Trying to Come Back Home

I left my country in April.

I haven’t always lived here in Bogotá. In fact, I spent ages nine through fifteen in the US. I was young, however, and didn’t experience too much of the country. The fact of the matter is the only place I’d known, truly known, and understood was Colombia. Even so, there wasn’t any anxiety the day I boarded my flight to Europe, just pure excitement. I didn’t know quite what to expect, but I was looking forward to being an observer to how other people lived their lives, and to get a small taste of other places.

Look, the truth is Colombia isn’t too different from Europe, culturally. We’re a former Spanish colony, after all. Sure, there are huge differences even in neighbouring countries there, but the odds of me experiencing culture shock weren’t as high as they might be if I’d gone to other parts of the world.

I was right, of course. Things were very different in some ways, but familiar in others. It was a little funny to be taught that in Germany you respect traffic lights no matter what, and to be stood at a crossing waiting for the pedestrian light to turn green, even though there were no cars to be seen. In Colombia, for reference, crossing the street resembles a game of Frogger more than anything else.

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Actual footage of someone crossing a street in Bogotá

It was not very different to find the streets empty and quiet on Resurrection Sunday  in Dortmund when you’re from a formerly Catholic country, or to see a city come alive to watch the football when you’re from South America. Riding the metro in Paris was every bit comfortably and awkwardly quiet as it is taking a Transmi in Bogotá, and the intense passive aggressive annoyance at some guy who got on and played loud music was every bit as intense and passive aggressive as it gets here when the same thing happens. There were kids playing with footballs at a park in Barcelona, which made me smile and remember doing the same while growing up here.

What I didn’t expect was what would happen when I came back to Colombia. Continue reading

Today

*yaaaaaaaaawn*

Eyes remaining closed, the young man settled back against the pillows, a contented smile forming on his face without him realising. Hmmmmmmm. He seemed to like bed today. That was nice; he’d make sure to take a nap in the afternoon.

But that would be later. He groaned a bit and stumbled out of bed. First he had to figure out who he was today. Continue reading

Dealing with Rejection

Yesterday I went to a nerdy convention we have in my country each year. It’s a ton of fun to be around people geeking out about everything, seeing kickass cosplay, and buying random nerdy gewgaws. Quick aside, how cool is it that ‘gewgaw’ was a word I already knew and didn’t have to find in a synonym dictionary? Oh, not that cool or interesting? Nevermind, sorry.

Anyways. I’ve been going to this con every year for the past five years except for last year, since I was too overwhelmed with the stress and loneliness of coming out. It was a pretty tough year, honestly. I mean sure, I felt happier than I ever had before, but my life pre-transition had set the bar for happiness very, very near the ground. It really didn’t take much to improve on it. Continue reading

Coming Out

I remember I was at a friend’s birthday party about three or four years ago, and I saw some facebook post about National Coming Out day in the US. I felt a familiar weight of hopelesness weigh down my heart and make the rest of the day feel like slow torture.
It felt incredibly cruel for the world to rub in the fact that some people got to be themselves, and actually had a chance at happiness, while I had to live a miserable existence, in which no one knew who I was.

When I left for home that night, I felt as if I didn’t have a future, and life would always be awful.
Things have changed quite a bit since then. Continue reading