every time i pick myself up i am shoved down again. how can you heal when you are hunted?

there is a direct correlation between loving myself & being hated for it.

they tell us to practice self-love but they do not defend us when we are punished for it.

i have been trying my best to eliminate the distance between the world i want (need) & the world that masquerades as normal. trying my best to create my own intimate revolution in my self & with my friends, to value the degraded & denigrated — vulnerability, interdependence, imperfection — to demand reciprocity & intimacy & complexity. to delight, no relish, in our contradiction & superfluousness & our often fraught & relentless attempting.

but to do this work of becoming, to have the audacity to say “my body belongs to me” in a world that believes my body belongs to the gender binary...often feels impossible.

it feels impossible when the feminists sound like the misogynists sound like the doctors sound like the politicians sound like the police sound like the parents sound like the voice inside our head: reducing us to our genitalia, making us the problem not them.

feels impossible when beauty becomes a prerequisite for empathy so that we must turn our screams into song to be noticed, let alone believed.

feels impossible when we are pushed & spat on & told to die simply for going outside & saying “i am here.”

so when i am feeling impossible i take a moment to breathe & push myself to be a little more audacious. there is a direct correlation between their attempts to malign me & my commitment to materializing what i know to be true & dear & just. i

find worth & dignity in that which they dismiss as ugly, i find magic in that which they dismiss as messy, i celebrate gender non-conformity in myself & others, i dream & i dream & i dream of a day when we are no longer bodies but stories & ideas & poems.

i swallow all of the insecurity deployed as hatred & i spit out love letters to everyone & everything, say, “i do not know you, but i love you. because i am you.” i am you.

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