“Dating broken white women became a way to reprise a powerlessness that years of sexual abuse and generations of blackphobia had tricked me into believing in. I drowned this feeling of powerlessness in weed and seeking out relationships in which I could engage in yet remain completely hidden from view.”
“If we think too hard, we’ll never do it,” Kellie said. She was right. A cost-benefit analysis would yield no practical reason to grow our family. The only reason to make a new baby was that we felt like it, and we could.
The journey to finding and deciding on my real name, Melinda Valdivia Rude, took about four years.
“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.”
For National Poetry Month, an ode to the queer poets who talk about their love, fight for justice, and helped me save myself.
“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?
The best part is always the journey.
“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.”
How the Pathetic Lesbian trope managed to scare me straight while making me laugh.
So maybe my pregnancy path isn’t as simple and straightforward as baby books would have you believe it should be because I’m a poor QPoC with anxiety, but it has been an interesting worthwhile journey so far. I can’t wait until I can take the next step.
If we don’t abundantly love each other, we can’t have an abundant relationship with God. I must embrace an interpretation of my faith that requires unconditional love for queer people because any less would be to deny my own humanity and that of my community.
Was I so far from the idea of trans in her head, that there was no way I could be “one of them”? Or did she refuse to make the association because there was something so wrong with being a trans woman that she could never be attracted to one?
People would look surprised and say, “But…you can’t be a girl. You’re a blacksmith!”