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.’

March 2019

Trigger warning: terrorism 

This week marked three years since the Christchurch terrorist attack in Aotearoa New Zealand. Words cannot describe (and certainly won’t be able to for decades to come)  the ripple this appalling act has caused the families whose loved ones were stripped from, their wider Islamic community and also to the minority communities that span through the length and breadth of this country.

A common reaction to this event was a moment of realization of ‘wow I can’t believe this happened here’. Regrettably, this is a result of the normalization of events of this nature occurring in the Middle East or non-Western states where war and terror is the only characteristic we see associate them with. While there is a large discussion to be had about the decade’s worth of media and political influence that has led to the current stigma, what I do know is that there is an exponential amount of unlearning and internalizing to process as privileged nations in the Western world.

15 March 2019 to this day still stirs up knots in the pit of my stomach. Coming from a country torn and polarized by civil war, it was a moment of realignment for me. Just like in the movies where the camera zooms out of the main character to show how minuscule they are compared to the rest of this very coloured and entangled universe. 

As a family we made the move to this far away land that promoted greener pastures and happier times, my parents wanted to plant roots in a place where uncertainty was a second thought. Less ‘what ifs’ and more ‘how abouts’. The day of the attacks shocked the very core of our intent. For the first time since moving to Aotearoa, my father told me to be careful out there. At this moment almost all my security was ripped from us in front of our eyes and we were exposed to the realities of the society we live in. I remember crying on my way to my car and trying to pull it together before work. 

Now please don’t get me wrong, this country has given me a fantastic education and also the opportunities to pursue my passions, however, the racial bias and systemic racism that have founded these systems still need to be internalized and decolonized. 

It is appalling that it took an event like this to cause society as we knew it to stop and think. It reflected that behind our picturesque mountains and adventure parks, we have those horrific thinkers on the prowl to terrorize, in our own backyards. It revealed a very unsettling culture of ‘casual’ racist jokes. Stereotypes that diminished the worth of those who did not sit at par with the privileged became humorous talking points in most of our conversations. I have to admit, even I had to deeply internalize my own behavior toward this. 

At the time, as someone who had moved to this country 12 years ago, I had felt (and still do) acceptance by some of my closest friends and teachers. But sadly I had realized for over a decade I had been the target of a casual racist ‘joke’. While these seem harmless, this is where the seeds of hate sprout for those who have not walked the same path as you have. 

I am uncertain what my intention was for this particular blog post, I just needed to vent and share my thoughts, I guess. Although I spent a good few days where I found myself weeping in agony for those lives lost, at the same time I felt proud to be a New Zealander after seeing the outpour of support from people across the nation and from those closest to me, even my lecturers at University. (shout out to the superstar of a lecturer and friend Emily O’Hara – I will never forget your love and support). At these moments where pockets of love emerged from the dark, I knew there was hope for change.  


A common thread in my self-discovery has been my relationship with religion. I was raised almost conservatively Christian, and those values and traditions still dictate my everyday routine. I guess it was all I knew. I say almost because my childhood was based in a society where the Western World was esteemed as the pinnacle of society. 

I had Catholic education for all but two years of my schooling life, and boy do I have a LOT of unlearning and internalizing to do. While I write this I am reunited with waves of anxious memories. I still consider myself a Christian, however, I am still trying to re-invent what this means for me and how it influences my life. I have had way too many run-ins with the occasional ‘Bible-bashing’ situations where I was made to feel less than worthy of any spiritual love.  

Identifying as someone in the LGBTQIA+ community, I have always (and still am) been pulled into two different scopes of spirituality. Christianity has a turbulent relationship with the LGBTQIA+ communities around the world. The battle to feel welcome and loved by the communities we grew up in is greater than ever. Yet I remain conflicted. While Christianity and other Abrahamic religions have given their followers “commandments” to follow which have caused division, they have provided the world with notable traditions that celebrate time spent with those closest to you, which can be beautiful. I can only speak for Christianity but all other religions spread across the globe bear so much power and influence over the population, whether it be through food, dance, fireworks, or song. 

