“For a moment, I forgot about the summer of 2015. I forgot about the panic I experienced, the insomnia, the depression. We watched the new season of Orange is the New Black together and by the end of episode 12, it suddenly all came back.”
“Dear Editor: You are cordially invited to have brunch with country music icon Dolly Parton this Sunday, August 7th.”
“I wasn’t in denial, I had just become extremely successful at compartmentalizing difficult emotions that I had no idea what to do with.”
I need to call my “vulnerability thing” what it was: ableism. Internalized, sure, and deliberately kept that way (like it would only cause harm if it got out), but all the same. It made itself at home in me without any right to be there. And it stayed for so long because it looked like other things: perfectionism, intelligence, work ethic, high standards.
“I was unstable and grieving and more suited for a patient friendship than the dramas of new love. But I loved her and in thirst, I acted unlovingly by climbing into a lap in which I wasn’t welcome. My behavior is the definition of obscene.”
“Was it a bad one?” My boss’s face read of pity and sympathy as he asked me this seemingly innocent question. He was referring to my rape.
Grieving a friend lost to suicide in childhood, the effects of harmful compulsory masculinity, and looking around at a life that could just barely have been imagined then.
“I like being disabled because I like being myself (which is radical enough for any woman to say). Pride, though, requires an even bigger risk.”
For the disabled among us, meet-cutes and the events that follow aren’t so simple to orchestrate. Need a refresher on the rules of engagement? There’s no need to go it alone!
“The morning after the horrific shooting, and the days that followed, I understood part of my father’s fear. Animosity towards LGBTQ people has not gone the way of black and white T.V. sets, phone booths, or travel by horse and carriage. It was and is very much alive.”
A road trip which happens to coincide with the occasion of Prince’s death and the release of “Lemonade.”
Often, when I’m having sex, a very specific thought runs through my head on a loop: “don’t touch me.” What gives? If I get so much out of being close to other people, shouldn’t sex be the ultimate way to prove it?
“Instead, I jump back into the mind of the girlish woman I was at 28, the one who didn’t know enough about the consequences for unacceptable motherhood to plunge headfirst into the fire. It has taken me much longer than my mother to see the gift of my own naiveté.”
“Keeping abreast of the passersby, the evidence of our intimacy was in the way we carried our hands. They were strategically placed so when they touched, it could be disguised as a perpetual accident. In honor of our silent dance, those near us were careful to walk around us instead of in-between.”
“I’m going to be a single, poor, gay, mom, and it’s going to be fine. It’s going to be amazing. I mean sure, I might date sometimes, but I don’t need a partner. Partners just get in the way. And what are the odds that I would meet a woman I would want to be with who would also want to have children with me? I can’t even picture it!”
Because the world sure as hell isn’t telling me my body matters. And having nondisabled friends who do, who affirm me precisely for standing out, means I don’t have to accept pity masked as kindness.
“Why some people mean? One income that isn’t a livable wage plus racism will do that to you, and you can’t imagine the rage until you’ve lived it.”
“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.”