During my primary school days, whenever a government officer visited my school, a female student would be appointed by the staff. She would take beautiful flowers and present them to the visitor.

I wanted to be that girl. I was four when I wanted this for the first time.

I would stand on the assembly ground with my fellow students, watching entranced as the girl would walk with a beaming smile, the flowers delicately held in her hands, outstretched to the government official.

I imagined myself in her place, moving to the official. I saw myself in my clean school uniform with flowers on my hands that’d be stretched out to the man.

That was the earliest fantasy of mine.

I also wished I could be in the school parade. The members of the parade would march in union and I’d watch fascinated. I always watched. It was one of my favourite things to do. And this irked some people around me. What are you looking at sef? I got asked a lot.

Then it stopped.

Not the girls with the flowers or the parade. What stopped was me. I stopped fantasizing because there was no one I could be involved with in those activities.

My family left the area. We didn’t last long in the new place we moved to because I lost my mother and my father felt we needed to be close to family since the children were little and we couldn’t take care of ourselves.

So then, we moved again.

Life continued. I was learning to stop crying while seeking my mother. Then it happened.

The feelings.

I don’t remember the first day I started feeling this way but I clearly remember how interesting the male physique looked to me. How I became enraptured with everything male.

And yet I struggled with my lack of maleness. How odd it was when I could not get involved in sports like every other boy. Getting teased a lot for being too delicate. I couldn’t be masculine. I looked ridiculous trying.

When I got admission into the university, I was happy. I felt maybe this university life would be different. Nobody would know me here, no family to look at me with disappointment in their eyes. I would begin anew.

But I was wrong. It all stayed the same.

It’s really hard, really hard to be gay, effeminate and Muslim.

And sometimes I just want to let go, maybe sleep for a while. Maybe sleep for a long, long while.

But I can’t. I’m too selfish. I love life too much.

Written by Archer

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