the acrobatics i am forced to undergo while traveling brown, gender non-conforming, and bearded are so exhausting & demoralizing. i am of course almost always *randomly* selected, i am of course almost always groped & violated. often i am forced to be pat down, instructed to lift up the soles of my feet, show every part of myself in front of crowds of other passengers. there's almost a sense of pleasure in the officers desire to humiliate me in public, to perform "security" & "safety" by dealing with the problem of the brown gender variant freak for a white & cis audience. my job requires me to travel a lot so most of the time i just numb myself to how much this hurts: how painful it is to smile constantly, to act excessively polite as i am actively being violated. how devastating it is to have to think about shaving & butching up every time i need to go somewhere -- all the strategies we do to correct & compensate for other people's racism & transmisogyny. i think that's why i need performance so bad. the stage is really the only place in the world i can talk about that pain, work through it publically, say "this hurts!" say: racial & gender profiling made me scared of my own body. one day i looked in the mirror and didn't see me, but saw what they told me i was. i am crying here on the stage because i am trying to remember who i am. i am trying to remember what it means to love a body, a people who i have been taught to fear.

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