I don’t know where to begin, but I must tell you this; I won.
In the 8th grade, I was forced to wear hijab; but things happened so quickly that I didn’t even understand what was going on back then. When my parents asked me if I want to cover my hair, I said, ‘’yes, but in the future’’. By future, I meant university; but they got it wrong. Two days later, we went shopping, and I started to cover. I was considering covering because I was studying at Islamic Imam Hatip School; nearly all the people around me were in hijab, and I could not think of any other choice. The idea of taking off my hijab was always in my mind since the day I’d covered, but I didn’t speak out to my parents since they might disagree with me. Another year passed, I started high school. I grew up, saw different places, and most importantly, I met new people. The desire to take off my hijab was never leaving me. I was in the 10th grade, and I couldn’t bear it anymore; it was tough. My outfits were not really conservative, and my parents were overreacting. I was returning home from school as fast as I could just to take off my headscarf.
One day, I texted my friends saying that I don’t want to cover anymore after coming home from school. Thanks to their support, I opened myself to my elder sister, but she said this is only a phase and it would go away; according to her, I only had to wait for it to pass. So I waited, but it didn’t turn out that way. I finally decided to tell my mother. My mother didn’t tell me anything; she just looked at my face. The fact that my mother didn’t care about this problem made me got so much anger because I felt like this situation has no solution.
I’d waited to finish the 10th grade to talk to my father, but I couldn’t figure out how to pluck up my courage. One night I thought I did, but I still couldn’t talk. I asked my sister to do it and then she suddenly said it to my father. I was looking at him with hope, but I was not expecting any kind of empathy. When I look at my father, he was in anger; I started to feel bad. He finally told me that I shouldn’t bother him with this kind of question because he would never let me do that. Then, my hope turned itself into tears.
Late at night, alone in my room, I used to take my head off from the window and feel the wind in my hair and that was giving me power. I was determined; I always remind them of my wishes 1-2 times a week, but the answer was still the same. I began to spend my time reading people’s taking off hijab stories. I read a letter on this platform, and it gave me courage and inspiration. It was 3 am late at night; I talked to myself, saying that tomorrow this will work or else it will never happen. In the morning, I told my mother that I’d go to my basketball training without covering; she didn’t give any kind of reaction again. I started to get ready, take my backpack, and go out. I had a big grin on my face. Of course, my father didn’t know about this. The day after, I told him that I went out without covering. He pretended like he didn’t get upset, but I know that I made him sad. This is my own life, and he won’t know this feeling as a man. For those who read this letter and don’t want to cover, I would like you to know that; do it today, or else you’ll never be able to do it again. It was my biggest dream during my time in the hijab. You don’t do it yourself; don’t make your biggest dream taking off hijab. I hope I manage to give you courage.
(Image: Alexandra Levasseur)