One Future Collective is an organization that works towards building compassionate youth social leadership through the use of art, education, community intervention and policy advocacy – across verticals of gender justice, mental health, legal reform and development policy.

Mumbai, India
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info@onefuturecollective.org

Rainbow Heart #1 | The Art of Coming Out

The Rainbow Heart campaign was created with a firm belief in the power of telling our stories: stories of acceptance of our queer identity – by ourselves or by others. The first edition of this compilation has eight heartwarming stories: ‘The Art of Coming Out’, by Meghna Prakash, is the first story in this series.

I’ve come out many times before, but it’s hard to be taken seriously as a bi-sexual woman. The women I came out to were afraid of dating me because they were tired of experimenting women. The men I came out to, well, they imbibed me into their perverse, sex-driven, threesome fantasies. That disgusted me. It was a little tug at my heart every time people told me my sexuality was a phase, and how I’m probably the luckiest member of the LGBTQ community because I can ‘conveniently’ go straight whenever I like.

I struggled growing up because all my lovers were my best friends. We connected by talking about men-“other men”. I watched them fall in love. I dressed them up on their first dates. I held them when they got their hearts broken. But I could never tell them how I felt because when they kissed me, they didn’t mean it.

I could take women home, but I never really ‘took them home’. My parents bantered with them and asked them who the new boy was who I was dating.

I didn’t mean to come out like this. I’m in a healthy, loving relationship with a boy. A boy I can take home and show my parents. A boy I can someday get married to. But, I love women too. It’s terrifying how easily I can mask my sexuality to adjust, to fit in, to succumb because nobody taught me how to date a woman.

I knew how to love one. But how do I tell them I am in love with them? That it’s not a fling. It’s not experimental. My history with boys hasn’t pushed me towards them. I love them. God, I’m shaking as I’m writing this.

I ended up writing this poem in five minutes on a crowded bus. It emerged out of me like a distant dream. Like with Ellen, she felt caged in a dream and knew she had to come out even if it destroyed her career. I’ve been caged my whole life until this poem came out of me.

I don’t think I can ever go back to my cage again. Here is the poem. This is the first time I’m coming out publicly, and I’m shamelessly using my art to express myself in ways I fail to otherwise.

I’m terrified of this poem. I won’t lie.


Look at you
how you stole the blue
of this sky, our nights
swallowing daylight whole.

Read me like your favourite book,
You tell me, as though I could
read you any other way
Don’t write about me though
because your words have to end.
Somewhere. But you and I
can’t climax just yet.
Like a writer’s satisfied smile
she draws the last period to her script
Her dreams expanded and died
In 343 pages, but you and I
Weren’t meant to die young

She tells me.
But her beauty never escapes me.
The nightingale sings to us
When she holds my hand

And looks at the moon
On nights where the moon hides
She holds me and we become the canvas on which the moon descends
Her breasts sink into my flesh
Her hands tease my scars
Her waist sinking into my sheets
Like sand off a broken hourglass

You emptied me
Of the love I caged
In my delicate frame

Her tongue teases my mouth
Like the letter r, friend, she spits out
Fr-rie-nd, like that word
Ripped my heart out of my chest
Fr-rie-nd, she purrs
As though she could taste my blood
In her mouth, everything we were
to each other had promises of
being so much more, but she can
kiss my mouth, live in my dreams
But like that r that swims in between of our teeth,

//Fr-rie-nd, my mother says,
Help her find the boy she needs//
Fr-rie-nd, hold me this night
Come dawn, we all have to go back hiding. 

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One Future Collective