A Prelude For Any Queen That Will Never Be Homecoming

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At some point in my life, while I was leaving the place where I grew up, I forced a black hole inside my brain to prevent major memories and attachments from revisiting me. Writing about the place I come from had me stepping inside that hole once again. I’m not ready. I’m still very afraid to confront such neatly stored memories kept in an uncomfortable vividness. I tend to be silent about it as much as I tend to be silent about many things.

Where I come from?  I’d rather imagine I came from a cabbage in the prairies of Ireland where nothing about being picked up and shoved off to Beirut was personal. I’d rather imagine that I came from this really good novel where I am an idea transformed into a person and every once in a while I get rewritten. I’d rather not be confronted with such a question; I do avoid it by all possible means. It’s been difficult to keep it up lately, it’s been a bit hard not to look back and remember where I come from.

Growing up there as a queer was similar to growing up in South Park but it was never funny. I remember clearly a neighbor punishing his two sons by forcing them out on the balcony in their underwear in the midst of winter and none of the neighbors intervened.

I learned to hide my body growing up and make sure that I got home no later then 9 o’clock because if my family didn’t punish me then the neighborhood boys will. It is a place that is full of silences even when it came to the violence. We had to pretend that the screams of a neighbor beating his wife didn’t exist “just turn the TV volume up a little bit, will you?”

Growing up there I did the most logical thing that any lesbian would do. I got my self a boyfriend. Not that having a “boyfriend” who is not marriage material was acceptable but I guess that was my own way of silencing my mighty self. I guess that was the stick that broke the camel’s back; it was difficult to navigate against one’s desires. I had to speak up, at least to myself: drop the boyfriend! And accept that I’m queer in a context that is hateful towards everything different. Being queer meant being safe as long as I was away and isolated from those that were more or less my family. Being queer is the perfect engine to drive in such a journey. It is strong enough to connect with issues of injustice and petal-like-fragile enough to have feeling.

It’s been years since I left, years of limiting myself from visiting that place. It never seems to leave me; I have so much anger filled inside of me from that place. This kind of anger that creates walls I can’t bring down, and has me constantly seeking protection. It left me with a kind of might that I didn’t ask for, a kind of resiliency that I never wanted to acquire. Growing up there left me with this stone-like-skin; hard to get through but scratched enough times to start falling apart slowly, this skin that protected this voice that I write with coming straight from my gut onto this screen.

Growing up there and leaving with a note that I shouldn’t be expected has never hit me as much as it did today as I sat to write; thinking that I could write a pretentious article on the “socio-emotional” analysis of where I come. But I like that. I like that even if I still am very afraid to look back that I can start talking about it, and while I’m talking about it I might as well unlearn some of the skills I had brought with me just in case. I like that I know that there are many who need to hear this so as to not feel alone in their struggles carrying baggage so heavy on their backs. This is for all the never homecoming queens out there.


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