Identifying as Queer
Identifying as queer or as lesbian is a choice – for me. But it’s a choice that I exercise with little agency. Queerness seeps/holds/exists in every space of my life. I can’t just keep this “part” of myself in a box and open it only when it can be hidden from the public (straight) eye. I cannot just satisfy my queerness in the bedroom, as some people assume, or pray to Allah to forgive me and save me – I’m not guilty of anything.
Lesbianism is the colour of my blood. It is the lining of my stomach, which must be fed and acknowledged daily, at every moment, with food, fun, sights and sounds, and everything else that can accept my sexuality. The pumping of my blood keeps me alive. If you stop its flow and the flow of everything that sustains it... I will die.
The more you closet me, bash me, violently attack me, the weaker my laughter will sound. My soul will no longer be dynamic and free. Instead it will build a solid stack of bricks, charging forward a resistance to your hatred, to your inability to accept yourselves, that you refocus all your attentions on me.
I’ve been there already, the stack of bricks: I became lesbian. I remember disappearing into silence. I remember losing family and friends, movies, songs, books, paintings, clothes, hair – everything that was so normal months ago, became a struggle to keep with me, to make my own. And my carefree manner transformed into its own resistance movement against homophobia.
I’m back now. Stronger and fuller than ever. I found books and songs, food and clothes, friends and family, queer enough to sustain me for lifetimes over. Resistance has moved beyond a form of defense to one of fruitful nourishment. And now I’m not JUST lesbian – I am Desi, I am Muslim. I am Woman, I am Lover and Sister... AND I am LESBIAN.
- Sha ‘06
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