I want to go home.
Being a transgender man I have experienced this feeling many times in my life but I could not figure out which home I want to go to, what is a home and who is my home. Many times I feel being a queer person I have a rootless existence. I was born and brought up in different Air Force camps all over India. I lived in a house where violence was an everyday affair whether it is mental, emotional, physical or financial. I did run away from that home but still came back to live in the same environment only to realize that I need to run away again. Always felt that houses are made of concrete, bricks and steel bars but homes are made up of people you can come back to and want to listen to or talk to and always look forward to being with, who can give you that feeling of belonging who can bring you up when you are down and hold you when you are vulnerable. But as queer people do we have that or do we just have rootless existence in various cities?
When I came to Delhi in 2010, I used to live with my family who just migrated from Ahmedabad. I took admission at a college far away, as I could not bear facing people with the dysphoria I was experiencing and I wanted to transition. I was working in some school in a rural area. Every time as I travelled in the crowd of millions of bees in Delhi, whether in metro or other modes of public transport, I felt like just another bee looking for some acceptance and to build a life. Eventually in 2013 when I could not tolerate the violence at home I called the police to save me and eventually ran away from Rohini to Gurgaon to look for a job. I once again searched for a home there, but due to financial constraint, came back to the same family.
homes are made up of people you can come back to and want to listen to or talk to and always look forward to being with, who can give you that feeling of belonging who can bring you up when you are down and hold you when you are vulnerable.
In 2016, when I moved in with my then partner, I felt home after a long time in life. I finally experienced the feeling of coming back to a person who accepted me, having someone to talk to and to listen. It was not those concrete walls, it was the person and cats that was the home. It was my safe space for a while where I transitioned and saw myself the way I wanted to. But sometimes, violence became such an inevitable part of life that it just didn’t leave alone. Eventually, when we separated I realized that it was her home, not mine. And that I was still the guy who wanted to go home but had no idea which was my home.
In 2018, I again came back to my family home and started searching for a home. We don’t talk in the house as I have a separate room for myself and my father has his own home. I inform him sometimes where I am going and most of the time I don’t. We don’t even see each other for many days. I lived in fear of violence. Every time I suspected that something might happen, I ran away for days. I slept in different houses with different people but, in the end, the feeling crawls back in that I want to go home. I go out with different people only to know that sex is something I want but I can’t sleep with them because I need a home or person who feels like home to actually sleep with them. That vulnerability always creeps in. Faces after faces, beds without comfort and nights without sleep, soon just seemed a pattern of life.
when we separated I realized that it was her home, not mine. And that I was still the guy who wanted to go home but had no idea which was my home.
As a queer person, I have been lucky enough that I have friends to call home. People I can talk to, listen to, and connect with. I agree that just because people are from the same community doesn’t necessarily mean that they are going to be good friends. Any community is filled with various sorts of people. But actually finding people who can be considered as home is the best part of life. We talk about anything and everything; we talk during our sleepless nights and share our stories and life experiences.
I still feel that I need a home which is mine, not anyone else’s, so that nobody can kick me out at 2 am and I once again find myself sitting on the terrace, waiting for the morning light to come so that I can go somewhere and where I am not living in the fear of violence. I hope that I will soon find that physical and emotional home where I belong and never feel rootless again.
Featured Image Source: smathew