Tag Archives: queer parenting

Better Late Than Ever

bisexual-logoAuthor: Dervaishi from Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan

Everything in my life is pretty much the way it should be. I have a husband, a baby, I have a good job, I live with the in-laws in a comfortable house, and other than a few OCDs, I’m doing pretty well in the head. In December 2012, I fell in love with someone 10 years younger than me. She was beautiful. She made my heart skip beats & added jumps in my stride. Her eyes were deep and mysterious like calm dark pools of water. When she walked, her body swayed with the breeze, or maybe it was just this strange intoxication that had taken me over since I saw her. No, I am not in love with her any more. I think it was just an infatuation, like the innumerous times I have been besotted with women, girls, the female form, the female mind, everything female, over the past 15 years. Of course, they were all as straight as a line neatly drawn out with a ruler, like me, or so I believed. I mean, I always knew I was not ‘normal’. I wasn’t like the other girls. I was always a tomboy, and for the longest time I thought I was a dude and so I wore my dad’s vests instead of a bra to keep my developing femaleness from showing. Later in my life, I had a bunch of crushes on the boys in our school, but never really got to talk to any of them because I went to an all-girls school. I started dating in the senior year of university. I went out with a number of boys, some pretty good-looking and smart, and the others just because they were male. I hooked up with them, enjoyed it too. I fell in love with this man that I eventually married. Everything seemed ‘normal’, just the way it should be.

You know, when you keep a secret inside for too long, it festers. It’s like a tooth cavity. The longer you let it be, the bigger it gets. I call it that hole in my soul. The soul has all these holes that get filled when you get what you need or want. I had successfully plugged the holes for stability, security, social recognition, a husband, a family, and for a while, romance too – the holes of ‘normalcy’. However, I always felt this hollow in my soul & somewhere in my subconscious conscious (if such a thing exists), I knew what this hole was but I thought it’s alright if I don’t plug it. That’s asking for too much.

Then in December, something snapped. I had had too much of this lying & self-deceit. Like Rumi wrote, “There is a candle in your heart ready to be kindled. There is a void in your soul ready to be filled. You feel it don’t you?” I could feel it gaping & hurting in every fiber of my being. So I decided to expose my soul to a friend, holes and all. She had been semi-out for quite some time so it was easy. I told her everything I felt about that girl. I told her everything I had felt all these years. Just like that, I came out. I wish I had known how easy it would be. I thought there are no girls like me in this city. I thought I was the only ‘abnormal’ person around. I tried so hard at being this other person I think I eventually became this other person.

Later on in February 2013, I came out to my husband too. He had been negligent for too long to really blame me for it. I told him he could leave me if he wanted to. For a while, it was like the skies had come crashing down on him. We fought, we argued, we negotiated. I went into depression and lost a lot of weight. Soon he realized this is the way things are and if he wants to stay with me and the baby, he will have to compromise. So now, he has decided, albeit reluctantly, to let me be. He thinks it is just a phase and I will come around sooner or later. Well, only time will tell. Right now I am taking each day as it comes. He has been somewhat accepting and I make sure I appreciate his support in whatever way I can.

So anyway, now everything is different. It’s severely complicated but it’s clearer and I acknowledge my realities. My new year’s resolution was to be true to myself and I think this is the first resolution that I have ever really acted upon. This is one of the Forty Rules of Shams too –

Try not to resist the changes that come your way. Instead, let life live through you. And do not worry that your life is turning upside down. How do you know that the side that you are used to is better than the one to come?

A Scribbling Phase

dance floorPooh from Peshawar, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

A hot summer evening, a party, 2012: I was with the girls I love most.  My four best friends and I were partying when suddenly a girl, an acquaintance, asked me for my permission to be kissed. I completely refused. She insisted again and told me that this will not be on my lips. She lied, and I moved away.

I was there, sitting on a couch. And I realized something different. It was not love; it was not some magical feeling in my gut. It was a point when they show you in the movies with a swirly effect that one has a flashback.

–flashback–

I was engaged in 2009 to the man who proposed me and wanted to marry me. I had known him for quite some time. We were perfect.

We went out on our first date. He tried to hold my hand. I shivered and let go. I never felt attracted, I never felt at ease. The thing kept on, I cried every time he came near, and eventually we broke up in 2011.

No, being with a male person was not new to me. And I had been to co-education schools in Pakistan.

–reality–

I looked at all my friends, So many people on the dance floor. And I was trying to locate myself.

I tried being with men, but I do not understand. Why do I still remember a girl that I had met up and was with for 6 months in 2002 as much as I remember my ex-fiancé? Why was I more comfortable with her ? Why would her touch be more caring? I realized that although I had fun with male partners, I could not be very comfortable with them unless I was drunk. I did not want to see what was inside their pants. I do not know if that fear came from a sexually abused childhood or just that I was not in the mood.

I racked my brain for my entire crush list. Why had I always fancied men like Will Young and Gareth Gates and not men like John Cena? I had my answer: I was surely not straight. And that I was sinning.  Being bisexual was not very difficult for my close friends to accept, because most of them were queer or friends of queer.

But the thought of my newly Islamized family finding out scares me of the consequences, and what I fear the most is losing my right to an education.