I Lost My Pride When I Came Out
It’s been a year since I came out to my parents and got rejected — there’s nothing to be proud of.
A year ago, I spoke the unspeakable. I looked my parents in the eye and told them I’m bisexual and that I have a girlfriend.
My mom and dad were the kindest people I’d ever known. They taught me to respect people fully and deeply under any circumstance, but that day, I saw them stripped of everything they’d taught me.
It was a six-hour-long conversation. A football match in which my mom and dad kicked me back and forth until the clock painfully stroke 6 a.m.
From midnight to six in the morning, they insulted me until they’d consumed all my self-worth and pride. Everything was so painful that I started scratching the skin around my tattoo with the golden bracelet my girlfriend had gotten me. I so wanted to erase that daughter-mother tattoo while my mom said, “So, I have a retarded child, and there’s no cure?”
Shame, shame, shame. My bisexuality was a plague to our family.
Nothing has ever been the same. The child my parents were most proud of was gone and replaced with a nostalgic idea of their old daughter — the daughter before she came out as queer.
I’ve become a ghost to my parents while I’m still breathing, flesh and bone.
Still breathing. Sort of.
It’s nothing to be proud of.
Bisexuality never came to me with a full pride badge. Growing up in Muslim culture, I knew there was no space for queer people. I constantly woke up to the news of trans people being murdered, or gay teens being kicked out of their homes.
One night, a trans woman drove through the Bosporus Bridge and committed suicide. Minutes before her surrender, she recorded a video for her mom. Crying, and with a hopeless tone, she said: “I never wanted this, mom. They made me do it.”
Although our religion was founded on respect and kindness, Muslim cultures still struggle to accept queer people. I knew I’d have a difficult life as a queer person. I knew that my own parents might leave me unprotected one day.