Don't Tell Mama (ePub)
Who was I when I was alive? Was I a man or a woman?
Was I Nae-il, born in the grey North, or handsome Kasim, a child of the desert haze? Was I Iman, brought out of my mother by the skillful hands of her mordash, or was I Tamika of the soaring voice everyone would one day fall in love with. Was I ever Miembre the Blue-eyed, was I ever the bashful Hakim, have I ever believed I was Alexander the cynic, or Luka with the faded smile, or Matías, the boy forever fixed on his own happiness?
I was, am, or will be all of them. I watch them live their lives, away from each other, yet neighbors in destiny, brothers and sisters in soul and sexuality.
But even if they could open their eyes and look into the heart of their own existence, they would tell no one. They would not share their secret with anyone. Not even with their mothers.
Bulgaria. Cynical Alexander is made to face the consequences of his promiscuous life.
Iraq. After his cousin is exiled from the family home, young Hakim vows to denounce and suppress his feelings for another boy from his neighborhood.
Iran. Once a promising university student, Iman now must start over after undergoing a sex-change operation against his will.
Spain. Matías, a bellboy, realizes that he has to choose between life and love.
North Korea. The schoolgirl Nae-il is the only member of her family to survive an attempted flight across the border with China.
USA. Tamika, an insecure gospel singer, begins her journey on the road to stardom.
Uganda. Luke, a young member of the Church of Uganda, takes a stand against the local priest with only his blue-eyed neighbor Miembre by his side.
Observed by an unnamed presence from a place beyond the physical world, they are all fragments of a larger story about love, violence, and secrets that cannot be told.