As I continue to settle into a queer identity, certain words and their meanings seem to do the exact opposite of settling in. They don't sit still. Words I've never been comfortable using have become part of my regular vocabulary, and words that have never really affected me before suddenly have an unpleasant edge. Like other people, my relationship with words is very much a … [Read more...]
My very first experience of shame (that I can remember) occurred in the third grade after my family had emigrated from the Philippines to Canada. We were asked what we had had for breakfast that morning, and I volunteered "Vegetable soup!" as an answer. In response, I heard a chorus of laughter and a "What kind of weirdo has soup for breakfast?" On the surface, this … [Read more...]
When I was younger, it always baffled me to see adults (more specifically, people of color) using umbrellas during a sunny day. It seemed an unnecessary deprivation. Many years and many dialogues around colorism later, I began to understand that such a habit went beyond trying to avoid the discomfort of sticky heat or the desire to protect oneself from skin cancer. It was about … [Read more...]
The Body Is Not an Apology
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