holding onto gifts I’d planned to give

While in Rajasthan last December, I purchased a necklace I’d hoped to one day give “Carol”, and while in Kashmir I was given a headscarf that I’d hoped to give immediately to another woman (let’s call her “Susan”—as I never publish real names). Suffice to say that neither opportunity arose and I still have these gifts.

The headscarf holds added meaning in that I wore it while in Kashmir to “blend in” in hope that it would help me stay safe (see my post “fearing for my life in Kashmir“). But I wanted Susan to have it ultimately. She and I are not in contact right now, but I’m going to make an attempt at contact this Thanksgiving season. Perhaps there is a psychological attachment to the physical safety that the headscarf gave me while touring Kashmir that I project onto Susan, or more likely it just would make a fine gift accompanied by a meaningful story.

For Carol, I have a necklace. Carol of course has completely cut me out of her life, and I do not see much hope for near-future reconciliation (still hold onto long-term hope). I originally bought the necklace for me, but within an hour decided I wanted Carol to have it. Its pendant is a ruby cut in the famous “star of India” style, and, as I was in India, I was thrilled to purchase it.

So I think I’ll keep the headscarf ready to give Susan for at least another six months. But what about the gift for Carol? Should I just claim it for myself?

If I start wearing it, I effectively (but not accurately) “give up” my hope to give it to her. (But the accurate part is that I can wear it and then later give it to her with a full explanation). By wearing it, I also claim more ownership of my own emotions, in that I’m taking some of my love for Carol and applying it to myself—as it is a beautiful necklace. If I start wearing it I will build my own memories around the necklace.

I’ve given so much of my emotional life to Carol in the last two years and it might be time to symbolically reclaim some of it.

I’m wearing the necklace.

new album!

Just released a new album today:

The cover photo was taken of graffiti in Kashmir. Three of the songs explore my evolving feminine sexuality. The other two are sitar instrumentals.

Three of the songs on this album are described in my post “this is transgender music” if you are interested.



I’m willing to be a martyr for liberty or solidarity—not planning on it—but I want no part in any other form of Romantic death. Except this one time there was a slight appeal to it:

Visited Kashmir in December. Rather reckless of me considering there is an insurgency going on, and that foreigners get kidnapped and killed there occasionally (see my post “fearing for my life in Kashmir”). Not to mention the fact that when I arrived I found Islamic State propaganda everywhere, and we all know what IS does to queer people. I stayed close to my guides.

But let’s back up a bit: There is a woman I fell deeply in love with almost two years ago. She would have nothing of it, and I was devastated. Still am. We’ll call her “Carol” since I’m never going to publically state her real name. While I’ve moved on to a large degree, I still love Carol significantly.

Before visiting Kashmir I knew the risks. So I asked two of my friends to tell Carol that I love her in the event of my kidnapping or murder while traveling there. You see, Carol won’t allow me to tell her about how I feel, but I figured such an extreme event would get her attention.

I knew that if I was martyred for being American or queer she would listen to a message that I desperately wanted to send.

That almost felt worth dying for.