“The things that make me different are the things that make me, me. -Piglet”
Hi, I’m Avishek! I’m a 24-year-old software engineer, Catan enthusiast, and Airplane lover from Seattle, WA.
I grew up in a small, rather conservative town, in the suburbs of Seattle where I was one of the few Southeast Asian kids in my grade. I didn’t have much of a cultural community proximal to where I lived, but I spent a lot of time on the weekends learning about Indian classical music, dance, and culture at my local Sunday school with many of the other Bengali children in the area. Sundays usually consisted of me abandoning my phone for three hours while I dancing, socializing, and most importantly, escaping the white heteronormative community I otherwise had to interact with for the rest of the week. I was always too embarrassed to tell my friends growing up why I would disappear during those times because I can imagine many of you reading this can relate to microagressions towards the desi, LGBT, and sometimes the intersection of both, communities that can especially come from teenagers.
Now, as a young adult, I still listen to classical Indian music as an escape from the world when I sometimes feel like I don’t fit in. Heartbreaks, tough work days, or heck, sometimes even just for silent discos in my apartment. From the wise words of Piglet, I remember why these qualities I was so quick to hide growing up as a kid are really nothing to be ashamed of especially when they make me feel so happy.
I’m still trying to learn what I best identify with on this fluid sexuality spectrum, but I think it’s important to note that often people at the intersection of LGBT and SE Asian communities don’t have the vocabulary yet that encompasses their feelings — and that’s okay. I find solace that whether it be at Sunday school as a kid or in my headphones as an adult, that there’s always a welcome place to just be me. Since at the end of the day, there is a theory that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with — and for me, it’s okay if those people are boys or girls as long as they help me grow and want to be a better person.
If there’s any part of this that you related to, I hope it makes you remember that your feelings are not alone and there is always a community here to make you feel at home.