Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Four centuries old mosque, the prophet's last sermon, a dream-come-true, etc.

"...All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab, 
nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black, 
nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action..."
The Last Sermon of Prophet Muhammad

On my right is the sea of Marmara. On my left, the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, the four hundread year old Blue Mosque. Ahead, on the other side of the bridge, is the contemporary part of Istanbul, but this - the old historic part - is where I love: the unevenly paved streets, small hotels, minarets, old, dilapidated buildings across from the local train tracks, and seagulls, seagulls all around with the expanse of the sea so close you can touch it. A call for prayer woke me up at 5.30 am, just as I was beginning to dose off. The prayer call transported me to another place and time where I felt the southern Indian sun on my skin. That summer when I walked, took train or bus throughout the whole of southern Kerala and Tamil Nadu, stopping at all places of worship, stopping at places of beauty, the Arabian sea, the Indian ocean. Although I took photographs, I lost a lot of them. Photographs somehow diminish the beauty of everything. That summer of 1997, I walked all around for a month, mostly alone, sometimes staying with friends, and the places I went to were the places of worship: Hindu, Christian, Muslim, didn't matter. Lured by the pure energy those spaces seemed to exude, the only places I couldn't get inside were the Islamic places of worship. Half-dreaming, with the memories of sun on my skin and pouring sweat that that summer alone was, I recalled how I loved those desert and sky inspired soul tunes full of nameless longing hard to describe. How I walked around mosques, trying to get in, but stopped every time: no women, and, perhaps, no "infidels" allowed, I was always told. If they only saw through to my soul. I was fifteen when I first found myself humming a tune that seemed to emanate from the depth of my being. I hummed and hummed those wordless tunes when alone, when overcome with grief over things that were my life then: caught, stranded, imprisoned in my own skin, in my own life that was imposing things I couldn't accept. Then at 19, when I first heard a muslim prayer call from a mosque in India, I recognised those tunes from my wordless humming that began a few years prior to that. Who knows what kind of soul threads connect self to the rest of the world, and why these tunes at times when all I felt was darkness... Finally, I made it inside a mosque.

Monday, February 17, 2014

"Heaven is here" - bravo, Hugo Viera!

The howling humdrum of everyday existence, the merciless march of days as grey and black as they come, and all we appear to be are some forms of marionettes that dangle with the pace of life that threatens as well as enables our existence, while we question ourselves "What is happening? Why am I? What is my purpose? What is all this for?", until the march of grey days erupts in colours and music through the glimpses into the eternal: the advent of love. Love, that eternal prayer of the soul, the search for the beauty and the meaning that, if you're lucky enough to experience fully, provides all the answers for the soulless emptiness. Love, that symphony of colours and forms, love, that surreal composition of the most irreverent and perhaps clashing notes coming together not in a cacophony but ecstasy, love, that unimaginable pure white light, love, that gentle brush of god's lips - something so rare, so extraordinary. This and more was the ballet I was lucky enough to watch and cry in amazement last night, "Heaven is here" by Hugo Viera. The neoclassical ballet was a poetry in motion, a prayer communed with the audience through the worship of muscles and tendons, movement and liquidity, the base and the heavenly. Not the least of the reasons I shed tears as the ballet progressed was the fact that I had not dared to hope to witness same-sex love, longing, desperation, struggle to accept one's feelings and eventual making peace with one's identity on the Opera and Ballet Theatre stage, definitely not until and after 2020. While I was watching the gay love segments, I was deeply moved by how far we, as a society, have come along. Sure, the Culture, Sports and Tourism sector has adopted a non-discrimination policy from mid-2013, but to see the artistic freedom of expression blossom to the extent of portraying honestly and truthfully all shades and colours of heaven that love is, I was speechless. I cried. And had I not been ashamed of myself, a man in his late thirties crying like a baby, I would've continued to bawl. But I was in a theatre, afterall, and I am a grown man, so I got a grip on my joyfully screaming soul, and dried my tears, and smiled. Heaven is here. Bravo, Hugo Viera!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

