Context: Leyla, a Muslim British-Indian woman, is coming out to her mother, telling her “I’m gay.” Her mother reacts with horror and disgust, telling her “You’re up to your neck in sin” and going so far as to ask “Who did this to you?”
But it’s this scene that sums up the reality of LGBTQ+ desi youth. Our parents may very well love us and want the best for us, but the absolute bottom line is: our parents do not want us to be happy. They want us to be appropriate, to be respectful, to have children and well-earning careers, to fit into the mold of heteronormativity and gender roles, to be religious and pious. But no, they do not want us to be happy. Happiness doesn’t fit into it.
To them, happiness is indistinguishable as a separate characteristic because according to them, doing all of these things should already be making us happy.
The ideal created for desi children is that they shouldn’t strive to do what makes them happy, but what makes them “good.” Unfortunately, under this context, good is defined as anything that isn’t seen as immoral or out of the norm.
A woman who is not straight is rejecting her role as a wife, and to a lesser extent, her role as a mother. She is rejecting the notion of subservience to men, of obedience and inferiority. Under our current system that is hugely patriarchal, a woman who does not submit is a threat.
Now, I’m not saying desi parents are bad parents or hate their children because it’s pretty clear this happens in nearly every other culture in the world. But I am saying that desi parents do not make their children’s happiness a priority, they make their children’s success a priority: successful careers and marriages and children = successful lives. So if you ask a desi parent “do you want your kid to be happy?” they’ll immediately say “yes, of course.” But if you add on “do you want your kid to be gay if that makes them happy?” the answer will be a lot less positive.
This movie tackled Leyla’s sexuality and coming out to her parents absolutely head-on with no coyness about it. She goes straight up to her mother and admits that she’s a lesbian. But her mother’s reaction is really the thing that most “coming out” stories try to gloss over, or sugarcoat, or just in general avoid. Her mother admits with frank and brutal honesty the truth that all LGBTQ+ desi kids know: our parents would rather see us miserable and straight than queer and happy.
I just wanted to say that if you’re still not okay, that’s okay. I know it’s tough to mourn someone you’ve likely never met. It’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to be angry. It’s okay to be laughing. It’s okay to be making an edit, or promoting the hell out of Project Just Hold On, or mindlessly scrolling SM, or whatever. What you feel right now is okay.
I’m right here with you, alright?
We’re going to get through this together darling… Just Hold On. ❤️💛
London, in the early 1900′s. Lady Morgana Pendragon is the highly controversial daughter of the Conservative leader
The Rt Hon. Sir Uther Pendragon, MP. It has been widely speculated by the tabloids that the Lady Morgana is secretly funding the suffragettes movement. It would seem where the Lady Morgana would go she would attract attention from her bold fashion reflecting her general demeanour to her choice of “companion” with the young Miss Guinevere Leodegrance, a once servant to the Pendragons, now with the help of the Lady Morgana a sensation in London’s affluent music scene.
On the other side of the Spectrum the working class are rising in the form of the Labour party, the leader is rumoured to be the opposition’s own wayward son,
The Rt Hon. Arthur Pendragon, MP. who gave up his titles after his rebellion. Mister Pendragon is often criticised for the position due to his privileged upbringing, most publicly by a certain reporter by the name of Mister Merlin Emrys. Mister Emrys is The Guardian’s most favoured reporter, whose wish with the help of his undercover colleague Miss Mithian Nemeth it is to expose the Lady Morgana’s affair with Miss Guinevere, in the hope to use the scandal to bring upon an uprising against the Aristocracy for a modern Britain.