keeping up with mina
I pull my recorder out and get comfy in my chair, headphones in, computer ready. I hit play, and the sound of my own voice fills my own head.
“Hi Mina! Is now a good time?”
“Now is perfect.”
“Wonderful. Okay, so just answer as honestly as you can — whatever you’re comfortable with. I want this to be authentically you.”
I hit pause on the recorder, fingers itching to type. I need to get this right — Mina’s story is one of my favourites because it’s been years in the making. I remember the first time I interviewed him — over the phone as I drove back to Western University after spending the winter holidays with my family. Mina was still with his family out in Halifax at the time, but his Instagram had just started to go viral and I was the lucky journalist who got to interview him.
I pull up the transcription from our first interview and can’t help but smile to myself. Even three years later, his message and views hasn’t changed much.
“Ever since I was four years old I can remember sneaking into my Moms closet and stealing her clothes and her shoes, making sure no one saw me and I would just dress up and try to be Posh Spice — but that was back when I was in Dubai. Over there everything is very different —something like this is very taboo, so I was terrified of showing that off or bringing that up so I just pushed it to the back of my head.”
I remember nodding along during this first conversation. We’re all afraid of something, and more often than not, that something is as simple as being ourselves.
I keep reading.
"I realized people would actually still like me whether I liked guys or girls and so that was really the turning point for me, realizing that no matter what you’re into and what you like, people will still like you for who you are."