debilism, imbecilism, idiotism

triple a

sometimes all you can do is breathe to not lose your head and smash everything you see to smithereens. sometimes all you can do is close your eyes and bite your tongue so hard that you taste the iron of your own blood, that bittersweet, warm taste of your constant companion of the first twenty years of your life that comforts you, lulls you, your wet, warm safety blanket. sometimes all you can do is touch and hope that the touch conveys everything you feel inside you: the love, the peace, the unconditional expanse of your heart that's theirs, at their disposal. sometimes all you can do is swear and scream and shout at the debilism, imbecilism and idiotism of people who think they know it all, felt it all and thus are superior, somehow, and thus impose. sometimes all you can do is cradle someone till their pain dissolves into broken sobs of disbelief. sometimes all you can do is trust, trust that they have not closed their hearts, but sometimes that's too much of a hope. sometimes all you can do is kiss the fingertips that are ready to write you off their existence for if they do, that will be a blessing in disguise as well as an undeserving curse. sometimes all you can do is sit alone, naked in the dark, shivering, shivering to your core and stare into darkness: you no longer know who or what you're supposed to be for love does not seem to be enough, never enough... neither are words. sometimes all you can do is cradle your head while you break down. sometimes all you can do is try to hold onto your own loneliness till it feels alright. till it feels alright. alright...

Friday, February 14, 2014

Bionazism: impending future of the humankind?

Theory number 31: bionazism is looming on the horizon! What a start to a love day huh. Last night I met up with a bright, rebellious, humane and curious soul who shares my love for humanity and humans, all humans, men, women, trans, cis, you name it. As we got discussing the state of technology today, I came up with this term "bionazism", which is basically what will happen as the technology becomes more available to every Tsetsegee and Tumuruu, Jane and John who, thanks to the rapid advancement of technology will choose not only the gender of their children, perhaps, even their sexual orientation, but also their health. No longer will there be genetically errant humans devoid of human feelings who will turn out to be serial killers or corporate killers (same thing! watch the BBC doco "Good or Evil"), no longer will there be the very basis of any sort of violence. Meaning that the very genetic diversity of humankind that has given rise to horrors as well as triumphs of humanity that throughout history propelled the humanity forward (dialectics, nothing but dialectics!) will no longer be the driving force. Value-filtered, monetary-driven, market-oriented values will be the determinants of who is deemed valuable (read docile consumer) enough to be born... And if there are already genetically "errant" people living then, they will be prohibited from reproducing. Bionazism appears to be very real thing to take place in the next 100-150 years. Would I choose to live in that kind of society? Yes. Would I even be born in that society? No idea :) Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

хувийнхаа мөрөөдлүүдийг хойш тавих

уул нь гүнийн гүнийнхээ мэдрэмжид суурилсан мөрөөдлүүдээ хөөж эхэлж байсансан: юмаа бичих, визартивизм, "мэдрэл муутай" бүтээлч хүмүүстэй тэр л оюун, сэтгэлгээ, эцсийн дүндээ мэдрэмжийн ижил орон зайгаас онгод амтлах, түүгээрээ солиорцгоох гээд л. гэтэл нөхцөл байдал буцаад олон жил хийсэн, босгосон, гэвч одоо бантан болчоод буй нэг чухлаас чухал зүйлрүү дуудах. дуудлага бас л хувийн орон зайд минь халтай, аюулгүй байдалд минь сэвтэй, гэвч надаас өөр буцаад босгох хүн байхгүй. дээрээс нь миний бие дийлэх үү гэх асуудал үүссэн байгаа. үнэхээр миний бие хаа дийлэхүйц бол бантан болсон зүйлийг босгосныхоо дараа хажуугаар нь амжуулж эхлэх энерги байж л таараа. үгүй бол хувийнхаа мөрөөдлүүдийг хойш нь байтугай ортас мартах шаардлагатай болно. нэг л сонирхолтой, сонин, чухал, буцаж ч юм уу, зарим талаараа ирнэ ч гэж санаагүй салаа зам дээр ирчлээ л гэдгээ мэдэрч байна. дээр нь хамгийн аймаар нь энэ зам дэндүү ганцаар алхах зам гэдгийг өмнөх туршлагаасаа мэдэх учир зүрх өвдөж байна...

