Added: Mandie Bastarache - Date: 13.08.2021 16:09 - Views: 48060 - Clicks: 5043
There seemed like possibility in this naming even though, it turned out, there was none. The year before I met him I was going through a particularly intense period of struggle with my sexuality. And yet, I suddenly felt myself pulled toward them. Was I becoming straight? Was this just a phase? Why brown men in particular? The large size of my family—their endless desire to tell me stories, to take care of me, to bring me into the fold of family despite having spent very little time with me—felt like a balm for the loneliness that often comes with living both a diasporic and a queer life.
After being in India for the summer, an apparent solution to this loneliness presented itself, if I could only sift through my queer desires to find the straight ones. And so, dating brown men became my mission. I pursued them everywhere: on online dating apps, at the gym, at parties, through friends.
But the stakes of this pursuit were high, and I accepted harmful things from these men out of hope that they would ease my loneliness. Love is, of course, often tied to sexuality. Sexual connections with others remind us that we are worthy of intimacy, that we are capable of loving and being loved in return.
But what happens when we see do not see representations of ourselves, as brown girls and women, as sexual beings and thus, as beings who can find the kind of love that sexual intimacy makes possible? Taken together, these representations of brown men either ignoring or discarding brown women seem to confirm what the Western media tells brown women more generally: that brown women—adept at making roti, doing math, bearing children, and being obedient—are not really sexual beings, or at least, not sexual beings worthy of lasting and intentional love.
I have never been very committed to representational politics, to arguments that life for people of colour will get better if we see ourselves reflected in the world of film and television, business, and even electoral politics.
After all, representation does not result in concrete changes in access to health care, poverty levels, or violence at the hands of police. Rather, representation Alonely girl searching for soulmate these levels often amounts to assimilation. Similarly, the of South Asians in Silicon Valley merely bolsters capitalism, just as greater representation of South Asians in the police force only makes us more complicit in state violence against black people. If what we truly desire is to change the structures that make up our world, then a representational politics will always leave us wanting.
But the desire for love is real too; it exists despite the limitations of representational politics. This is not a new realization, of course. Queer and trans people, black women, and disabled people, among others, have long said that representation matters precisely because it helps us make sense of and fulfill our desires for love. But it took me a year of dating straight men to truly understand: we might not have many representations to show us that love is possible for us, but the desire for love remains.
While it is true that brown men symbolized the possibility of a deeper kinship with my Indian roots, I realize now that chasing brown men also became a way of proving that I was loveable—as loveable, in fact, as white women. I felt angry when I saw brown men with their white girlfriends because it felt like confirmation of what I gleaned from the media: that the feeling of family I craved through loving sexual bonds with other brown people was not possible for me.
It took a return to my queer life for me to make sense of that year, of the deep sense of loneliness I felt that was driving my desires. For a while, my queer life found for me a partner—brown but not straight—who guided me with great kindness through a healing process with my sexuality and who helped redeem my visions of family from those limited by heteronormativity. Yet, in the aftermath of our recent separation, I realize that the cost of never seeing yourself in representations of love is not only that you look for love, as I did, in harmful places; it also inures you to love that is there in healthy and healing places—or that, at the very least, might be there if you simply ask for it.
The seemingly perpetual absence of love makes you anticipate rejection where there might in fact be acceptance; it commits you to the small space of your loneliness even when there is the possibility of life outside that loneliness. I long for much more than greater representation of brown women. I long for a complete overhaul of the racial, gendered, and economic systems that structure our suffering.
But I also long for representation of all people, including brown women, who are in love, who are loveable, and who are—in the absence of love—lonely. While such representations will not fix greater structural ills, perhaps they will help shift the way we relate to our desires for love and the conditions of our loneliness.
Perhaps they will help us quell the search for love in harmful places and, instead, accept love where and when it arrives. Such acceptance might feel strange for its newness but it is the cost of living fully. We must help each other to do it right.Alonely girl searching for soulmate
email: [email protected] - phone:(613) 656-9591 x 4804
Show Me Love: On Sexuality and Being a Lonely Brown Girl