I came across Dharti Patel, a.k.a ‘Theunpoet’, when a follower of mine recommended her poetry on Instagram. She is one among the lgbtqia who is very vocal about her sexuality despite the repercussions that she faced within the society.
This 24-year-old Mass Media graduate is a Mumbai native who quit her job of three years when she realised her passion was YouTube. Through her videos, she talks about her life as a member of lgbtq, what it’s like being lgbtq in India, her fair share of experiences, both good and bad and many topics related to feminism, gender equality and women empowerment. What’s more, she’s a badass rapper as well! She’s got diss tracks where she spits out a mean flow while calling out sexist, prejudiced and ignorant people in her songs.
Let’s meet Dharti-
1) What made you get into YouTube?
Ever since my childhood, I had this strong urge to help people but at that time I was too small and too young to do anything, so I started by helping my friends. But as I grew up I realized my hunger for helping others was getting bigger. Throughout my whole life I have seen people suffer, holding grudges, misunderstanding situations and blaming others for their problems. I want everybody to live a happy life and I want to teach them what society couldn’t- “HUMANITY”. So after working in a YouTube company for two and a half years I realized YouTube was going to be the platform for me to reach out to a bigger audience. I want to inspire and motivate people of all age groups. I want people of different age groups to live their life to the fullest while breaking society’s norms.
2) What are some of the main factors or topics that define your videos?
Right now I make funny videos where I break many stereotypes. I also make videos about women empowerment and gender equality. I make life-motivating videos which I think can change a person’s whole take on their life. And very soon I will start to make Tomboy Fashion Videos too. So basically, I work on 3 categories: Funny, Motivating Speech and Fashion.
3) The inspiration behind the name “Theunpoet”?
I was fifteen when I started writing songs, poems etc. I sometimes feel so upheld in my life that I could just go on writing and fill a whole book about my feelings. And sometimes I feel so down and lost that I can’t even think of a single word. So I think Dharti is a poet and my alter ego is not so poetic about life, so I came up with a word The Unpoet which means I cannot help myself feeling so un-poetic.
4) How was the support that you received when you came out to your friends and family?
Support was great. My friends and Family love me the same.
5) How is the environment for lgbtq in India? Is it better or is there room for improvement?
I think the overall environment has improved a lot. There are many people who have opened up about their sexuality. I think in the past 5 years, India has started to accept the lgbtqia community. I think most people no longer see lgbtq people as some kind of weird creatures. What I can say is that nobody is scared anymore. And of course there is always a room for improvement and we can do it by legalising it.
6) What were some of the struggles that you faced while you were growing up before you came out?
I was depressed during my whole childhood. I was 6 years old when I was attracted to a girl for the first time. It was just an innocent attraction but I did not know what it was. In the news, they use to say that same sex is sinful and that it was unnatural. It used to scare the shit out of me. I use to have anxiety, thinking what my family would do if they ever find out about me. I was in 10th std when I came face to face with the terms ‘gay’ and ‘lesbian’ and somewhere, I knew I was a lesbian but I was in denial for so long. It was very frustrating and I used to feel suicidal.
7) The videos from your channel you’d recommend for the people who want to check it out?
I would love for people to check out “That moment you realize you are Gay” video. I needed no script for that video. It was just me the entire time.
8) Lastly, any advice for lgbtq people who are still struggling mentally, financially, physically?
TALK TO SOMEONE and if nobody is listening, come talk to me. Remember that you are a warrior and you are going to defeat every bad situation in life. If someone is physically abusing you RAISE your voice against them and ROAR out loud and scare them. Stay strong MENTALLY. I am sure right now things are not going your way but trust me they will one day and you will be so proud of yourself. And also get help!! For those who are still inside closet I suggest you come out to your parents when you are financially independent and are able to take care of yourself. And most importantly be a good HUMAN BEING because we are humans first.
To follow Dharti, click on the links below:
My Instagram profile : https://www.instagram.com/