I mean look at me … does this not scream 👠 👜

Through all this beauty and glee I have seen the depreciative implications on those who live on the margins of society. Unfortunately, these belief systems have drawn up boxes for all of humanity to sit in, and the fact is there are those among us who just don’t sit comfortably in these boxes, just for the sake of societal expectations. Personally, at 25, I am on my own journey of understanding my sexuality and gender identity. Wearing a pair of heeled black boots and putting on a bit of sparkle on my eyelids would have been so alien to me a couple of years ago. I recall even the suggestion that I was gay by someone else I would immediately lash out and take offense, it was almost like someone had spat on me. 

I reflected on my spiritual confusion in my Masters’ thesis a couple of years ago, below is an excerpt of how I would try to convince my soul to find peace in the unknown. 

“Purgatory is an apt term to visualize the present ‘in-between’ space, as it is an overlapping of realities. Raised as Christian, ‘Purgatory’ was almost always a word threatened upon me. Not necessarily in a horrific way, it was more a term stipulated unto me to discipline in my primary school years. It was portrayed as a space where you would go if you had unfinished or unfulfilled affairs. In my late teenage years, I hardly had an existential thought, my unfinished business consisted of not having my prized Faber Castell pencils in perfect rainbow formation. Although the dooming reality of floating in limbo for eternity was threatened upon me for these unfinished tasks in life, as I grew into the person I am today I became more drawn to this space of limbo. Being immersed in a space where I was consumed by incomplete doings didn’t seem so distressing. Often described as a state of temporary punishment, the thought dooming limbo seemed exhilarating in the depths of my adolescence. A moment or a walk away from the pressures of the current endurance to survive, perhaps my purgatorial moments have become a key tool in my survival tool kit.”


Below is a wee snippet of my Master’s thesis I submitted a couple of years ago. During these very challenging couple of years completing my project for the submission, I was confronted with a series of very emotional changes in myself. Now by changes, I do not mean physically, but more changes with some very important relationships in my life – below is a recollection of my relationship with myself. 

I cannot speak for the rest of the world but I never considered the thoughts and feelings I had towards myself were essentially a relationship, and at the time a very toxic one, I might add. I found myself falling deep into my own self-emotional manipulation. These twinklings of thought soon turned into balls of fire. I became increasingly more aware of myself (well, I had it thrusted upon me), I truly thought I had my coming of age a couple of years prior when I was blessed enough to go on a semester exchange abroad. 

It was the epiphany below that revealed the fact that we need to allow ourselves to re-invent, re-imagine and re-sync ourselves whenever our soul needs it – at any point of our precious lifespan. I fell into a trance of daydreaming where I would just subconsciously remove myself from the current reality and sink myself into a euphoria of fantasy. 

Here is the snippet where I documented my first discovery of my trances:  

“During my walk, I glance at the birds, the swaying trees, the angry man on the phone, and the chirpy old couple strumming their banjo dancing to their own tunes. Then I abandon the now and imagine what was before. Where did they come from? Where are they going? This was a subconscious means to piece together my own story, where I fit in this busy metropolis city I have adopted as my home. History is said to instill a sense of citizenship, it urges us to question and to ask, so I question and ask. If life was a movie, this would be the best part. 

This was taken on my analog camera on one of my many walks through Auckland city, lingering in my own fantasy.

The reflection of what was before us. This is my spectacle, my curious phenomenon. This enigma has helped resolve the dilemma of not being brown enough to fit in my culture or not white enough to fit into my adopted city. My entire life, I have felt so ‘in-between’. In-between two realities and trying to co-exist, to please both. Being a mixed-race coloured gay Christian man has placed me in these co-existing realities. Stepping into my own little fantasy where the world around me is in my grasp and I can puppeteer it to do what I please. Whether it be a flash mob dance routine on High street or a solo spotlight performance by yours truly on the balcony protruding out of the Roxy. These little trips into my own ‘fantastic’ has pulled me out of symptoms of depression and anxiety, as the weight of my burdens just lifts off my shoulders and is tucked away under my feet momentarily. Often overwhelmed with adrenalin and glee after indulging myself in a movie musical or even the newest show at the Civic, I arrive at a trance where I am fixed in on the fantastic. This manifestation of my reality, investing my senses creates a Bi-location where my heart’s desire can come true. Channeling my restlessness and uncertainties of my reality into the fantastic has been a coping mechanism, averting from spiraling into a negative abyss.”

