Tag: Sara

Meagan Kimberly reviews If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan – The Lesbrary

Meagan Kimberly reviews If You Could Be Mine by Sara

If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan

Childhood friends Sahar and Nasreen are desperately in love, but living in Tehran, their love is forbidden. Nasreen wants to lead the life her parents want for her, to marry a good man with a good job who can take care of her, even if it means she has to give up her childhood sweetheart. Sahar can’t lose Nasreen, so she considers transitioning into a man, as that is acceptable in their culture. It’s a novel filled with teen angst, questions of gender and sexuality, coming of age and deciding how to stay true to yourself while holding on to the people you love.

When it comes to the discussions of trans people and transitioning, it’s hard for me to speak clearly to it because that’s not my own experience. But throughout the novel, the discussions explicitly state “transsexual,” which I’m not sure if it’s an outdated term or if it’s specific to Iranian culture on the subject. Because in this culture, trans people are acceptable as it is seen as “fixing” the problem of homosexuality. There’s a lot to unload in that frame of mind altogether because lumping gender and sexual orientation into one doesn’t allow for nuance.

There’s also an interesting division within the LGBTQ+ community. Sahar’s gay cousin, Ali, introduces her to Tehran’s queer community to show her she’s not the only one and there’s nothing wrong with her. But Sahar is resistant to the idea that she is a lesbian. Moreover, there’s another trans character she meets who shows repulsion toward gay people, calling it unnatural.

Farizan creates dynamic, imperfect characters in Sahar and Nasreen. It would be easy to categorize them as overdramatic teen girls and to get easily annoyed with their personalities. At times, Sahar becomes frustrating, even as she acknowledges her flaws and irrationality. But through all that emotion, it’s a delight to see her go through the growing pains and become firm in her identity.

I admit I found Nasreen harder to sympathize with. She’s not a bad person, but she is more selfish and self-centered in comparison to Sahar. However, she’s never condemned for her desire to live comfortably. She’s not the kind of person to fight her role as a woman in her society, and it doesn’t make her weaker or inferior. She simply chooses to survive the best way she knows how.

That doesn’t mean I think she deserves Sahar. Nasreen’s treatment of her best friend is never justified by her desire to survive and live a comfortable life. It’s this complex and messy narrative that makes the novel a compelling read. Nothing’s black and white. Characters aren’t necessarily good or evil. There are no right answers.

SPOILERS AHEAD:

Sahar and Nasreen don’t end up together. It’s a heartbreaking moment for Sahar, but it feels like the right choice for the story. However, there’s a spark of hope at the end as the novel wraps up with Sahar meeting a new girl at college.

Sara Ramirez Is Non-Binary: Icon Instagrams Capacity to Be “Girlish Boy, Boyish Girl, Boyish Boy, All, Neither”

Sara Ramirez Is Non-Binary: Icon Instagrams Capacity to Be "Girlish

This morning the incredibly talented multi-hyphenate actor, singer bisexual icon and advocate Sara Ramirez announced a new profile picture on their Twitter and Instagram.

With the Instagram photo — a selfie of the star with their signature haircut, a purple shirt, and classic small square earring — came the following caption:

“In me is the capacity to be
Girlish boy
Boyish girl
Boyish boy
Girlish girl
All
Neither
#nonbinary
♥️💜♥️”

Ramirez quietly updated their pronouns to she/they on Twitter and Instagram a while back (though we don’t have calendar days in front of us, as a Autostraddle’s resident Sara Ramirez “celebrity expert” my guestimation is pretty close to a year now). They’ve also updated their bio to include “non-binary human” right at the top. But this is the first major post since then — that we can remember — to address their gender directly.

Of course, at this point, in our community, the legend of Sara Ramirez enters the door before they do. First there’s the Tony Award for playing Lady of the Lake in 2005’s Spamalot. Then, for a lot us, there’s Callie Torres who stole our heart on Grey’s Anatomy, clocking in more than 240 episodes and becoming the longest running queer character in television history. After leaving Grey’s in 2016, Ramirez came out as came out as bisexual in a speech that I’ve personally memorized, saying that they were committed to embracing all of their intersections as an multiracial, immigrant, queer person of color. And of course there’s the butch dreamboat Kat Sandoval on who basically stopped time itself with a quirk of an eyebrow on Madam Secretary.  Since publicly coming out as bisexual, Sara has been nothing short of a show-stopper — working closely Latinx, immigrant, people of color, queer and trans communities, activists, and artists. Using their platform at every turn to uplift those most marginalized and the voices that we need to hear from most.

I’ve told this story before, but when Callie Torres first entered my life, I was still telling myself that I was straight. The last ten years have been a journey; for myself, for the character, and for the actor who played her.

I could have never guessed in 2006, sitting cross legged on my dorm room, stuffing my face with popcorn, that one day I would be an out queer woman, let alone the Deputy Editor of this publication (ha!). I couldn’t have known that the character screen who already captured my attention would soon become the mirror through I gained the courage to come out. I could have never imagined that the actor who played her would also come out and then show the fuck out, giving back to our community so generously and willingly.

In every moment and in every way, Sara Ramirez has proven to be loving to their community, never afraid of speaking up, never afraid to a beacon. Being courageous and grappling publicly with the hard questions of social justice and privilege and how to best create change. And today, we’re stopping for a moment to say, Thank You.

When Sara Ramirez first came out as bisexual, they made me feel a little less alone in this world. It helped light a path that brought me to this website. And today, less than five days away from their 45th birthday, I know they are lighting that path for so many more.

So on behalf of everyone at Autostraddle:

Dear Sara,
We’re so happy you’re living more authentically every year! (and also hotter every year, too!) We love you today, tomorrow and always.

— Team AS