what i need you to understand is that violence against gender non-conforming people works precisely by saying “this is not about gender, this is about your choice to look like a fool.”

our genders are already always understood as superficial, excessive & illegitimate. we are already rendered as props, caricatures, mistakes. we are presented as character foils for *real* womanhood/manhood & *real* transness. they are authentic because they are not us.

the narrative becomes that we “choose” to be this way whereas others just “are.” not only do we “choose,” but we “enjoy.” we ask for it, we want it. why else would we look so “ridiculous?” “i’m ok with women but this is...too much.” we are always positioned as the problem & never their transmisogyny.

how impossible it is for them to realize that maybe we are “this” for OURSELVES. how impossible it is for them to realize that maybe their own genders aren’t as natural as they think?

i wonder often what it would feel like to have the privilege of essence? to not have to argue for my existence? i wonder what it would mean to be believed for the constant harassment i endure & not ridiculed when i name it? i wonder what a feminism that actually cared about we — the abject, the failed, the undesirable — would look like?

i believe that people should be able to look like whatever they want without sacrificing their body autonomy. i believe that how we dress & adorn ourselves does not give permission to others abuse us. i believe that we should be able to be as queer, as gender non-conforming, as flamboyant, as effeminate as we want without fearing for our safety. i believe that we shouldn’t have to be normal, respectable, or conventional in order to be worthy of protection & respect.

i believe in fighting for the excess, the absurd, the peculiar, the “ugly,” the “too much” because i believe that these norms are the joke not me. i believe that our freedom should not be contingent on conformity. we are complex, weird, celestial. we are evolving, becoming, manifesting. we do not fail, we transcend! why do you fear your transcendence?

why have we been taught to fear the very things that have the potential to set us free?

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