1.12.2009

Voices From the Community: Queer and Disabled

"I was born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI), or brittle bone disease, a disorder characterised by bones that break easily, often from little or no apparent cause. As a two-month-old baby I suffered the first fracture when I merely crossed my legs. Four months later, I sustained another one. Between two and eight, I had many fractures - sometimes when I walked, at other times, when I simply turned in my bed! But these would heal in a few days. The severity of the disease struck only when I suffered a severe, extremely painful fracture to my femur (thigh bone) during a trip to Ludhiana. At eight, I was disabled for life - unable to stand or walk. By the time I turned 13, I had suffered 14 fractures on various parts below the waist (my upper body was thankfully intact). But it left me and my family completely disillusioned. I stopped schooling and was forced to complete my studies from home.

OI is a genetic disorder. I inherited it from my mom, a diabetes patient, who suffered a severe fracture at 40. One of my sisters and niece also suffer from OI, but they are mild cases. Since I was born a few years after my mother's attack, I was severely afflicted. My last fracture was at 13; it happened while I was sleeping! Apart from the excruciating pain, the worse part about OI is not knowing when you will suffer the next fracture. At times, it can strike the same body part. Thankfully, my bones stopped breaking after 13.

But I was going through another turmoil in my mind.

The turning point

After I attained puberty, I realised that I was attracted to men. Puberty, in many ways, was a blessing for me, for it not only stopped my fractures, but also aided my sexual development. Though I had not realised the implications of being gay, I confessed my feelings to my sister who supported and counselled me. Being practically bed-ridden, my social life was negligible so I never really understood the situation in its correct perspective, until years later."

Read the rest of Lekha Menon's story at MumbaiMirror.com

3 comments:

Riot Kitty said...

Thank you for sharing this story!

LLK said...

Being gay is hard enough, especially with all the discrimination that goes on in the LGBT community. I can't imgine the amount of discrimination someone that is remotely different faces...

Anonymous said...

Wow! What a story!

Peter