Wesley D’Souza recounts the time his school put up a production of The Pied Piper of Hamelin, his preparations for its audition, and how the process was intertwined with an exploration and acceptance of his sexuality.
In this write up, we’d like to share a sense of what emerges from a compilation of these responses. This is based on the thoughts and feelings that come through for those of us here at In Plainspeak who have had the joy of reading the original responses as they came in to us. (Some of the quotations that follow have been slightly edited for flow and to help connect themes.) We know that most things in the realm of art, information and ideas lend themselves to a wide range of inferences and insights depending on the individuals making the inferences.
Scribbles: an Escape From the Mundane is a product of my thoughts and emotions when I was struggling to understand my sexuality and grappling with the idea of identifying with the spectrum of gender and sexuality outside the binary, but not being able to put a label on it.
There may already be another organisation in the community to share resources with but for community-led initiatives, a shared perspective on Safe, Inclusive, Sexuality-Affirming (SISA) spaces is also important. Sometimes when the shared perspective is not there, that becomes a challenge.
The desire for intimacy might rob one of the intimacy that one shares with oneself and thus, being with the beloved can leave one feeling even lonelier because of the continuing struggle for validation and comfort.
In this month’s issue of Play and Sexuality, Wesley D’Souza recounts the time his school put up a production of The Pied Piper of Hamelin, his preparations for its audition, and how the process was intertwined with an exploration and acceptance of his sexuality.
Where did my body go? This is a question I have asked myself repeatedly over the last two years. My…
My friend’s son, too, likes wearing tutus and frilly skirts. Every time they go shopping for clothes, he heads to the girl’s section and picks out the frilliest outfit. At check out, invariably the cashier asks if the pretty outfit is for his sister and he confidently says it is for him. Often he wears these outfits to school. His confidence comes from his mother’s acceptance of him and her understanding of his gender expansiveness. It helps that she is a sociologist, but there is a constant pushback from society including from his peers at school who bully the little boy. But it is the constant support from his mother and family that allows him to remain confident and thrive whilst being different.
Being vulnerable helps boost our self-esteem and self-worth by pushing us out of our comfort-zone. It provides us with an opportunity to overcome obstacles and reach deep down within ourselves to find strength and confidence to keep going even when the odds are against us.
It took me some time to realise how important being vulnerable or, for that matter, being vulnerable during sexual engagement was for me to have great sex and how empowering it is for my sexuality. After much thought, I decided to open up to my partner about my past experiences and other things I never used to openly talk about.
“Be yourself, Sarah. Awkward smiles, empty silences, weird laughter, and all. It’s just a part of being human. Loving someone physically is never not awkward. Even if it’s a monogamous relationship. It’s only the comfort of familiarity that makes you think otherwise.”
Through multiple maquettes, I finally came across (since I myself did not know what the result of the form or figure would be) the Reclining Lady. She represents confident femininity and vulnerability. The feeling one has after taking a bath and sitting in the nude, drying oneself in unabashed nakedness.
From being comfortable doing nothing in someone’s company or cooking and laughing together, to confiding in them our hopes and fears, feeling safe letting someone seeing us at our best as well as through our not-so-good moments is like ‘coming home’ in the world.
We are often told to speak to ourselves as we would to a friend, gently and lovingly. At the heart of friendship is vulnerability – a radical acceptance of oneself and another for who we truly are, the glowing and beautiful, as well as the dark and crooked.