Editor’s Note: The following submission is from Ejel Khan. Have an LGBTQ+ related experience or story to share? Having your article published on this site will automatically enrol you into a raffle to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card. Submit an article today via queerdeermedia.com. Contemporary life in the UK during the 80’s was homophobic, […]
People of Colour
My life in Cairo Egypt was normal, I was in the closet and I didn’t even think about dating, I just had my fantasies and dreams. In 2011 I decided to come out of my shell a little bit, I started wearing what I always wanted, tried to experience my gender fluidity even for few hours every week. I even created a super private instagram account and started celebrating my identity as a homosexual gender fluid with very few people I met online not knowing that my new look will provok my coworkers. One of them, who is a software developer, hacked my Instagram account, took screenshots and sent them to over 250 co-workers, in 24 hours these pictures reached my family’s mobile phones.
To be young, black, queer, and from a township in South Africa is difficult. I am not saying this from a place of assuming a single-story knowing of others’ experiences, or seeking to invalidate the hardships of those who did not grow up in townships. I say this from particular and personal lived experiences of having grown up in Soweto, Meadowlands, and lived most of my life there. Furthermore, as a young black queer man from a township seeking to recover, locate, understand and place myself – my blackness, maleness, masculine performativity, and queerness (particular to my environment) – I have come to be met with numerous frustrations and incomplete representations of what it is to be “black, male, and from a township”.
For many Chicagoans Market Days is the biggest event of the year. It brings together many wonderful features of what it means to be a Midwesterner. A sense of belonging, block parties, homegrown artists, entrepreneurs and restaurateurs come together to celebrate our town.
This is no ordinary coming out story. I was 21 and confused I started with a leading financial MNC in Mumbai, India. I was physically attracted to someone but that someone was a man and not a woman.
I’m sitting here reflecting on the last ten years as an adult. As a teenager, I grew up watching Sailor Moon and DragonBall Z. I played a lot of videogames as a kid and I didn’t like physical games/sport. But I was also the kid that sat alone for lunch. I was the kid that no one would talk to.
I was born in the UK to Muslim immigrant parents. Although not religious, we were a conservative; culturally Muslim family. Saying it was hard growing up in 1970/80’s Britain, is an understatement! What the world viewed of Britain was the royal family and Monty Python. However, my reality was as far removed from that as possible. My upbringing in my industrial town, can only be described as downbeat. Racism, and the violence that accompanied it, was the backdrop to my formative years.