I ‘came out’ as a lesbian to my friends and some family members only a few months ago. Realizing that I was sexually and emotionally attracted to women, in my early teens, was very terrifying but being in the closet has to be the pits.
You constantly have to put on a façade and keep track of all your actions, in case you stare too long at a girl passing by.
I still remember my first crush. She lived right around the corner from my house. Whenever I saw her walk past, I bit the lip and at the shock of what I was doing, pray that what I was going through was just a phase.
Four years down the line and girls still do it for me.
As if knowing that you’re ‘different’ isn’t hard enough, family, friends and society have to constantly remind you that you don’t belong within their little boxes of perfection.
Men have this perception that they can cure us by rape, or performing any other hate crime that will remind us of our social status as women. They think that the little one-eyed snake will make us realize just how straight and homophobic we are-it won’t!
I still remember having conversations with my friends, as teenagers. All they seemed to talk about was their boyfriends and how amazing the sex was. Every now and then I had to grin and sigh as if I knew what they were talking about or at the least look interested. I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs that I love girls and actually I think the new girl in the group is so sexy!
I never did though. I swallowed the word vomit before it came out. Every time.
When I came out to my father, to my surprise he smiled and didn’t kick me out of his house. He picked up the phone and told our Priest that I needed to be prayed for. After an entire week with the good Priest for hours on end, my father finally gave up on that idea and sent me to a Sangoma. All sorts of potions were mixed. I bathed in green leaves for a whole month but nothing to my fathers’ satisfaction. I actually felt sorry for him because I knew how ignorant and controlling he was. I guess I expected too much from him. He is just my father after all. Nothing special. Maybe the “I love you regardless” speech was just too much for him to recite.
After a long journey of discovery I can finally say that I am content with who I am. As one of the T-Shirts I’ve seen says it: ‘Get it STRAIGHT I can’t be changed’.
I stay true to the soul encompassed by this body of mine. I have learnt to feed off peoples hate. I flourish under the light. I only have one weakness and that’s Beauty. I thought I’d share a piece I wrote when thinking of the moment’s Beauty and I have shared…and the next time she’ll bless me with her presence.
I loved Her then, I love Her still. Here it is:
I call her Beauty
The keeper of my heart.
She welcomes me home
With open arms
An open soul
And open doors.
I call her Beauty
The one I have but still yearn for.
Heart turned cold
Born – lifeless
Revived – breathless
Filled with emptiness.
I call her Beauty
As she lays with me
Feels me with her bare hand
That fills me with pure pleasure
As I suck the waters of her
Oh so wet island.
She is the Beauty
That moans passionately when I enter
The doors she opens for me.
Beauty comes – only when I call.
About the author
Bulumko means wisdom in Xhosa.
Surname reserved for personal interests.
The author is a 28 year old Xhosa lesbian, residing in Johannesburg.
She also identify as an activist.
She is a freelance writer and believes in the power of words.
She urges black lesbians to write to write their life stories and restore cultures and heritage zakwantu.