When Will Color Come? A Poem by a Closeted Arab


Trigger warning and a note from the author: This poem deals with very adult themes relating to self-harm, mental distress, and other psychological issues that LGBTQ+ youth can face. If you are experiencing any form of mental distress, remember to take the time to be kind to yourself and seek out help.

When Will Color Come?

When I bleed, I want to bleed in color.

I sometimes imagine what it would be like if I died. It’s not a suicidal thought, just a curiosity.

I suppose everyone wonders who would be at their funeral. But, have you ever wondered what it would be like at the moment you died?

In a sense, I’ve died before, when I came out to my sister and another time when I told my parents. I’m sure they felt like I had faded away. I was a different person than they thought.

I promised them I was the same. But I think that was more to comfort them. I wanted a different trajectory; I wanted my life to be full of color.

Ironically, when I told my parents I was gay, it was as if all color had faded. The world was a grey monochrome. Staring off into the distance. It’s the moment you hear that your son has died, and there I am, a new son, wondering if and when the color will come.

But we move on.

I imagine dying a lot less now. I used to imagine pain much more frequently. I used to imagine hurting myself, and when I would bleed, my blood would be dark. When I would scream, my voice silent.

I would play psychological torture games on myself. Your google search is riddled with silly questions, and you think it’s normal. The memes making fun of you are plentiful, and then you feel dumb, you feel numb, you feel colorless.

The kids were mean. I was called a fag or shoved in the boys’ washroom.

Men were mean. When I was in university, and I started to date, I was fetishized for being Arab. I was exotic. A closet case to be used for some fantasy.

I was mean. I fear I still am sometimes.

But I try and move on from that pain, and I want to bleed in color when it comes back. This is my life note, my note of survival. I intend to exist.

And when I live,

I want to live in color,

and it’s my pride that will bring me to that day.

One Response

  1. “This is my life note, my note of survival. I intend to exist.”

    I am a pansexual muslim, so I have been dealing with depression and suicidal ideation, as well. Sometimes, I just want to continue to live out of spite; to do what is not expected of me.

    I hope the author is safe and is doing okay ❤️🏳️‍🌈

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