Episode 02: Closet Case

Written by: Buttertoes

Mom rushed into my room bursting with excitement. She was holding a paper in her hand which she almost thrust on my face.
Mom: “We got a new proposal for you! Just take a look at the biodata. You won’t not be sorry.”I gave out an exasperated sigh: “I told you mom I don’t want to get married before I complete my studies!”Mom beamed and said, “One look at the picture and you will change your mind just like that.”I glanced over the passport-size photo stapled on the paper. Mom was kind of right. The sight was quite tempting. But I was adamant. Me: “Yeah she’s pretty. But still my studies come first, mom.”Mom almost cried out, “But they have two flats in Dhaka! They will keep you happy I’m sure!”                                                                                                   
Wouldn’t it be swell if my mom did something like that? Helping me decide which girl I should choose as my life-partner? Asking me to go for a girl because her father is a rich businessman? Surely, these are not the attributes which would make me go for someone, but you know how unreasonable parents can be.
I love weddings. I love the pre-wedding get-togethers, dance rehearsals, shopping, deciding on the menu. Friends and families making plans on how to make the wedding the most memorable event for the bride and groom. I love the wedding ceremony itself. Both bride and groom looking their best and all dolled up in beautiful attires. Everyone going up to the couple and congratulating them. The camera people competing with one another and trying to get their best shot. And the gifts, opening up of which is a big event by itself. I love the post-wedding affairs. Relatives fighting over one another to see whose dawaat the couple would go next. Friends relentlessly teasing the newly-wed bride and groom who always seem to have a shy smile on their face. 
I don’t remember if I have attended any wedding without thinking even for a bit that I might not be having any of these.
I surely can though. After my graduation, my parents would start looking for that perfect guy for their precious daughter, and I can just get married to him. I can get this wedding where everyone I care about would come and wish me a happy life. And, man I would get so many gifts! But what comes after that? A life of lies? Sure it would make my family happy. But don’t they always tell me they are only happy if I’m happy? I wish it was easy to get this logic through to them.
When I tried to come out to my family, they were devastated. I think they would have been less devastated if I told them I had AIDS. They were out of their wits and after much discussion behind closed doors, they decided to show me to a well-renowned psychiatrist. I was in a bad place then and did not want to argue with them much. Besides, I always thought psychiatry was a fascinating field and did not want to lose out on an opportunity to meet one face to face. But it was such a disappointment! The doctor looked nothing like what I thought she would be like. I used to pour out my heart to this doctor and she used to sleep, and sometimes even snore! And at the end of our pretty much one-sided conversations, she prescribed me multi-colored pills which I had to take almost after every meal. Till now I don’t know why those pills were for; they surely did not “cure” me from the “disease” I had. I just used to sleep a lot and couldn’t do much rational thinking. And I cried a lot, for hardly any reason. The doctor even wanted my parents to send me to a rehab centre or a mental asylum, but then they figured out there would be girls there as well. So more chances for me to have flings. And then she started to question my gender and got some hormonal tests done to see my testosterone levels. I had to explain the hormone specialist, whose interest was much more than required, the reason of me being there- that I liked girls and if there are chances I could “grow” a penis (Someone I know, who is very educated and much more older than I am, asked me if I had one, after hearing about me) I distinctly remember when the tests came out fine, my mother thanked God. I wanted to ask her even if I were a hermaphrodite, wasn’t I the creation of God? I saw two other psychiatrists after her; the second one was nice enough to prescribe me off the pills, but he was leaving for abroad and I was his last patient. The third one is perhaps the most famous psychiatrist of our country, but equally disappointing and creepy and was somewhat of a pervert. After the horrible experiences with these doctors, I have sincerely lost any hope for the psychiatrists of the country. Never go to one. They’ll fuck you up even more. I stopped all this nonsense by saying that I was “cured” and now I found boys irresistible.
It was funny how after that my family became so concerned about my dating life, or the lack thereof. They thought I were into girls because I had never dated a guy and they wanted me to go out there and have my share of men. Any straight girl would be happy to have my parents, wouldn’t they? I tried to come out to them one more time right after I started dating my first girlfriend, but things became more horrible than before. My family shunned me out completely. They would not talk to me, and the only time they called out for me was before meals; that too through our maid servants. I remember I had my twentieth birthday during that time. My family- my loving, loving family- did not even wish me. And of course there was no cake. It was the worst punishment I ever got, that too for something I was not responsible for. If you could control feelings, wouldn’t that be the best? Anyways, things were becoming unbearable for me, and I caved in and said I was dating a guy. I figured out since I have to live with them, and because I’m still a student with hardly a stable source of income, it would be best if I keep pretending to be straight. I hate hypocrisy, but I really had no other option.
I love my family. I do. And may be getting married to a guy will be the best thing to do. But I can’t do that to myself. Or to the guy I will get married to. He must have his own dreams of a perfect wife, and I cannot fulfill that. Mainly because I’m looking for that perfect wife for me as well 😛 All jokes aside, marriage doesn’t only happen between two people, but between two families. I find it ethically wrong to involve so many people in a bond built on lies. Right now, I’m targeting for no marriage at all. Let’s see how long I can hold my parents off.
My friends on the other hand have been a blessing. I have come out to those who are closest to me, and they have been wonderful handling it. I always thought if my friends got to know the truth, especially the girls, they might feel uncomfortable around me. But it seems they do get the point that just because I’m a lesbian, that doesn’t mean I would be attracted to every girl there is. The guys have also responded very nicely. Being boys themselves, they seem to understand it better why someone would like girls. The most awesome thing is that I can discuss all my problems with these very special people and I know they would not judge me. It feels good to be accepted for who you are. Wrong. It feels ecstatic. They may never fully realize the significance of what they did for me; but if I say that they saved my life, I would not be exaggerating. 
I was going though my diary which I used back in the days of “the psycho psychiatrists”. The pages were still strewn with drops with my tears and inks were smeared, making some of the lines illegible. I came across a diary entry which read “How hard it will be to take my own life? Isn’t dying once better than dying every second?” As I went on, I saw that I actually had a detailed plans of how and when I was going to commit suicide. It was this year, on my birthday. I always was a fan of irony. I began to think about the mess I was then, and the person I am today, and I let out a sigh of relief. I’m glad that I was strong enough to pull through that difficult time; otherwise, there would have been so many things left unseen; so many things left undone. With all its complications and hardships, life is indeed beautiful. 
I will end once again with a quote. This is from one of my most favorite movies- “Gray Matters”. It’s about a girl called Gray who comes out to her brother Sam after realizing that she’s a lesbian.  
Gray: I don’t feel normal. I’m sick and tired of everyone saying it’s normal, it’s typical, it’s ordinary. I don’t feel any of those things.Sam: Well how do you feel?Gray: Lonely.Sam: Why?Gray: Because I’m never going to be able to walk down the street, holding hands with my partner without the rest of the world giving us a look. And me never have the wedding that I once dreamed of and I may never have children. And one day when I die people will never give as much respect to my grieving lover as if she were my husband.Sam: Gray, it’s not as if you made a choice.Gray: That’s what terrifies me. It’s so much easier to be someone else.


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