Prefiero no jugar. No quiero ser más la “muestra” o esforzarme para ser válida dentro de los espacios etnocéntricos y hetero normales de los blancos. Estos espacios estrechos no me representan a mi o mis valores.
Grappling with radical self-love and while respecting the care that our loved ones have for us presents a complicated inner turmoil… I think a lot about the scripting of certain bodies into death. I think about how so many systems and institutions preserve some lives and fold others into an inevitable demise.
I contend that violence and sexism against black women aren’t invisible at all. In fact, the violence is highly visible. It’s just deemed acceptable, inevitable, and inconsequential. Women as whole, and black women in particular, have been conditioned to expect violence in our lives.
This preoccupation with thinness is not just in the broader cultural landscape, but something prevalent in daily conversations and relationships. Starting your new year with resolutions to eat more and exercise less is contrary to what everyone else seems to be promising to do. We’re “good” people when we resist cakes or sweet goods in the office — I nearly said “treats,” another value-laden term, because when we’re just being “normal” we don’t deserve them. “Being good to ourselves” means having low-calorie foods.
Either way, the result was the same: I was a terrible girlfriend. I was accused of not loving him, not trusting him, and even of cheating on him. The only way to calm him down and keep him from pinning me down on the bed was to apologize profusely and say I’d never do whatever upset him again.
Try giving a primer on gender while handing change to a cashier. Or piping up about your pronouns in a lecture hall filled with several hundred students. There are some situations where I can explain things in private, like with teachers, but then you have to hope for the best with the teacher’s reaction. I had a really wonderful creative writing teacher that I loved a lot, and I explained my gender and pronouns to her pretty early on. It still took her a full year to stop using the wrong pronouns in class, and it took me a full year to feel comfortable correcting her in front of thirty or so people who didn’t know I was trans.
10 Señales de lo que el Amor No Es: “Aléjate de la gente que te hace sentir que eres difícil de querer”
Para mí, la suave belleza del amor era ficción, y me creía más adulta o sofisticada por tener un “amor” tan intenso que dolía, porque no reconocía que la intensidad venía de lo mucho que quería que me quisieran bien.
On the other hand, if men have difficulties in relationship—often because of unhealed early trauma, reinforced by learning to deny feelings—men are easily manipulated by the sexualized culture to seek closeness through sex. For some, it can become a compulsive acting out in the form of sexual harassment or abuse.
When one woman comes forward and points the finger, everyone is watching. That includes other victims who are wrestling with whether they should say something.
It felt amazing to be able to trade my denim and t-shirts for flowy skirts and low-cut blouses. And lipstick quickly became a staple for all of my ensembles. This period marked the first time in a long time that other folks in my life also validated my presentation. It was also around this time that I found an identity that fit me so very well: femme.
When I abandoned who I was told to be and how I was told to look – when I dared to dream of what existed beyond these societally-imposed boundaries – I made a shocking discovery: I wasn’t a woman at all. I was transgender.
In a culture uncomfortable with contradiction, I’ve felt pressured to paint my father only as an abuser – to answer the question, “Was he good or was he bad?” by choosing one or the other. The only way I can answer that question now is to say, “The messy truth is that he was both. He was loving, supportive, and gentle, and he also acted with hatred, with destructiveness, and with brutality.
We must disconnect the false equivalency of weight/shape with personal character and human rights. People come in all shapes and sizes, and nobody can tell by looking at another person whether that person is a good, trustworthy, compassionate being. A shape is simply a shape. A weight tells you how much pressure your shoes put on the sidewalk. These metrics don’t tell us about cancer or mental health or the ability to feel happiness. They are simply ways of describing form – not substance.
A lot of people make their new year’s resolution to “fall in love,” or “open themselves up to love.” The only kind of love I can actively work on building in my life is – love with myself. I no longer have this external reminder in human form that, hey, since this one individual is super in love with me, I must be kind of alright. I’m left to navigate my healing by myself, for myself. And, maybe, working on taking better care of myself will lead to a more loving relationship with … well, me.
Weight loss resolutions are a great step backward into the self-hate territory that I, as a fat activist and unapologetic lover of all bodies, am actively trying to pull as many people out of as possible. It seems that the more New Year’s resolutions I hear about, the more annoyed I get about the prominence of weight loss as a New Year’s resolution ‘theme.’