Is it Okay?


Sanjida Tamanna


The cold breeze and yellow morning sunlight showed that it was going to be an amazing weekend morning. Wahesh got up from bed with a happy Friday mood.

At the breakfast table, he was expecting a cheese sandwich but had to deal with half boiled egg and a glass of milk prepared by his father, Mr Ahmed, a man who had left no stone unturned to make his son a perfect macho man. 

Wahesh broke the silence, and asked, “My friends have invited me to the drama show this evening. Can I skip today’s gym and go there, dad?”

The reply was a “no” with a devastating explanation, “I can’t understand why you have interest in such things. Do you know the meaning of your name? He added, “Wahesh is an Arabic word which means monstrous man. At least try to go for your name, my boy. Avoid those stupid girlfriends, and make some male friends.”

Wahesh nodded, and turned to the next page of the newspaper which was his favourite segment, The Beauty Blog. Mr Ahmed looked, and got annoyed but didn’t say anything because he didn’t want to ruin his holiday by holding back his son from abysmal stupidity.

After finishing breakfast, Wahesh noticed a beautiful, red chiffon frock lying on the side of the table intact. It was the birthday gift for his coeval, a cousin. He hesitated, but could not stop himself from picking it up, and taking it to his room. He closed the door of his room, and wore it with shyness and fear. Standing in front of the mirror, he bit hard on his lip, and slowly started to feel a bizarre confidence by discovering another entity in him. He was staring in the mirror and thinking how beautiful he is, and had never felt more like crying and smiling at the same time.

Suddenly, he heard knocking at his door, and Mr Ahmed entered asking for the newspaper. He was staring with disappointment to his son who was dressed in a red frock. He asked loudly with extreme disgust, “When will you stop this stupidity? How many times will you humiliate me? It is my fault that I put effort into you to make you a normal boy with regular behaviour.”

Wahesh shouted, “Please, don’t think that I wake up every morning and decide to feel like this from my inside.”

Hearing the uproar, Mrs Ahmed came running. She tried to make the situation normal, and somehow managed to force out her furious husband from the room.

A lump was rising in her throat, but she said softly, “Look, it’s okay to be who you are, it’s okay to feel what you feel inside. It wasn’t your choice. Dad is working on it, but he is just worried about your future.”

Wahesh shouted again, “No, it’s not okay. It’s not okay to get bullied and mocked in school every day. It’s not okay to google my sexual identity every moment. It’s not okay to have to ignore perverts like dad’s driver and staff. It’s absolutely not okay to think every single second about what the entire world would think about me.”

And then, after shutting the door on his mother’s face, he kept staring at himself in the mirror, wondering why they say all the time that it’s not okay to be trans, why they cannot say it’s okay to wear a red frock, it’s okay to be more comfortable hanging out with female friends, it’s okay to skip gym classes, and it’s okay to have cheese sandwiches for the weekend’s breakfast. It’s okay to get hurt by the truth rather than the comforting lie.

Why can they not say that sometimes, it’s absolutely okay to be a girl trapped in a boy’s body?

 

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