiss her and protect her like she was my little baby born after a long struggle one noisy and brightly lit Dhanteras evening in Kolkata twenty-one years ago.

I felt her struggle, her loneliness and her helplessness in trying to understand her own sexuality. Liking both boys and girls, yet not daring to be with boys abroad, some relationships not getting fulfilled… it was a dilemma for sure.

I started reading up and spoke to my counselor who was very helpful, as was my other daughter. But I must confess that I felt severely alone in that journey, as I had not got in touch with anyone else whose child had any other than hetero-normative sexual identity.

Finally, Sweekar adopted me. It was such a relief, such a safe haven to hang my feelings on, such a soft cushion to hold my hopes for my lovely daughter. I was lucky as I had not faced any hostility from relatives, the first platform for our types of society, to discuss children with. They were all very accepting and helped me understand how important family support meant for children like Koninika who dare to accept their own diversity by being honest to themselves and to everyone else.

In that way, Sweekar was, and is, and always will be my second family. Listening to their stories and their examples, I felt so honored and humbled!

I wish Sweekar would grow so much in strength that one day we would not need Sweekar at all: acceptance will be automatic, unconditional and universal.”

-Nilakshi Roy