Monday, February 10, 2014

Happy third anniversary of blogging, etc.

Today marks the beginning of a fourth year since I began blogging. This blog has chronicled my life, the good-bad-ugly of self and others, the days and nights of a single for the past three years cyborg (who has begun thinking of giving up his cyborghood in favour of a coupled life), the two years and eight months of hormone replacement therapy and transition-related surgeries, and my love life that has remained conspicuous in its lack of human presence, but rich in daily adventures. Happy third anniversary of spilling my guts in the most exhibitionist manner. Happy third anniversary, my cis readers, who could glean an insider view into the life of a transman. Happy third anniversary, all my loves, past and present, who are celebrated daily in this space. Happy third anniversary, happy writing, happy loving, happy suffering, happy living, happy staying in the now, here!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

infinity

what makes us human beings? pain? suffering? love? losses? our parents who socialise us into the ideas and ideals of right and wrong? emotions? masks that most deem necessary to wear everyday? rejection of emotions in favour of reason? acceptance of suffering as a given background noise of our reality? what makes a human human? our pasts? our futures? our minute blunders that, in hindsight, prove to be humangous? our victories, however small, that live on in us and feed us when all we feel is nothingness? what makes a human human? the ability to forget the past that has not even become that? the ability to live in denial of all the wrongs and rights we have committed? the innate, perhaps, necessity to always search for the better and more? but what about real feelings underlying our every breath, should they be forgotten and skirted over and swept under the rug, too? what about losses we had never felt but which, of course, were inevitable down the line and thus we made our choices not to feel that loss by simply closing our hearts off? what about the reality of now and here and everything, EVERYTHING that it entails?!... ever again, am scratching my head in puzzlement. ever again, am here, in the middle of nowhere while emotions storm and make a pulp out of my poor, downtrodden soul. ever again, am looking at my life and going "pppffffffffffffftttttt". what makes a human human?... infinite questions that demand infinite answers, but none comes.

something=nothing

new something. something new something something.
get up and go somewhere in a few hours, something.
where they will tell me something something something.
never wanted that, but if it's here, then it's something,
and i'll deal with that something. something something
something that will make my days and nights nothing.
something is not going to let me sleep tonight. nothing.
i don't ask why, it's something something something.
get high on music and get all my anger out, something.
when i go there in the morning, i'll be ok, something
something. nothing. something. nothing.
nothing nothing nothing

Monday, February 3, 2014

collapse

...shaking to the core, weakness of the muscles, ligaments unravelling, falling on my knees, the curtains, the bathtub porcelain, the lapis tiles suddenly monstrous with images, and me screaming, screaming, screaming, but no sound comes. no words. water calms me, clear drops cleansing me, but it can't stop the blood coursing through my veins at speeds unknown before, and my temple veins stand out, throbbing hot, hard, mirroring my ragged breaths i can't control anymore, and millions of thoughts shouting in thousands of voices to get my attention, but i am not here. all my love, all my futures, all my being, all my pasts, all of me collapsing... all of me shrunk to a minute ball of agony. all of me unheeding of anything beyond this shower where i am on the brink of something, something, something... nothingness. will i get up tomorrow? will i walk as i did a few minutes ago? will i stay in the present more? will i love more? will i accept everything more than i did? will i be kind? will i be gentle? will i retain me? will i?...

