My father was a beautiful, angry, complex brown man. Closeted and married to my mom, somehow trying to survive 1980s central Massachusetts' racism and economic disaster when he would've much rather been in London or Kuala Lumpur or some decolonial brown queer land with great fashion that didn't exist yet. He yelled so much I cried throughout my childhood, didn't fuck my mom and they didn't have a partnership that made either of them very happy, but he did give me some things. He gave me visits to the comic book store where he was a collector, stories about Sri Lanka that I didn't care about as a kid but would grow up to be my everything. And he gave me something maybe the most precious: his brown, mixed-class femme masculinity.
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This work by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.