I was sharing with a friend that someone who emailed me was married. She almost stopped driving, her face the perfect picture of shock. “To a woman? How?”
Picturing that kind of a happy ending is hard. When you sit at a table where hurtful homophobic statements are hurled over your head. When you live in a country where people think you are mentally ill for being attracted to someone of the same sex. When the laws of your own country call the love that you share, the tenderness that feels so right, illegal. Picturing anything other than an ending which involves going to jail or are forced to denounce your truth can be hard, nearly impossible.
Half the time, as we hold hands under the table at a busy restaurant in the heart of Nairobi or as I hide in the toilet as room service comes in to bring our food, the hate and the laws are the furthest things from my mind. Ironic, but true. The only thing I can think of is the anticipation. The anticipation to get to the house and love this beautiful woman whose company I am in. The eagerness for the waiter to leave so I can be left alone with this woman who makes my heart and my parts stir. In that moment, when my head is buried deep within her, and she is screaming out all my names, and other colorful words, it feels so right. It feels perfect. It is the most beautiful thing and the last thing on my mind is that I could be jailed for it.
It must be brave, to not live in fear even when they expect you to. Maybe it is. Mostly, it’s just that in my mind, it rarely ever registers that what I am doing is wrong. In my mind, it is perfectly normal. That is until that hateful tweet shows up on my timeline, or someone at work says something so doused in hatred, I half expect myself to go up in flames as punishment for my evilness. It is not until my relatives ask after my elusive boyfriends and when I will bring someone home, that it hits me that the rest of the universe doesn’t see what I see.
Where I see two beautiful women, shining in their truth, aching with their love, they are see an abnormality. They see a truth that doesn’t fit anywhere in the puzzles of their lives. So surely, it must be a lie. Where I see our hands intertwined, our heads leaning in, closely touching, our souls brought together by the widening of our smiles, they see abnormalities that don’t, can’t sit together with everything they believe in. Maybe it’s fear, that drives them to drive us apart.
Is there a happy ending in sight? Will I one day, walk down Moi Avenue, holding my lover’s hands? Will we sit at the benches opposite Kencom, as I play with her curly hair? Will we intertwine our fingers at the restaurant, on top of the table and not pull them apart even as the waiter approaches? Will we sit together with my parents and hers, laughing over childhood photos?
I try not to think overly much about it. I recognize that a time is coming when I will have to wage a huge war. When I will possibly be ostracized by the entire family because of who I am. I refuse to live in fear of that day. To be able to wage that war when the day comes, I have to be alive. I have to keep myself safe. I have to hold hands under tables and wear an invisibility cloak, much like the one Harry Potter had. Running my blog, writing, creating safe spaces where we can commune is my form, albeit subtle of defiance. Then again, my existence in itself is defiance.
Will there be a happy ending? I am not sure. I am sure though that I am willing to fight for it.
For more pieces check out Because you are married and an afternoon with a bodily autonomy expert for moments out side the marital bed. Also check out this sexy piece called Hey You about some hotel trysts.
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