Queer Ears Can Listen

There were times we sat in small gay bars understanding each other’s humor surrounding what it was to be the minority in a world that is ruled by heterosexuals.

Then there was the next town I moved to where all I did was sit on the sofa and talk about the small gay bars.

I thought that maybe if I let this sentence roll onto the next and keep talking, these people would get that I don’t want to replace my old life.

I think they thought I was a people-pleaser like them so I would tone-down my queerness to make them comfortable.

They said they don’t like people who get passionate about politics, so I made it a point to keep talking to them about that old life where there were people like me.

Replacing the old isn’t on my mind, but what’s the use in being bitter?  Isn’t there a cliché out there?  “Don’t live in the past.” It’s time to move on.

I want to live and write more, and I want to talk less and listen more.

Talking isn’t enough anymore; and in many cases it’s too much.

Writing is perfect because it gives me relief and people can choose when they want to hear me, but my verbal voice needs to rest.

And I want to live the life of who I really am and not just what I say I am.  It’s no longer enough to just say I’m a queer desi.

Like others, I’ve known my destiny for years but I took a given detour.  I don’t regret it, but it’s time to be myself and live the life I choose for myself and not the one I have settled for.

And I’ve never been secretive or in the closet about my sexuality, and its taught me to be open about everything else, but now I’m too generous and taking up too much space.

I want to leave room for everyone else’s stories.

When I would sit on my sofa, I tried but never managed to get her to let her sentences keep rolling about the things she misses or loves.

Now I have this aching feeling that everyone knows so much more about me than I know about them, but whose fault is that?

I feel so weak, unwanted, unneeded… but lost in my spiral of desi confusion I lost sight of exactly why I couldn’t grasp my desire to hold people close to me.

Recently my closest friend that I ever had and lost told me “sorry” – the apology I was waiting for but didn’t get until after I stopped expecting it.

She realized she needed to talk to me more but I realized I needed to listen more.

I want to be that go-to friend.  I want to stay up all night listening, not talking.

As a queer desi, and for many other reasons, I have the right to be angry about things that have happened, but I’m ready to relearn compassion.

However, this time I want to be compassionate on my own terms and not out of complacency or a need to appease uncomfortable heterosexuals.

I want to rid my life of negativity, but I want to know that no one is evil and to keep reminding myself of that fact every time I am hurt.

I want to cry less.  I don’t want to keep waking them up when I am panicking or keeling over when I can’t take it.

While being this open book, I was never too shy to ask for help, but now I want to help myself.

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Anurag is a queer, feminist, social worker-to-be. Currently residing in the cornfields of Illinois.  Fierce, emotional and reclaiming the brown-ness. 

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