Жан Жөнэгийн ертөнц

“The severe and at times almost condemning glance - a glance that seems to pass judgment - with which the homosexual appraises every good-looking young man he may encounter, 
is in reality a quick but intense meditation on his own loneliness.”
― Jean Genet, Querelle

“My heart's in my hand, and my hand is pierced, and my hand's in the bag, 
and the bag is shut, and my heart is caught.”
― 
Jean Genet, Our Lady of the Flowers 

“Limited by the world, which I oppose, jagged by it, I shall be all the more handsome and sparkling as the angles which wound me and give me shape are more acute and the jagging more cruel.”
Jean Genet, The Thief's Journal 

2004 оны зун анх Жан Жөнэг уншиж байв. Уншаад дотрыг минь олон мянган дриллээр дриллдэж буй мэт, цус нөжирч урсаад, цусны бөөмүүд нэг нэгээсээ сарниж, улаан өнгөө хүртэл алдаж буй мэт, тэр тунгалаг цуснаас үнэн төрж буй мэт болоод уйлсан (уйламхай, уйламхай). Гоо сайхан үнэнд үү? Үнэнд гоо сайхан уу? Энэ асуултуудыг өөрөөсөө асуух анхны түлхэц болсон зохиолч. Түүний номууд монгол хэл дээр байдаг эсэхийг мэдэхгүй, уул нь Францын коммунист намын гишүүн байсан утгаар нь орчуулах боломжтой байсан ч улаан гей, бас коммунист гээд түүнээсээ болж хар залуугаасаа шоронгоор явсан утгаар нь үзэл сурталгүй гээд орчуулаагүй л байх. "Хайрын дуу" нэртэй 1950 оны киног нь оллоо. Ютюбд баярлажухуй.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

through the rabbit hole

... the poet rolled over to face his lover the wordsmith peacefully asleep with his face engulfed by the pillow. the wordsmith's lips, plush and glowing faintly rosy against the purple in grey light, looked like a child's, innocent, carefree, as if he meant to stay forever young, his forehead covered in tiny beads of sweat.

"what's he dreaming about, i wonder?", the poet smiled. happiness is what he felt. he turned to look at the february that began in the world outside their window. lured by the grey seeping through the violet curtains, he carefully got up and pulled one aside. indeed, it was the snow that was responsible for the dim light this morning, unlike the bright light that was the whole of january. the poet's heart warmed at the sight of snowflakes drifting around. he lit a cigarette and inhaled, imagining the smoke was the dance of millions of icicles entering his body, all adding to his dancing happiness. 

"wake up, babe... it's snowing... let's go for a walk while it's still snowing."

the wordsmith found the slightest, unnoticeable-to-most lisp of the poet endearing and beautiful. caressed by it rather than words, still groggy from sleep, he opened his eyes to see his lover standing against the windows that had perspired in the night, streams of steam inside the double-pane windows frozen: the poet was beautiful, all lit up with an inner smile against the delicate patterns of impermanence. how vulnerable but strong, graceful but indomitable he looked, his spirit nothing but love. his eyes, his shoulders, his slim waist and thighs, the way he held his cigarette and brought it up against his lips... 

how did it begin. they couldn't pinpoint the exact day or the hour they began to consider each other their own. they only knew that each time they met, they both kept feeling in tandem, hearing music and seeing colours, talking without talking and listening with their hearts. none cared for what others could think of them, or could say. and so they began, who cared for the past, for it was always now.

as they left their apartment building in the centre of the town, they held hands, oblivious to the fact that they were stared and, at times, disbelievingly jeered at by festively clothed straight couples, some with children, some with children and old folk in tow walking the streets as the tradition required all to do in the time and place they proudly called home. it never mattered that their home still saw them as mostly outsiders, they were a part and parcel of their home, as has been the case for millennia before them and as the case will be millennia after them. bubbling with the joy that the snow awoke in them, they walked and walked, glancing at each other from time to time to only convey the bubbles they had inside them. they had no need for words for both felt the same exact multitude of feelings that were mirrorred. the tiniest squeezes of gloved hands, infrequent glances were more than enough. with each step together, they kept falling deeper through the rabbit hole called love.

Crowdfunding!

As many of you know, we are doing an online crowdfunding for the first time in the history of the Centre, and it happens to be for the Equa...