We had a lot of trouble with western mental health workers who came here immediately after the genocide and we had to ask some of them to leave.
They came and their practice did not involve being outside in the sun where you begin to feel better. There was no music or drumming to get your blood flowing again. There was no sense that everyone had taken the day off so that the entire community could come together to try to lift you up and bring you back to joy. There was no acknowledgement of the depression as something invasive and external that could actually be cast out again.
Instead they would take people one at a time into these dingy little rooms and have them sit around for an hour or so and talk about bad things that had happened to them. We had to ask them to leave."
i keep track of all the people that like and reblog my selfies
someone’s gonna get a prize at the end of the year
Maybe my ways are passive, passive-aggressive, sly, avoidant… or just culturally sensitive. Regardless, this is what works for me these days.
- I made a safe zone sign for my multilingual immigrant work place and asked my dad for help proofreading the translations. He asked his friends too!
- I helped organize the March on Springfield and did outreach at my dad’s University. He took me from building to building with my posters, bragging to people that he helped with the Bangla translation.
- That time, after clearly paying attention to my lingo on facebook posts, my mum asked me why people say “queer” because she thought it was a mean word.
- I talked to my mum about how some people here in the U.S. prefer they (gender neutral) pronouns, sort of like in Bangla. And then happily listened to her tell me more about Bangla grammar and language.
- I heard about Akabaka Productions and then took the opportunity to ask my dad about the meaning of the word akabaka. He wasn’t convinced that it meant gay, lol, but still, I’m wishing I would have come out as baka (not straight) rather than that series of confused English words.
- I told my mum about how I know our attorney through her desi lesbian partner who she will marry soon. And they thought she was a damn good attorney too.
- I told my mum not to worry, I can help my brother set up a shaadi.com account since I just set up my own. She, confused, asked what I was looking for on there. I said “a wife.” She said, sensitively, “I’m not sure you will find what you are looking for on there…”
- I told my mum about my desi lesbian friend’s Hindu wedding and how her mother officiated it with blessings from her own father. My parents later went to a wedding in their town, which was coincidentally officiated by my friend’s mum and they got to meet her.
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