This Is Not Normal

T

 

“When you wear clothes like that,
you look like a cheap girl.”

The words you’re trying to use are
“You look like a sex worker,
which bothers my misogynistic heart
to no end”

I’m not even a girl, but I don’t have the words
To tell you that femininity is just a small part
of what you can’t understand.

I’ve been told that I should dress nicer so that
men would be less inclined to kill me.
As if my non passing self would be in
any less danger
just by going out in public as a visible trans person.
When I first wrote this, I thought
“Well, nobody wants me dead more than I do right now”
But I’m sick of telling myself that I’m worthless.

That feeling of isolation is what fascists wants
To drive us apart and tell us that we should be afraid of going outside
But when popular narratives of trans femmes of color
are all centered around a low life expectancy
It’s real easy to internalize that.

But fuck that!
If I’m going to be persecuted for my existence anyway,
I’m going to at least show everyone else around me that I refuse to be fucked with.
I refuse to go gentle into that good night when I can rage with my trans siblings
and inspire so many others that feel hopeless.
And uplift the people that are struggling the most
When I get a chance to put my energy forward.

The best advice I’ve ever been given about trans isolation, about queer isolation, about racial segregation is
that this is not normal.
I don’t mean that in some neoliberal sense as in
“this is not what America is”
Because bigotry, racism, and misogyny are what the United States was founded on
Rather, we will not let this be our normal.
If people are afraid of what they think we are now.

We are more dangerous than they will ever know.

About the author

Joan Zahra Dark

Hi! I'm Joan Zahra Dark, currently one of the worker-owners of Bluestockings Cooperative, a bookstore and community space based in the Lower East Side of NYC. I'm a writer and public speaker for my job and in my free time as well as a critic on various websites alongside this one! I love talking about queer comics, trans speculative fiction and why we all want to bang and/or be robots!

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Joan Zahra Dark

Hi! I'm Joan Zahra Dark, currently one of the worker-owners of Bluestockings Cooperative, a bookstore and community space based in the Lower East Side of NYC. I'm a writer and public speaker for my job and in my free time as well as a critic on various websites alongside this one! I love talking about queer comics, trans speculative fiction and why we all want to bang and/or be robots!

Get in touch

You can reach me for writing jobs, speaking engagements, consulting work and anything else at mxjoandark@gmail.com!