Chronicles of a Meember

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I’ve known these feelings ever since I was four years old. I’d had crushes on my teachers ever since I could remember, but I never started questioning those feelings until I was nine. I developed a crush on my 4th grade English teacher. I can still recognize her perfume till this day… I memorized the days in which she was scheduled for playground duty during recess, and I never let her out of my sight. I secretly tagged along trying to watch her from a safe distance (in retrospect, I wonder how “safe” that distance really was). The way she walked, she talked, her laugh… everything about her was intoxicating and I went to bed every night thinking about her… I wondered why I felt the way I did; I wondered about the very nature of those feelings; I didn’t know what to call them…  “Are my feelings toward Ms. N those of a daughter toward her mother?” But then I retorted: “I don’t think I’d want her to be my mother! No, it’s not like that… I don’t love her like that… and then, there’s nothing wrong or deficient in my relationship with my mom for me to want to have another different mother…” And it was at this precise moment that I dismissed any maternal role in the feelings I’ve had since. My crush lasted two years; then I met Ms. R.

Ms. R became my new 6th grade history teacher, advisor… and my crush. She nurtured my interest in archaeology, and I did everything I could to impress her. I had fantasies of us walking together, sitting in a romantic spot, hugging… I found out that the perfume I’ve recently bought and which reminded me of her was actually the one she used to wear! (It seems I have a thing for smells!) Anyway, by that time, I had already “found out” about sex and sexual orientation, and so my questions started to take up a relevant context. I asked myself: “Am I a homosexual? How can I know? How can I be sure about the nature of my feelings? Am I attracted to Ms. R, or do I only see her as a friend or role model?”

Then one day I decided to open up to Ms. R; to tell her how I felt and how confused I was about it… I dropped the bomb: “Can a person tell if they’re homosexual or not? How would they know?” I am sure she wasn’t expecting this, but she still tried to remain calm as she asked me: “Why are you asking this?” And so I told her that I don’t feel attracted to boys like the other girls do, I told her that when I think about her I feel like my heart or something else inside me “shrinks” (for lack of better words at that time to describe what was probably an adrenaline rush). I told her that I was questioning my sexual orientation. She tried to take it a bit lightly: “You just wait three years and you’ll see how all of this will change; you’ll even look back at this talk we’re having and laugh! Don’t worry about it! And it would be good for you if you try to act more “feminine”: take up a more feminine sport, basketball (which I played at the time) is nice but maybe you can find something more feminine… like dancing!  You can adopt a more feminine attitude… it’s not all about clothes; look at your mother, she is feminine enough, you can try to be more like her!”

And that was how it was for me at the age of thirteen… I couldn’t imagine how my feelings could have changed in three years, but there was no harm in waiting, I thought. And oh did I wait! I waited for two years and then grew a bit impatient… I still had a crush on Ms. R. and I wanted to broach the subject again. This time I was more hesitant though, but I really wanted someone to listen to me. She sensed my hesitation and asked me to spill it, so I did! I thought she would at least try to understand, try to listen, but no… She was edgy and irritated as she told me: “If you think about it too much, you’ll become it!” As if sexual orientation can be some sort of self-fulfilling prophecy! Anyway, I did not push it any further, and vowed to never bring it up again (at least not with her).

During my university years, I fell head over heels for my civilization sequence instructor. As she mentored me, we worked together on numerous projects. She kept me close and I delighted in the nearness of her and basked in her charm. Being naturally sensual and flirtatious, hers was the innocent touch which awakened long-dormant sensations in me. She would absent-mindedly caress my palm, fingers, wrist, arm and I’d feel all tingly on the inside as long as she maintained the contact (well, I also remember having a full bladder at those times so co-morbidity may have been an issue…). I felt like she could be someone understanding and trustworthy.  I opened up to her: I told her how she was one of those “special” people whom I admire; I told her how Ms. R had promised me that things will change in three years and how I’ll be laughing about the whole thing but how they really haven’t and I’m not. She listened… she listened intently… but that was all she did; that was all she could do…

Last year, I developed a crush on my best friend of five years at university. That was the first time I felt attracted to someone my age. I was afraid… we acted like any couple would do. We talked on the phone every night, we had pet names which we used only when we were alone or online; we flirted practically all the time! She haunted my dreams (day and night); I craved her presence, her voice, her smell, and I fantasized only about her touch. I kept her close to my heart and soul and she carried me with her wherever she went. She knew how I felt about her, and she told me how attached she was to me… but at the end of the day, she was straight (while I still hadn’t figured myself out). Then, she fell in love with a guy and forgot all about me, which led us to barely seeing or talking to each other… I guess her priorities shifted.

Now, at the age of twenty three, I am still waiting, but I’m no longer waiting for my feelings to change… Now, I am merely observing. I have no idea how my life will be like ten years from now, and I really don’t feel comfortable thinking about it… I’m just taking things one day at a time… I know I still have a lot to figure out, but for some reason I don’t feel the urgency to find answers anymore. The pressures are increasing, especially with my parents’ expectations and hopes that I get married and have a family of my own, but then again, there is a weird serenity, maybe even a detachment, that has washed over me, and I’m going to bask in it while it lasts!

- Contributed by Emcee

Emcee has always been on a journey of self-exploration, self-discovery, and wonder. Continuously keen on seeing the same landscapes with new eyes, she has repeatedly lost herself in arguments and counterarguments before finally finding contentment in relativity. Emcee has always been a not-so-little miss goodie-two-shoes, but has finally gone astray, joined Meem, and made a pact with Bekhsoos. The floodgates are now open…

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