When we talk about the LGBTQIA+ community, we talk about their struggle, society’s indifference to them, and their hassle to live peacefully in society. But, no one talks about how brave they are. They are a warrior, who can never let their sword down. Recently, I spoke to such a warrior, Pratik Permey, a young Economics student with a zeal to work for the social cause.

Q) Who is Pratik Permey? What is your identity?

A) Pratik Permey is a 22-year-old, gender fluid person who finds happiness in the smallest of things in this life.

Q) When you say that you are gender fluid, what do you imply by it? Most, of us, are still not aware of certain terms.

A) So, if some ask me what is gender fluidity, then it is a state when a person’s gender can flow from one gender to another. I expect all three of the pronoun, he, she, and they. I am highly gender fluid, I flow between, male, female and non-binary gender.

Q) In a society, where the LGBTQIA+ community has still not been accepted, how do you deal with the day-to-day struggle?

A) The day-to-day struggles that we face are indifference, hate, being disowned for being who you are, being judged, and being heavily criticized. During my teenage, I would be very frustrated and will literally go head-on yell at that person, ‘what is your problem?’. Now, I deal with peace and kindness. If someone yells at me, ‘Hey, you homo.’, I say, ‘Yes, I am gay.’

Q) You are also into social work and you have been recognized for it. What drives you towards it.

A) Growing up, I didn’t have a happy childhood. Most people idolize their childhood, saying that ‘I would do anything to go back to my childhood’, I will not. I was a depressed kid and I did not even know about it. The only thing I wanted to do is go to other kids and make them happy. Growing up, I had this tendency of helping out people to make them happy, or at the least, less tense. This drove me into social work.

Q) As you stated that you didn't have a happy childhood, so when you were growing up and you realized that you are different from what society perceives to be normal, at any moment did you wish that you were 'society's normal'?

A) Luckily, I never had this thought because I was always happy to be what I am. I stood out from the crowd.

Q) Your message to society? A society that expects things to be either black or white, not gray.

I have so many messages but one I would like to highlight is that in this society filled with hate, why spread hate when we can spread love. Instead of focusing on all bad things, we should focus on the good ones too. Especially to homophobic people or people who are not comfortable with the community, I would just like to say it is fine if you don’t want to talk to the person from the community, but it is not fine, if you initially hurt them, even after knowing how it can effect them. When I talked to this beautiful soul, I realize that in life the real happiness is when you see someone smile because of you.