Our Struggle

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We all believe that if someday our brothers, or sisters, or children, or cousins came out to us, we would embrace them and say it’s fine.
Because we understand. Because we’ve been there. Because it’s OK to be different.

My brother came out to me a few days ago.
He told me that he is confused. That he feels something towards a boy. That it started with a dream.
My coming out had everything to do with a dream. My coming out had everything to do with starting to feel something towards a girl.

I smiled at him and told him it’s fine, it’s ok.
I told him it might be due to the fact that he found solace with a friend, or that perhaps his life was heading in a different direction.

In any case, none of it mattered. I didn’t care about what it was. What bothered me was what was going on in my head.
I kept thinking: I am guilty. He looks up to me. I am queer and now he feels he can copy me. Is he copying me?
I thought: Oh my goodness, he is going to suffer. How will he get by? How will he come out? When he comes out to my mother, will she blame me? Will they all blame me?

Then I thought to myself: Enno how could I really think in such a limited way — a way I actively fight against.
Here I was a queer activist trying to shed the guilt of “turning” my brother queer, of perhaps setting the wrong example.

I didn’t sleep that night. Not because my brother came out to me, but because I was somewhat disappointed in myself. After so much effort, I – for a brief second – used the arguments that question my presence, my identity and my orientation to question someone else’s.

Our education is so entrenched with hetero-normative habits, with wordings of what is wrong and right, with limits and binaries, that even years of activism, theorizing and research can sometimes fade away in a moment of questioning.

We need to be empowered – even the most empowered amongst us. We need to shed years of society telling us we are wrong. We need to understand that many of our dynamics are sometimes unconsciously based on the same dynamics that oppress us. We need to understand that many of our relationships are confined to the same limitations we fight against.

Our struggle is not just against society, laws, hypocrisy, and homophobia. Our struggle also lies in rebuilding ourselves, our thoughts and our identity. Our struggle lies in redefining who we are and what we fight for.

Our struggle starts from within.
Contributed by nuggets

Guest Contributor

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