Reflecting back on this very critical point in my life, where I was thrusted into the abyss of self-reflection has been rather therapeutic. Over the next couple of posts, I might delve deeper into this (unless I am thrown by something else and I have an itching urge to document it) and share more of the memoirs from my thesis.

If you would like to read or spruce through my thesis, check it out here!

Until next time x

Atlas II

Let’s journey back to where I was headed at the beginning of my last post… Now please don’t get me wrong, to this very day I hold no grudge or animosity toward my great-aunts, they are merely a product of their own generation and echo chambers. We are all on this boundless expedition of unlearning, relearning, and exposing our minds to the unfamiliar. You get the idea right? It is important we practice patience with those who are in the generations before us, they like us are a product of their environments.  

My moments of enlightenment emerged as I began my life in Aotearoa New Zealand, here is how and why we got to the land of the long white cloud: 

There is a common unspoken shared goal in Sri Lanka where you can only really make it if you emigrate out of the country, OR you power through the systemic blocks of a very messy political regime. Due to this unfortunate fantasy, I was always nurtured to only dream of the western world.

My mama knew of my obsession with the Atlas and everything to do with this incredible planet (mama would often buy me many the encyclopedia for me to bury my head in and in turn dish out fun facts about the world when nobody asked), so one evening she brought me a map and she said:

“if you could choose anywhere to live where would you go?”

I can never keep a long story short so I am going to tell you what exactly led me to my answer to her question. 

I grew up on Anchor milk and many a time I would find myself staring at the back of the boxes gleaming at the green pastures with healthy cows grazing away at their leisure. The way I daydreamt with dewy eyes at this damn box, I could have been a poster child for an Anchor ad. Thinking back on this now, I truly was living the proverb of ‘the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence’ (fun fact nobody asked for: did you know that this proverb can be traced back to 43 BC??!!). 

So surprising! My answer to my mother’s question was…New Zealand! My little chocolate finger b-lined straight down to Aotearoa just down the bottom and to the right. 

I didn’t think very much of this query as I was too busy trying to impress my grand aunty Joan who was visiting at the time (she is my Nana’s oldest sister so we call her – big Nana). During my poor attempt of curating a facade of a more polished westernized version of myself, I found myself eavesdropping on my aunties chit-chatting away in my nana’s room over a steamy cuppa of Ceylon’s finest 😏. I subtly placed myself inside the inner circle and then big nana piped up saying “oh when you move to New Zealand you will have a far better education and life” (these words might not be completely accurate but it was definitely along those lines). At this moment I instantly pieced together the puzzle of why my mother asked me that question over my atlas earlier that evening.  

I wasn’t as privileged and powerful in my immediate family affairs as you might think, it turns out the reason mama has asked me that question was due to my father being offered a handful of opportunities around the world. He was blessed and well-deservedly given verbal offers to positions in Bermuda, Canada, Hong Kong, and New Zealand. At this point in time, my father had been working hard to provide for us in Saudi Arabia, so any opportunity for all of us to be together as a family was a blessing. Without this knowledge, I guess maybe I did have somewhat of a say in the fate of my family, based on my own reverie of greener grass in Aotearoa New Zealand. 

This is my little brother and on one of our trips visiting dad in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

And that was the long story, extra-long, of how we decided to shift our entire lives and leave all we knew to move here for a ‘better and more prosperous future’.


From a very young age, I seemed to have a fascination with the Atlas. I had this giant map of the world that draped over a wall in the guest room of the very first house we (my family and I) lived in when we first immigrated to New Zealand. I never took an interest in video games or outdoor sports in my tweens, so my idea of mental distraction was lying on the bed that sat below the large plastic map, dreaming of fantastical adventures, guided by my big toe. While my younger brother kept to the stereotype of partaking in the ‘gentlemens’ game of cricket, I was trekking through the amazon in my eat, pray, love fantasy. 

