Disagreements and arguments between parents and children are common. If it is about life decisions like one’s career or marriage, then more so. But more often than not, even if some of the arguments lead to absolutely heart-breaking fallouts initially, of course, parents and children continue to love each other. Thirty-two-year-old Kama La Mackerel’s story is just the example of the binding love of children and parents.
Mackerel is a Montreal-based performer, poet, multi-disciplinary artist and community organiser. She is also a trans woman. Reportedly half-East African, half-South Asian, she recently wore a beautiful blue silk saree to her best friend’s wedding. But the six yards of beauty that she had draped around her was not the only reason behind Mackerel’s happiness that day. It was her mother’s saree and she had gifted her, and that the saree was a sign of her mother’s acceptance of her identity and love for her that made Mackerel happy that day, as was evident from the inspiring Facebook post she wrote later.
This is the text of her post.
“thank you mom, for gifting me your own favourite sari, and for insisting that I wear it to my best friend’s wedding. my relationship with my family, just like my relationship to femininity, has always been a fraught one, my family having been the first site of punishment that I experienced for transgressing gender norms. these two relationships are tied in a knot that I’ve had to unravel, one alongside each other, over the years:
embroidered in these six yards of silk are the thirty years it took me to find who I am and slowly become who I was meant to be;
hidden in the deep blue of this sari are three decades of navigating rejection and acceptance, punishment, and compassion, rage, and forgiveness;
threaded in this fabric is a lifetime of silence and dejection, the weaving of the unspoken over my skin, the (un)wrapping of shame around my body;
embedded in this garment are the feet of a young child walking in pain, the hands of a suicidal teenager holding the pieces of a broken heart, the lungs of an insecure adult still learning how to breathe a steady rhythm…
but wrapped around my body is also the gift of peace & acceptance: an offering of love, a request for forgiveness, the recognition of souls beaming truth in the sunlight, and the possibility of re-imagining, re-creating and re-enchanting ourselves, each other and our relationships.
Mackerel’s heart-wrenching post touches hearts not just because it talks about her “fraught” relationship with her family after she started exploring her gender’s ‘complicated’ nuances. But also because, her post is ridden with the poetry of pain that many others in her community go through too.
Mackerel’s Facebook post has been receiving a lot of appreciation on social media.