Untitled Note #105

It’s your cousin’s wedding week. Everything is loud and flashy and almost obnoxiously joyful. You’re not cis. You’re not out. They misgender you when you enter their house, and the welcome that’s supposed to be warm and emotional somehow leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth. They take your grimace for a grin and move on.

You’re growing and it’s incredibly clear that people are now wary that your gender non-conforming traits that they used to laugh at weren’t a phase or a cute quirk that will fade with age. It’s a fleeting thought in the middle of wedding preparations but you can see it in their eyes as they look you up and down.

Fast forward an hour and they’re singing and dancing and their smiles are contagious and you can hear your heart thump with the beats of the dhol, but you always fall one step short of enjoying yourself.

Everything is so weirdly gendered. You perform every ritual of an obedient ‘daughter’ with a permanent smile plastered on your face and hate yourself when someone says something funny and your fake smile feels genuine for a split second.

They sit and sing songs together and they laugh and joke and your cousin smiles and smiles and they’re celebrating him just for existing and nodding in agreement. It’s clear that you’ll never get to have this for yourself when or if you ever decide that you want it. You would be far into having been disowned by your entire extended family by the time you’re there, provided you live to get there. It’s a distressing thought in the middle of a charades game and they notice the grimace this time, too stark in the sea of smiling faces. You laugh with them when they laugh at you and you move on again like always.

Two hours into the wedding household has been enough to tell you that you won’t be welcome here five years from now, and somehow the thought doesn’t hit as hard as it should. Maybe you have thought about it too much against your consciousness that always seemed to fight it away, enough to numb you to the idea and its implications. Or maybe you don’t care about these people as much as you should. Maybe you’ll find out in the next few days.

Day 7 update: You do care.

Jayin is an escapist who creates stuff for the love of it, no more, no less.

Featured image credit: Zain Ali/Unsplash