Tag Archives: lesbian

I Am What I Am

Author: Ceen, Punjab, Pakistan 

rickshawI am ceen, I am not a writer but I always feel when you have something to share, when there is pain in your thoughts, you can write what you feel. I belong to a typical landlord family where there is very common practice by men to use female maids for the purposes of their own desires. I grew up in a joint family, living with around 35-40 people. My father was a rebel of the family in the sense that he always believed in girls’ education and freedom of expression. I grew up in an environment where I saw my parents always criticized by other family members as they were a totally loving couple whereas my tayas (father’s elder brothers) were busy with maids.

In my family, there were more boys than girls and I spent my childhood while playing with those cousins. Till the age of 14, I was not aware about of what my orientation is.

From my childhood, I always felt attracted towards beauty; if I saw someone, a boy or a girl, who was beautiful, I always praised their beauty. There was no feeling of shyness or hesitation. One day, I was in school in Class 4, I was sitting in my classroom and a woman (who was a teacher, and a friend of my teacher) came to our class. She was amazingly beautiful! I just saw her and I was not able to turn my eyes away. She was pretty and stylish. I have never seen such a pretty women before.

She was busy with my teacher and I was just gazing her silently. After a while, she said goodbye to my teacher and left. I was totally shocked at that time as I was not ready to not see her anymore. I stood up. Suddenly my teacher said, “Oh, Adeela left her file here.”

I snatched that file and ran from the class. She was not anywhere. I rushed to the gate.We were not allowed to leave school during school hours for any reason. The gate guard tried to stop me but I was totally out of control. My school road is one of the most busy roads. As I left the school grounds, I saw her get into a rikshaw and leave. The road was full of traffic and I was totally out of my senses. I just wanted to see that face again. I rushed behind the rikshaw and after running about a half kilometer, I caught up to it. It was still moving and to make it stop, I pulled it; its wheels ran over my feet and it stopped as she and the driver noticed me. At the time, I didn’t feel any pain in my feet. I was just happy to see her. I gave her the file and said, “You forgot it.”

She said, “Why did you try to come out to find me? Are you crazy?” I was just silently gazing at her face. She said, “Ok, thanks,” and the rikhsaw left again.

Suddenly I felt pain in my foot and when I looked down, I saw it is was crushed badly. I was not able to move anymore. I couldn’t figure out what was happening to me! Why was I behaving so crazily? I was not aware about the concept of lesbian or gays.

When I was in Class 10, I saw in the newspaper that, “do hum jins paraston ne shadi kar li. (Two homosexuals have gotten married.)” I read it many times as I realized that it is something related to myself. After that, I kept an eye out for such news and many times I felt afraid, when I noticed that there is  news like, “ham jins parast jorra pakrra gaya ya unko maar dia gaya. (A homosexual couple was caught, or killed.)” I always thought: maybe it’s a sin; but what can I do? I have no control. This is natural thing – I am more attracted towards women.

This situation has converted me to a very reserved and serious kind of person.

The Gender Closet


Author: Anonymous from India

I was born in 1989. It was my first tryst with gender. I was my parents’ first-born. My father, unhappy with a girl child, refused to take my mother home. He came around eventually when I was about a year old, and never did he make me feel any less because of my gender. But years later, when I came to know of the agony and suffering my mother had to go through because of my father’s initial rejection of me (and of her), I was furious with him. I could never tell him that. My father passed away in 2002. I was thirteen then. As I have realized over the years, that was my second engagement with gender. Overnight, not only had I stopped being a child only concerned over report cards, sports, and being popular with friends, but I had also become the ‘son’ of the family. What that meant was that I had started making my own decisions and had an opinion of my own – qualities which, in an ideal world would be agendered – but in the world I inhabited, made me feel ‘like a man’. The artificiality and constructedness of gender roles would dawn upon me much later, thankfully not too late.

The Crush(es)

My first real crush was the neighbourhood ‘didi’. We had sleepovers, spoke into the night, exchanged stories of our everyday lives. Then there was this ‘best friend’ at school who I couldn’t stop talking to and thinking about. University changed my life in many ways. I fell in love with a friend who was (still is) heterosexual.  Another friend was in love with me as well. But the biggest change happened when a bunch of us opted for the Gender Studies course at University. New ideas were thrown up every day. Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble made a lot of sense. My life started to make sense as well. I could articulate my thoughts on how looking at that heterosexual friend made me feel happiest, even though I knew she had a boyfriend.

Time Flies and How?

I had completed my Masters in 2011, and had been teaching at a college. I had attended a seminar where an acclaimed playwright was there to inaugurate some gallery on Indian English literature and interact with students as well. As the dramatist took the stage, I asked my professor who was sitting next to me, “Is the lady sitting in the front row his wife?” Astonished, said Professor turned to me, “He’s gay!” I was mightily embarrassed. I knew the dramatist’s plays spoke of homosexuality but I had never linked his art to his sexuality. I do not know what had changed but when I reached home that day I called up my professor and came out to him.

What followed was a long process of coming out to myself, coming out to three of my friends, coming out but scrambling back in when it came to telling my mother. We live in different cities now and I want to keep it that way.

I met someone last year, and we’ve been together since. Life is still complicated but I know where I stand. I identify myself as queer.

Dance Party Prayer

isloo-starsAuthor: Summer from Islamabad, Pakistan

It was when I was 14 and there was a dinner party at my house and I invited two of my friends from school and, as usual, we holed up in our room and danced to loud music while the grownups did their partying downstairs. And there was this moment: I was tired and out of breath, so I stood near the door watching the other two. And watching one of my best friends, I thought: Oh my God, she’s beautiful! She’s so amazingly beautiful and I love her so much.

And then I thought: Please don’t let me be gay please don’t let me gay please don’t let me be gay.

Twenty years later and I’m glad God didn’t answer that particular prayer.