Rukhsana's white friends, including her girlfriend Ariana, seem to think Rukhsana is being overly cautious when she hides her relationship with Ariana. As it turns out, when her parents find out, they react worse than Rukhsana would have imagined. It takes meeting another gay Bengali to get her back on the path to living her true life, but it comes at an awful cost.
When folks, including me, think things are so much easier for queer kids coming up now, I think we're just thinking about white kids and non-religious kids. I appreciate how characters figure out that Islam isn't at fault for Rukshana's parents' intolerance, but community mores and over concern for what the neighbors will think.
Because of her sexuality, which she can't be open with in her Bengali community, Rukhsana mostly hangs around with her white Seattle classmates. She tells one of her best friends,
You have no idea how hard it is to constantly feel like you have to represent your entire culture.
And once she's out to her Bengali community, she is EveryGay, so a little lesson in intersectionality for today's teens!