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.
“He thinks he’ll be remembered as the villain in the story.” She snorted. “But I forgot to tell him,” I said quietly, opening the door, “that the villain is usually the person who locks up the maiden and throws away the key.” “Oh?” I shrugged. “He was the one who let me out.”
I get really upset sometimes when people say SJM turned Tamlin into a “villain” and wrote him OOC just so we would ship Feysand.
No. Just no.
First off, Feysand has been canon since chapter two of A Court of Thorns and Roses.
Anyway. I think it’s totally unfair to say SJM got lazy and wrote Tamlin OOC. Tamlin, that giant fuck bucket, went through something horrific. He loved Feyre, even though he didn’t try and rescue her from Under the Mountain in ACOTAR. And let me add I have never EVER NEVER EVER shipped Feylin (????). I don’t even know their ship name, so don’t take this as me sticking up for him. I didn’t like Tamlin. I decided that when he bit Feyre because it was really creepy and weird to me. I didn’t even like ACOTAR so I wasn’t going to read ACOMAF. And I know why I didn’t like ACOTAR because Tamlin is a giant fuck. But I digress.
Feyre died. And Tamlin watched Feyre die. He went through something traumatic, not matter how much I hate that fucktable I have to admit it. He was broken, just like Feyre. Except he was broken in a different way. He completely changed because he went through something traumatic JUST LIKE FEYRE!!!!! Everyone falls apart and tries to put themselves back together in different ways. Just because Tamlin started acting like an idiotic tool doesn’t mean you can say SJM wrote him OOC.
It’s called character development, my children. And guess what?!!?? Character development doesn’t always mean it’s going to be for the better. It means a character develops and changes. He changed!!!!! That’s life!!!!!! The “good guys” don’t always stay good!!!!!!!!!
———— “It may be that we shall lose this battle,” the king said grimly. “In
Braavos you may hear that I am dead. It may even be true. You shall find
my sellswords nonetheless.”
The knight hesitated. “Your Grace, if you are dead — ”
“ — you will avenge my death, and seat my daughter on the Iron Throne. Or die in the attempt.”
“The bastard-born warriors, the Illyrian half breed, the monster trapped in a beautiful body, the dreamer born into a court of nightmares…And the huntress with an artist’s soul” - A Court of Mist and Fury, Sarah J. Maas.