“It took watching I Don’t Wanna Be A Boy to show me that the negative attitudes towards trans women have always been pervasive in society, that from 1994 to 2016 there hasn’t been much change in how society views us. But it also taught me that we share a sisterhood of sorts. No matter what time and what place, trans women of color are connected by our similar experiences.”
“I made a choice about how I would look, and didn’t realize until I’d done it how unprecedented that was.”
“I missed my father’s last years staying true to my promise to myself and here I was, here I am, home again. Begging favors. Needing help. Leaning on a momma who long ago put down her belt.”
“Sidetrack is a show largely about my life and my experiences, because after years of watching so much television that erased me, I just wanted to write myself in.”
“Forming new habits isn’t easy, especially when your entire profession runs on a highly specialized vocabulary — but you know what else isn’t easy? Listening to how “abnormal” my body is.”
“I like toughness because it acknowledges an uncomfortable, complicated truth—that being disabled is hard—but rejects pity as an acceptable response. Instead, it gives my body credit for outlasting, adapting, and thriving in ways able-bodied people can’t imagine.”
“I decide I’ll test the durability of a BB cream by Tarte at thousands of feet in the air, then feel ashamed at worrying so much about how I look, then feel the dread again, that all this might go completely wrong, not because I’ll fall to my death, but because I’ll be reduced to my past.”
“There’s an annoying song that’s only playing all the way through all day long on some days. Others, I can barely hear the chorus, and others I can’t hear it all. But every day, I know that that song will be there again one day, maybe even tomorrow, maybe even later that same day. And I hate this song.”
I remember the day I found out that Ilana from Broad City wasn’t biracial. I Googled around until I found evidence that there were others like me: biracial girls who felt a little bit incredulous; just a hair shy of betrayed. To this day I haven’t been able to convince whatever part of my brain that initially projected that identity onto her to unclench.
“I’ve been thinking recently that queer time for me is a self-declared snow day. A chance to stay in bed and explore ourselves unhindered by the outside world. A chance to exist, to play — free from the hetero pillars of career, marriage, and lineage.”
“As an adult, I wrestle with the stupid irony of having watched my grandmother live out her Alzheimer’s and not remembering anything about it.”
On losing a pet, resilience and vulnerability, human frailty and animal intelligence, and everything that goes into saying goodbye.
“As I write about my name now, I feel strength, and contentment and comfort and home. I feel more like myself than I ever have before.”
I think I’d gotten it into my head that disability is always, on some level, supposed to feel bad. Like if I fought myself all the time, I was somehow doing it right. I worried that if gave up the femininity I’d worked so hard for, I’d just be giving in. As someone who has a lot of privilege, I thought it was my job to be the right kind of woman, even if I didn’t enjoy it.
If the performer had known that I write about the horrific violence against my community by day and process the trauma of that work in my journal by night, maybe he wouldn’t have made that joke. But I bet you he would have resented the implication that he shouldn’t.
“My brain is lit like the map of a major metropolis at night. My body is, too. ‘I am at one with a sea of sensations, glitter, silk, skin, eyes, mouths, desire,’ Anaïs Nin wrote, and that’s pretty much it. Or, put another way: I have found an affirmation of selfhood, and I haven’t thought to immediately annul it.”
“It’s funny. We have legal documents declaring our marriage valid in two different states. We’ve been together and in love for years. But it was the birth of our daughter this daredevil, this personality, that really made our home feel like family.”
“Objectively, aesthetically, I find women’s clothes attractive. Just… on other women. But I’m intensely uncomfortable wearing them. There’s something about the way they’re made that make me feel like I’m on display. And that’s true, isn’t it? Women are always on display because they are always someone else’s property. Everyone else’s property.”
“In Berlin people talk about it, expats especially, in hushed, reverent tones. The sound system, which is supposed to be one of the best in the world. The DJ acts you’ve never heard of with names like Fuck Buttons. And that magical moment in the morning when the blinds at Panorama Bar are yanked open and the suddenly-illuminated, all-night revelers start to cheer.”
How do you tell someone, “Hey, I’d love it if you’d slap me around and tell me what to do”?
Turns out, you tell them just like that.