I am donating my fetish red Chanel lipstick to the Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb.
I recently heard about its existence. α7, my flatmate in Berlin, visited me upon her return from Croatia. She said it would be the kind of place I would love, because it is full of anonymous human stories.
I’ve decided to submit an object for their collection because I want to leave a trace of my late love story somewhere outside of me. I am donating the gift that my ex-woman got me for my 30th birthday, both to unload my emotional burden and to raise awareness on contemporary homophobia. I want people to read about it in a museum. Sometimes, I realise that some people don’t really believe me when I mention homophobia. They imagine that everyone’s cool with gayness in the Western world because they are. No, everyone’s not cool with it. It might sound redundant, but it is a forever useful reminder to say that there’s a long way to go (and I won’t shut my big fucking mouth until I die).
I had to write my story in the donation form:
“That was it, we were breaking up over fucking homophobia and its mindfucking side effects. All that happened a month before my 30th birthday. Although we were in the process of breaking up, we were still loving each other, living together, doing everything together and having passionate sex. We decided to celebrate my birthday in style.
My 30th was the apotheosis of our life together. She threw me an awesome party, invited my sister as a surprise, paid for everything. There wasn’t an ounce of sorrow or regret that night. I was ecstatic. She got me a red Chanel lipstick to welcome me into womanhood. The shade was called ‘Pirate’. It was my first piece of Chanel make up. A revelation. I was feeling empowered wearing it. That’s almost the only item that I’ve kept from our life together. I donated most of her gifts.
After my 30th, that was it, things declined, we parted to our own individual path. That’s over a year that I haven’t seen her. I cut off every communication. I never want to see or hear of her again and I struggle to forgive her for all that she did. A friend of mine ran into her on the bus a few months ago. She finally came out to her parents. They reacted awfully. They told her not to come back to their house until she had changed.
She turned 30 this year, and because 30 is a special number in our story, I wrote her a letter to acknowledge her coming out and tell her I was sorry about her homophobic barbarian parents. She never replied. Our love is old history now, but she sometimes still visits me in my dreams. I want her to be fine. I know things would have turned out differently between us if same-sex love was more acceptable. We were a disastrous waste.”
Everyone is welcome to submit an object and tell the story that goes with it to the Museum of Broken Relationships: https://brokenships.com/en/join/send_your_exhibit