Monday, January 2, 2017

Why do we die

To Mounia. Rest in Power.

*****

Why do queer arab people die?

Because our life a series of trauma. Because every time we come out, there is one heartbeat that makes our soul shake, one moment when we are so vulnerable, one instant when we do not know whether or not the person standing in front of us will reject who we are.

Because going home is a burden, a step backwards, a step back in the closet. Because what we learn on this campus we need to unlearn in our country. Because a 'relaxing break home’ is only a reminder of why we left in the first place.

Because every time we board a plane to New York City we sigh in relief, we rewire our brain to English, we change our mannerism, we become more us. Because when we get our passport stamped, we remember that it is temporary. Because our visa expires, our safety expires.

Because our names are enigmatic, our faiths are perplexing, our heritages are confusing. Because we are the children of rich cultures that we are told to forgot, to ignore. Because it hurts, us and our parents, when English starts coming to us more naturally, than our mother's tongue.

Because our parents don't know how many times we've been called a sinner, a deviant, in our own country. Because our friends don't know how many times we've been told that we do not belong here, to go ‘home’.

Because post-Orlando, this is who we have become. The shooter and the shot, the culprit and the victim.

This is why we die.

We are loved as much as we are hated; celebrated as much as we are condemned; in different places, at different times. And every day is a choice, to embrace our Arabness or to embrace our queernes. Because both cannot exist, in one body. And this body cannot exist in one home.

'Too foreign for home.
Too foreign for here.
Never enough for both.'
Ijeoma Umebinyuo

1 comment: