originally published 2/21/19
a couple of weeks ago i shared a photo of me and talked about being called a tranny on the street in this outfit. after posting the photo, i received an onslaught of hateful comments calling me a monster, saying that i was disgusting, and that i deserved to die. this is just one of countless examples: when gender non-conforming people speak out against the violence we face, we expose ourselves to more harm. i wanted to use this as an opportunity to teach you all about the terror of transmisogyny, but i can’t. i’m too tired. & too scared. instead: here is my pain. it hurts so bad to go outside knowing that i will be harassed and no one will defend me. it hurts so bad that the only space i can be myself is the stage (read: entertaining you). it hurts so bad to be reduced to a joke, genitalia, a prop, a symbol, a nightmare. it hurts so bad to be discredited as an “attention seeker” as if we want to be tormented daily for existing. it hurts so bad to have my worth & safety linked to my physical appearance. it hurts so bad to know that if i modified my appearance to make people more comfortable i would experience less violence. it hurts so bad that i will continue to have to hurt for the rest of my life & still have people not get it: that this has always been about gender non-conformity. that the way we become beautiful, the way we become worthy, the way we become safe is by distancing ourselves from it.
my name is alok. i am alive (but it hurts). i am alive (but it hurts).

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