According to Diksha, her cousin is "the most 'effeminate' in the house." He loves to paint his nails and learn home science. This often leads to mean-spirited jokes and homophobic comments being directed towards him. When he wore lipstick recently, he had a derogatory term hurled at him.
"So he hid behind the curtain & under the bed, shielding his lipcoloured face from the camera & from his mom," writes Diksha on Twitter.
My cousin, 9, is the most "effeminate" in the house. Let's call him Little Cuz. Loves to paint nails, wear lipcolour, learn home science! But in this stereotypical alpha male-centric household he's often the pivot of jokes. Today he applied lipcolour & got called a "chakka" (1/n) pic.twitter.com/mZ2FplPNyP- Diksha Bijlani (@BijlaniDiksha) June 18, 2018
To support their "Little Cuz", all the elder siblings in the house came together and wore lipstick to make him feel "comfortable and accepted."
"He felt a specially empowered when he saw my brother wearing it," tweets Diksha.
In such a house it takes constant work as elder cousins to undo the conditioned gender binary,normalise gender neutral acts which are deemed feminine. So we all wore lip color to make him comfortable & accepted. He felt a specially empowered when he saw my brother wearing it(3/n) pic.twitter.com/aixXrfMpbw- Diksha Bijlani (@BijlaniDiksha) June 18, 2018
The wonderful picture which shows Diksha and her siblings in all their lipsticked glory has gone viral with over 4,000 'likes' and hundreds of retweets.
My brother gave up any toxic masculinity & complied to influence Little Cuz. Little Cuz came out & smiled comfortable in his skin.- Diksha Bijlani (@BijlaniDiksha) June 18, 2018
So important to realise that we owe the responsibility of giving every younger kid a safe space to embrace his place within the gender spectrum(4/n) pic.twitter.com/d9ffsJbsTa
Diksha concludes her thread writing, "So important to tell little kids gender is a spectrum... I hope all of us tell kids we know that they are valid, they are accepted, & they are beautiful today. I hope we don't become the bullies we warn them of."
The gesture even empowered the nine-year-old to stand up for himself when he was told pink is for girls. "Gender is not real. Yesterday me and my brother both wore red lipstick along with didi," he told an elder of the household the next day, after he was reprimanded for riding a pink-coloured bicycle.
Update: Today, Little Cuz picked up his sister's pink bicycle. Uncle ridiculed him for riding on a pink bicycle like a girl (bec that's how petty my fam is). He retorts & says "Gender real nai hota. Kal mene aur bhaiya dono ne red lipstick lagaya tha didi ke saath. Aap puchlo"- Diksha Bijlani (@BijlaniDiksha) June 19, 2018
The story of the young boy who broke gender rules has received much love and support on Twitter:
Here's a little something in his support. pic.twitter.com/YHGh6ceTEX- (@varungrover) June 19, 2018
The world needs more sisters like you. Thank you for this. Hugs, if I may.- Vivek Tejuja (@vivekisms) June 19, 2018
This just melted my heart. Diksha, we need more people like you to get rid of that mindset. Please give Little Cuz a tight, warm and fuzzy hug and tell him he's very very cute. https://t.co/jyPEx9x356- GauravProbirPramanik (@gauravpramanik) June 20, 2018
And in case you're wondering how "Little Cuz" feels after receiving so much love and attention on social media, Diksha tells NDTV he has no idea of the viral fame he has achieved since he is busy at school! "The trending thing happened overnight, so we'll probably tell him when he returns," she says. Click for more trending news
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