with Banti Jaswal
As we celebrate Intersex Awareness Day we turn out attention to our incredible community for your thoughts on awareness and living authentically. Banti Jaswal (they/them), is an intersex artist, presenter, and Greater Boston Area PFLAG scholarship recipient. For this special IAD newsletter issue Banti shares about their experiences of becoming and living authentically.
On Coming Out
I was able to come out after I had a community of people who loved and supported me no matter what. With these intersex and non intersex people behind me I thought “well who cares what other people think”. I was fortunate that most of my experiences have been great. It's important to be prepared for questions that people may not know are offensive but this helps me with my speaking. The bad experiences don't hurt me as hard with my core family and friend’s love. Before coming out I wish I'd known that it is one step closer to being your true self. For me, at least, it felt freeing. People will love you no matter what.
On Living Authentically
It has helped me make good friends because I am honest about every element of myself to my best ability and has helped me find good people (find the real ones). I feel like it's something to have to re-come out. I am just casual about it because it is just one part of me. I still face hard downs and slow ups because I am still processing everything and understand it will be with me my whole life. I could not be in this place without the intersex community and am so grateful to get to be a part of it.
Intersex awareness means sharing, educating, having discussions, celebrating, and connecting. This is how I feel people should talk about intersex: Intersex is beautiful, real, and needs to be known (shared with the world). The best part Intersex Awareness Day is it is a day of awareness so even if you are intersex, an ally, or someone who is not out you can still share if (you feel comfortable) a link, a story, or a resource.