Rhea of Sunshine: being yourself


Morgan Kong

In this weekly column, Wingspan staff reporter Rhea Advani provides her take on a variety of topics.

Rhea Advani, Staff Reporter

Welcome back to school Redhawks! First of all, I wanted to thank each and every one of you who have been following my page from the beginning and reading my stories each week.

I’ve always been one to be very open minded and accepting of however people like to express themselves. I never judge anyone based on their sex prefrence, pronous, etc. But it wasn’t until this summer when my cousin came out, that I really sat down and thought about what it means to be yourself.

Being born and raised by an Indian family who embraces their culture and heritage in many aspects, I consider my parents to be very open-minded and modern in the way that they think. For example, my parents allow me to have a boyfriend and have many guy friends, whereas when my mom was a teenager, the topic of boys wasn’t even allowed to enter the house. Even though I am not gay, I’ve made sure my parents would be accepting of me no matter what.

However, this is not how my aunt and uncle think.

When they found out about my cousin, they weren’t mad, but they weren’t happy. This is because the old traditional mindset of Hindus is that a woman should marry a man. But this concept has been changed over the years as generations have become accustomed to a more modern mindset. I’m proud to say that my immediate family is all very welcoming and open-minded about these matters. However, when my aunt and uncle found out, my parents were the ones who told them that they need to accept my cousin the way she is, because no matter what she identifies as, she’s still worthy of being accepted and loved.

So even though some of us might say we understand the LGBTQ community, it’s not until someone close to you goes through or shares their journey with you, that you can begin to remotely understand.