Date: 2012-05-28 10:59:38
Category: all categories
Metatags: Community Activism, Immigrant, Personal Narratives, Queer and Trans, South Asian, Women
I am here today because of the struggles of women who came before me. My grandmother, who to this day tells me: you will do great things in life; just listen to your heart. My heart has let me on a journey past physical boundaries, and social norms. I have broken through many chains to reach where I am today.
When I look in the Mirror I see a face of contradictions, of resistance, of survival, of passion and pain.
I spent most of my 20’s fighting for justice for others: women fleeing abusive relationships, men and women who were being kept as indentured slaves for employers who would not pay them for their labor, immigrants who faced deportation from a system created to exclude those who did not fit into their neat categories and boxes, and people who could not take care of their physical and emotional health because that piece of sandesh is all that they have to connect to their homeland.
“Displacement, community, solidarity, organizing”: these terms became staples in my vocabulary.
There was so much that I could do for others: organize rallies, bring in the media, and fight for justice ... but the face in the mirror looked back at me and asked “when are you going to take care of what’s going on inside you?”
When I left New York City, I did not just leave the city that embraced in its arms over the years as one of its own, but I also left my anchor, my community and my family.
I left to live my life openly with the woman who has been my love, support and soul mate since we were 18.
It also meant cutting ties with family, healing, creating new ties and understanding that sometimes it is ok to be selfish, sometimes it’s ok to want something for yourself with your whole heart, reach for it, and actually get it
As women we are taught about shame, and honor, about our roles as dutiful daughters, sisters, and wives. I honor my history but I also want to create my own.
My resistance is verbalizing the things that I have been taught to hide, To live my life freely and openly to challenge hetero-normative notions of what a “family”, “marriage” and “love” is challenge all the boundaries that keep us apart
My resistance are my words, my life and my memories which I share with you.