"[...] I have been meeting gay Armenians both in Armenia and in the US and telling myself that my parents cannot use the excuse of my assimilation to American culture as the reason for my rejection of heterosexuality. But it always comes down to that. When I moved out my parents could not understand why I chose to do so even though I felt like I was going mad living at home and leading such a double life. I still live a double life, but there is less anxiety over trying to maintain a lie, a shameful secret, who I have chosen to be, who I have become in this mixture of immigration from Armenia to the United States, from heteronormativity to queerland, from proper, passive woman to activist, feminist, artist. Because I cannot exist in a bubble, I claim an identity as a queer Armenian woman, but those are also secondary.
I would rather not have to be face to face with a system that creates categories to separate people. I cannot chose where I was born and the impact the earth and air of that place has had on me, nor can I chose the effect that living in a female body has had on my spirit and mind, but I should not have to constantly prove how I am woman, or Armenian, or American, or queer, or straight, or artist, or activist, or spiritual. And there are so many of us, immigrants, exiles, who do not fit in a box or live our lives in a linear fashion. I believe we are the ones who can guard the future against decay, standing against its winds, with our very lives, resisting."
Maral is a passionate artist/writer who is in the throes of creating a world in which she and others like herself can live in peace and abundance. When she is in love she believes that this is more and more possible. She is currently attempting to find a room of her own in which to write and complete a memoir/poetry book. Check out her blog at http://www.maralbavakan.blogspot.com