BOOTS the house down

Alright, let’s do an activity… go to your closet, dresser, shoe rack, or even bathroom cabinet. Now pick out an item from there that you save for those feel-good moments, where when you put it on you feel on top of your game and subsequently on top of the mother-tucking world. I don’t know about you, but this feeling is better than any other type of serotonin I have ever encountered.  

For me, it has to be any of my heeled boots (closed-toed). I am 6 feet tall so I am not wearing these to exactly compensate for any height insecurity, it’s more the clip-clop melody as I kick and prance over a tiled or wooden floor. This paired with a tune that exudes the energy of a queen walking amongst their subjects, *chefs kiss*. 

Coming into my sexuality, and also discovering my personal identity has been shrouded by many hurdles with mental health. I think is it now safe to say that almost all queer people carry a considerable load of trauma and baggage along with them. Throw in battling barriers of being a person of colour and an immigrant, then bob’s your bloody uncle. 

My own coping mechanisms through this enlightenment (trying to sugarcoat it here) have been through my daily routine of dressing myself in the mornings. This masquerade routine has become pivotal in treating myself with care while I navigate this discovery about myself. Nothing gives me more social power than strapping on those heeled boots I spoke of and plugging in my smudged earphones, shuffling through the entire repertoire of Nicki Minaj. I grew into a devoted daydreamer, wishing so hard to not be where I was. I had no idea what I was running from, however, I now realise I was just desperate for the ground to swallow me up and remove me from all real existence. To dip out of the restraints of the colonial and capitalist society we live in. 

I have recently started a new career in your standard capitalist machine of a company. Yes, this was a choice because I am blessed to be in a team where a bunch of epic humans is huddling together to make even more epic changes. The air of an aged oiled machine still leers over me when I am at work; the blue suits, gelled down hair, and loud phone calls. I have had a handful of the up and down looks from these suits. There was once a time when I would take offense to this, however now I take pride in my difference.

I am extremely grateful for my current employment, I believe I am in the right place to do my part in disrupting the system. Let’s normalize by challenging the ‘normal’, how do we expect systemic change when we settle for the typical? 

Below is another excerpt from my thesis I wrote a couple of years ago. This was written around the beginning of my addiction to daydreaming.  

‘As I set foot on yet another commute back home on Auckland’s temperamental public transport, I switch off for the day and prepare myself for this purgatory in-between work and home. Being in this space is what I most look forward to as I reflect on my days’ doing and what lies ahead… I place in my earphones to flush out the noise, both visual and audio. I enter this dream world where I am infatuated with my own cinematic rendition of the commute. At this moment in time, I am the lead, the protagonist, or the antagonist. As I strut my way down Queen Street, I am the most fabulous in this hustle-bustle metropolis. Removing myself from where I am strolling in this lifetime, I ask myself ‘imagine that’ or ‘imagine this’. Imagination and nostalgia are my temporary releases from my more defining obstacles. Obstacles of sexuality, relationships, self-care, family, and education. Whether it be the golden oldies, instrumental, or even Broadway’s finest, I switch my brain into a trance-like phase of ignorant bliss and neglect. Just for a moment.’

Published by Shawn Wimalaratne


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