“I felt I was gradually becoming like those newly married Indian women with henna on their hands at JFK or Heathrow… Of course, I didn’t look anything like them and my wedding bowtie was probably the only equivalent to their bridal henna, but I couldn’t help noticing parallels.”
“Why do we only collect coming out stories, it-gets-better stories, these stories that are set in the past, that tell of a particular set of experiences that not everyone can relate to? Stories that treat the future as if it doesn’t come with a problems of its own.”
“I didn’t even tell her when the notes started getting specific. Someone calling out my “crossed eyes” in a Tumblr ask. My “pocked skin” in an email. My “hillbilly teeth” on Twitter.”
“Since the wedding has made me come out to more people than I had ever intended, this trip back to my place of origin makes facing their reactions inevitable. Will my physical presence stoke the intensity of their opposition?”
“If Simón was a girl, then I was a dyke and if my father let the song play, then maybe I could sing to him and we’d finally be able to speak to each other.”
Really, I’m not sure why we feel like we have to keep on amplifying this fight. A solid two-thirds of trans women are on both sides of this so-called divide. We’re a part of both communities.
“One morning, while I was applying my new lighter makeup, I accidentally put too much banana powder on which created a shroud of ashy yellow veil all around the center of my face. I stopped and stared back at my reflection. I looked absolutely foolish. Here I was relishing in this depigmentation of my beautiful ebony skin that I no longer looked like myself.”
Gay districts are safer, more open and more profitable than ever before, but for whom?
“Not being an asshole” to myself meant admitting that my mom’s death and her illness permeate every single part of my being, and always will.
“When I’m worrying about how to teach without coming off as a bitch because I expect students to be quiet when I’m talking, I’m not thinking as much as I should be about whether my students are really learning.”
People would look surprised and say, “But…you can’t be a girl. You’re a blacksmith!”
Accepting ambiguity feels like being welcomed home.
What do you do when the world gives you a mandatory day off, when nothing is open except Chinese restaurants and movie theatres?
One of the first things my mother’s boyfriend noticed upon waking up Thanksgiving Day was that all of the rooms were named after prominent confederate soldiers.
We told some really incredible stories this year and you won’t want to miss a thing.
See, home isn’t for people like me — it is not for lesbians, or queers. I cannot return to a country that criminalizes and attempts to further oppress my personhood. One that publicly accepts psychological assaults on my being, while leaving no legal safeties or recourse for its state sanctioned actions.
I didn’t always hate Christmas.
“I could feel the power that came from being butch, the paradox of growing up a girl and then becoming the suited partner of a beautiful woman, the torture of being such a social outcast, and the deep craving hunger for being accepted.”
Ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft are a great idea in theory, but in actuality they’re quite dangerous — for the passenger and the driver. I should know; I’ve been both.
“Farm work was everything my depressive body was screaming against: sunlight, physical activity, and tiny symbols of the fragility of life all around that I couldn’t remember how to value.”