the stories they tell about us, they are not our stories. oppression is about the organizing of stories: the narratives we are exposed to & the narratives that are deliberately & furtively concealed. there is nothing common about “common sense.” “common sense” is the consolidation of the feelings of powerful people made universal (& feelings are everything but democratic). reality then, is a political project. if you look behind the screen there is a protest happening (come & join). look harder & the protest is a dance party. harder & it’s us: we the people on the other side of shame. the screen is the shame. shame: the original instagram filter? narratives have always been material — as in, the words & images we make always have bodily consequences. when did we first learn that body hair was wrong, dirty, unhygienic? when we were primed to think that women & feminine people could not have beards? what images, what words, what stories facilitated this? this is why we need artists: to make different stories & images — to inundate us with different possibilities, flood us with them, until we realize we are not drowning we are — in fact — breathing for the first time. the stories they tell are about restricting our infinity. i want us to cherish our infinity. art is about world making. we are living simultaneously in different worlds, aren’t we? they see dirty, i see magnificence. my body hair is cursive written across my body: a love letter to you & me. it is my infinity: my renewable resource: a constant presence that keeps coming back when everything else, it leaves me. my arm hair is a built in blanket, my beard is a natural contour, my chest hair is a crop top. my body is so fabulous it accessorizes itself. my body is so beautiful that beauty, it spills out of me. it cannot be contained by this skin. for so long i was made to believe that i had no power. but then i thought about whose language i was speaking. i started to write poetry — another way of saying, i started to speak my own language — & then i looked at myself & i no longer saw dissonance, i saw something else. i saw this. do you witness what i do?
support the writer