“I know we everywhere, but Black SOUTHERN people are and will always be my heart. The way we love up on each other. Take care of each other. Check up on each other, sometimes a little too much. It’s the cadence of our little sayings, the burst out loud laughter. The dramatics in the everyday stories of nothing. I love Black southern people.”
“I spent years not thinking about my penis — or, at least, thinking about it as little as possible. After I transitioned, my penis became the most important part of my body — at least, to other people.”
“You mention that you don’t want to shout that you are a lesbian from the rooftops, and of course, there are places that would be unsafe to do that — but you might consider the possibility that there are more opportunities to do so than you think.”
I am ready to be fearless. To dream beyond Black womanhood and know that I — Black, queer, and not-quite-sure — am worthy, so worthy of all of the love, affirmation, and power the universe can muster.
I always wonder what words my ancestors had for someone like me. In embracing my genderfluid identity, I’ve found great comfort in the deep and wide of the Atlantic — the way the water connects me to kin, named or unknown.
Four submissions about trans people loving all up on another, in not just romantic ways! Illustrated by Bishakh Som.
In a year of incredible trials, the trans community has continued to build the connection and interdependence necessary to thrive and usher in a better world.
Like so many others, I’ve been chirping about the end of 2020, as if the transition from one year to the next will somehow magically suture our open wounds.
It has felt hard to state how much I’ve been missing my family lately. But Audre Lorde and Pat Parker’s relationship is a testament to the life-affirming power of queer kinship. Their enduring love attests to the power and beauty of Black queer sisterhood.
On the 24th day of quarantine, I turned on all of the lamps in my room and took off all my clothes. Then I stood in front of the mirror and stared.
To be Black in this world is to be intimate with a kind of living death. It’s an intimacy no one craves, and yet Black people know better than most that Audre Lorde speaks truth to power when she says “we were never meant to survive.”
Getting top surgery with my butch identity is no longer some unattainable fantasy. Now the question firmly rests with me: do I want to go ahead with it or not?
I am safe nowhere, the Black women in my family of origin and family of choice are safe nowhere. It’s a fact we’ve known but one that feels all the more threatening in the wake of continuing violent injustice for Black women.
In my own myth, New York has been the cornerstone of what shaped me, finally allowing myself to be in my queerness. While the New York I inhabited and the one of Audre Lorde’s life looked radically different, Lorde’s relationships and the women she loves and lusts for each leave her fuller than before.
I’m still angry. Breonna Taylor’s murderers still walk free. Let’s be real, they’re probably running around without masks. Audre Lorde’s sense of restlessness and barely concealed fury are evident. But so, too, is her unwavering belief in our magic.
We are in the middle of a revolution. My Black woman’s anger is here to signal a necessary sea change. Understand that all of our freedoms are bound up in one another.
“I am going to write fire until it comes out my ears, my eyes, my noseholes — everywhere. Until it’s every breath I breathe. I’m going to go out like a fucking meteor!”
Your rawness and tenderness is a primal signal that you are alive. It’s exhausting and there’s no way to turn it off. Let yourself breathe through this, and trust that it is not a waste of time to devote your energy to the work of becoming.
Suffice to say that we’ll all be coming out of this pandemic different people than we were before — but for many people, being in isolation is specifically providing the opportunity to explore their sexuality and gender in an intimate and unprecedented way.
This is dedicated to those who are just trying to make it through every day. It’s been gratifying on an almost cellular level to find that the queen mother Audre Lorde can so frequently speak to the times and places in which we find ourselves. Her final book of poetry, “The Marvelous Arithmetics of Distance,” is no exception.
Three weeks ago I began my Coronavirus self-quarantine. Faced with the reality that I wouldn’t see anyone, I started an experiment. I wasn’t going to shave, paint my nails, or put on makeup — until I wanted to, for myself.