Over the last few months I’ve been to three weddings: one was a close friends, one a family-friends, and one a co-workers. A Hindu-Punjabi wedding, a Muslim wedding, and a Hindu-Christian wedding. They were all beautiful weddings and I’m so happy for the couples. As I walked away from congratulating them, the smile from my face gradually vanished and I realized, I’m never going to have this.
Okay, I’m being kind of melodramatic (what’s new…). I will eventually get married, but I won’t have a lot of the things that my straight Desi friends had/will have in their weddings. I really don’t know how to organize my thoughts about this so I’m just going to write out whatever comes to my head in bullet points cus I’m forever 16.
- My family won’t come. My sisters and a handful of my cousins will show up, but my parents and religious family will not be attending my wedding. Fear plays a huge role in this decision. I would be constantly worried about what my Muslim family would do during the wedding. Would they try to sabotage it? Turn it into a dramatic scene out of a non-existent gay Bollywood film? I don’t know. One thing I do know is that my parents are homophobic people, and that will likely never change. The eventual reality of me marrying a man over a woman will trigger them to lash out, and I don’t want to experience that. Another reason why this won’t happen is the shame I’ve carried all throughout my life about being gay and letting my family down. This sounds really negative, and it kinda is, but it’s a reality that a lot of QPoC have to face and takes FOREVER to unlearn. I am very comfortable with who I am becoming but I still feel the guilt whenever I hear my parents say “Oh Humza your time is coming! We have to find you a nice Muslim girl!”
- Watching my friends being blessed by their parents and elders was so heart-warming but a reminder of another thing that I won’t have. It’s a huge part of South Asian culture to have your parents’ well wishes carry your forward into new phases of your life or important moments.
- The places I’ll be able to safely travel to will be significantly cut down once I go from “single” to “civil union”. I already can’t go back to Pakistan because it’s not safe for me (most of my Pakistani family knows I’m gay and I’m not sure what they’ll do with that information) and because I’m kinda over it after having traveled there 3 times. I also have to cross off a handful of Islamic countries off of that list: the middle east, parts of northern Africa, etc. I can already hear the, “Well, you COULD go, but just don’t act so flamboyant”. If it were that simple, no one would know I was gay. I spent a month in Pakistan 4 years ago and barley spoke due to the fear that people would associate my high-pitched voice with my queerness. I shouldn’t have to live in fear or hide who I’m married to in any country. And my honeymoon isn’t going to be on one of those lame-ass beach vacations down south sooo the East better be ready for me.