Today, I am angry.
I am supposed to be young and full of life. Instead, here I cower, alone, in my room, sitting in front of a laptop with pain in my heart of hearts, writing to whoever is willing to listen to my forsaken cries.
It is not easy to be young. It is not easy to be queer.
And it most certainly is not easy to be a combination of the two, especially in my here, of all places, where I am criminalized in public and fetishized by men behind closed doors, on their computer screens with them, sitting alone, in their rooms, pleasuring themselves to no end.
I am bisexual. I have always been so – ever since I was a child, I would go on pretend dates with my favorite toy doll, and have tea parties with her and kiss her like I have seen in every Disney movie when two people are young and in love. The older I grew, the more I realized that there is more fear to be had in this world than my poor heart could handle. I no longer play with dolls, and I hide the memories of my pretend dates with her out of plain sight. As I grew older, I was sexualized to no end. People would comment about my body, even those who I considered friends.
“Hey, Eden! You’d be so much hotter if you had a bigger chest! Oof!”
And the surprising thing is that these friends were all women; they would slap my ass and laugh about it when I passed by, internalized misogyny thrown into the wind of the field we did our school assembly in, and we laughed. Hell, even I laughed. Because this is how we thought we were supposed to be treated.
I grew a little older, and realized that looking at my female teachers – I questioned myself, is it admiration for such wonderful women, or did I simply not want to be grouped in with the young boys of my class, who would comment “ইশ, অমুক মিসটা একটা মাল!” And I felt disgusted to my bones. I did not want to be that person, and so I hid a little deeper in the closet with each passing day.
Over time, I gained a friend circle that I trusted, and I told them all, hey, I like girls too! And while they were kind and loving and accepting to my face, they were the same people who would make fun of feminine men, saying they’re gay, even when the man in question would say they were upset about this and that he was very straight. He just liked feminine culture.
But no, they insisted. And he hid himself away, chipping away parts of his vibrant personality into the toxic kind that these bullies condemn in the present.
Some friends would ask “is this a joke?” when I told them, some words cut deeper than the rest, like how my ex said he was insecure that I would leave him for a woman, even when I loved him with all of my poor heart.
I grew yet a little more, and I realized, the gender I was wearing no longer fit me like the clothes I was wearing. I realized I was not cisgender. I was not entirely transgender either, I was nonbinary. I told my friends, I told my beloved ex-boyfriend, and more often than not, I was hit with “this is all in your head, Eden.” I had a person who once told me that I have only XX chromosomes, and though modern science contradicted every word they said about gender identities, they went on and on about how they will respect the fact that I “call myself” nonbinary, but at the core I was still a woman.
Over time, I thought I found solace in my family. My younger brother, still a child, was accepting. I cried as I told my parent about how I was different than what he had expected of me, and he told me he loved me as much as he did when he held me in his arms, as a newborn, all the same. The same man turned his back on me, and proclaimed it was all just a phase just a few years later.
Dear world, today I am angry.
I was brought into this world to be nurtured, but I have gotten everything but that. People have torn me apart again and again with their false promises of acceptance and kindness toward me, toward my queer peers. There seems to be no space on your surface for us, world. Where are we to go?
And yet, like Icarus, I continue to fly too close to the sun. I have hopes and dreams. I have friends now.
Friends that love me for who I am, accept my pronouns. I have a partner who will send me nonbinary memes despite him being as straight as a 180-degree line.
The cycle of hatred ends with us. We will create our own space on your green earth, and together, we will be happy. I have one life, and I refuse to waste it wallowing in sadness forever, but until death do I part, will I be angry.
But I also, will be happy. Just wait and watch.
First and Multidimensional Queer Women’s Collective of Bangladesh