I presume I was enchanted by anything related to an Atlas due to the regular visits from my great uncles and aunties from far-away western worlds while I was still living in Sri Lanka. They would come over bearing gifts of chocolate and their second-hand clothes, there was a certain smell that wafted from their freshly opened suitcases that I could never put my finger on until my family would visit from New Zealand and open our very own luggage to distribute treats. 

Something that I noticed now that I reflect back on from times my relatives would visit from abroad, was that in their eyes they would feel a little sorry for us that we never got to leave (Just for context I was born in Sri Lanka and I lived 12 years of my life on that island until moving to New Zealand in 2008). I would often eavesdrop on my grand aunts advising my Nana and mother on how to raise me, they would watch attentively my every habit in my day-to-day routine and then comment and feedback to my mother. They would discuss this while sitting cross-legged watching gleefully as presents are handed out from their luggage. 

I recall listening in on a conversation where my Nana’s oldest sister was advising my mum to stop sending me to a speech and drama institute on the weekends, or it would turn me into a ‘sissy’. I felt diminished, not for myself but for the position I had put my mother in. I used to have such a ball at these classes and grew very close to a teacher who I referred to as ‘Aunty Ann’, I think she knew I was a stark contrast to all the other boys who went to the Catholic Boys only school I was attending. As soon as mama dropped me off at the front gates of glass, it felt like I was running through a portal of sorts, running toward my little utopia where I hung up my made-up cloak of heterosexuality and slip into my queer stilettos.  

Me at probably age 10 playing a girl in a school play. I absolutely LOVED this day, for the first time in a long time I was able to express myself all in one go. You best believe I went HARD.

My mother never let those comments of ignorance seep into her mind, she was and still is one of the most resilient women in my life. She still continued to support me in my classes and never missed a beat when it came to local speech and drama competitions or examinations. She fed into all my strengths and catered to my weaknesses, she was the shield that protected me from the harsh critiques of the other parents, mama took all the hits for me. 

I seemed to have trailed off my initial goal for this blog post but hey, I unpacked something that I had thought I stuffed deep in my mind.

I am very new to this whole blog thing but it has been somewhat therapeutic to just let it all out into the universe. If you’re reading this and can relate on any level to this memoir, I strongly suggest you write out your own clogged memories you find hard to come to terms with. You don’t have to share it, do it for you

Kia ora, Ayubowan, Hello.

I am uncertain where to begin this blog journey but I have finally decided to sit my fine ass down to get something out on ‘paper’. The thought of creating this little platform of storytelling has been on my wee queer mind over these turbulent years of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

These moments of mandatory social deprivation have stripped away my security blanket of avoiding what has truly been brewing in me for most of my life. Whilst I was slightly delighted at the fact that I can have a little holiday, the doom and gloom of this pandemic soon simmered down into the belly of my thoughts – stirring up some familiar anxiety. A type of anxiety I only read in books and saw depicted on mental health awareness campaigns. 

I swear for years I thought that my coming of age was my undergraduate years at University, my coming out of the closet during these years was your textbook coming of age story. And then came March 2020, what I always thought I was destined to do and who I thought I was born to be was completely shredded in front of me. It was a very long and tiresome realization and coming of age, in which I realized we are all not restricted to A moment of transformation, but as humans, we are capable of shedding new skin at each and every turn of our lives.

My intention for this blog is to share my layers, my stories, and my lived experiences. This storybook will have absolutely no chronological order, but I am sure you will clock a theme or two from what I write. I identify as a queer south Asian bi-racial man, who also calls Aotearoa New Zealand his home as an immigrant in this plentiful country. These accounts and shared thoughts of mine will be me sharing rather raw and real parts of me, some of which not even my closest friends know. 

Through this journey I would like to hold just one selfish ambition, to heal myself of trauma that I have retained deep in me. Trauma that I am not even aware of yet, I am hoping that sharing memoirs will be my own therapy so that I can be a better version of myself toward those closest and those who I am yet to meet. 

This is my pursuit of a butterfly effect, here, the blog is dedicated to the voice I wish I had growing up, to all you special people seeking comfort in a common story. 

Nana and Papa holding yours truly, oh if I only knew what was ahead