“I think it’s her way of asking for forgiveness and telling me that she finally sees me as who I am, and that she is willing to put in the work to get to know me and honour me for who I am.”
This is 32-year-old Montreal-based performer, poet, multi-disciplinary artist and community organiser Kama La Mackerel.
On September 27, she uploaded a photo of herself at her best friend’s wedding dressed in her mother’s sari that she gifted her.
In the post, the half-East African, half-South Asian writer said:
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 also mentioned that her mother was proud to see her dressed in a sari.
“I think it’s her way of asking for forgiveness and telling me that she finally sees me as who I am, and that she is willing to put in the work to get to know me and honour me for who I am,” Mackerel added.