Our Voices The Orinam Blog


AlokVMuntil the age of five i refused
to wear anything but floral print —
something about the pink, the purple
the jeweled and bedazzled, the lisa frank
brought me closer to my sister:
she the one i’d tell everyone
i wanted to be when i grew up
(still do)

never learned how to pee standing up
confine a gesture, choke a feeling
in that house run by women of color and conviction
who let me play with skydancers and gender
make a runway out of the walk from the shower
each towel revealing infinite possibilities
to be fabulous

so i thought that embracing myself
after years of stifling this fag,
her lisp, her sway
thought being true to you would be easier
mean returning to my sister, my mother
re-building home in this body
that place they demolished with their
masculinity and pornography

but instead got their:
“mascs only”
“straight acting plz”
and matching body fascism
an entire army of men mistaken as an oppressed community (lol)
wielding dicks like knives
translating the bruises on their backs into
butch and peck // misogyny the only
outfit you took out of your closet with you

it’s not us it’s you dearieeee !!!
your masculinism ain’t cute honeyyy
bout to subscribe you to this
until further notice you will be receiving all of the updates

No matter how many people who look just like you you
sleep with, you will still
never feel comfortable in that body
if you consume penis as pill
getting handjobs like handcuffs
shackling yourself to a uniform you mistake as body
fucking: the only way you let people inside of you.
Remember here is something sacred about a curve, a hair, these mortal parts of us that differentiate bodies from billboards
Until you remember that you will always be left wanting more: this is how the market continues to colonize your desires.

Your backwards caps and fitted tanks aren’t cute nor subversive. Rather, they are an attempt to pass as the very men who beat you. This is a strategy used throughout history: where the oppressed become the oppressers. The incorporation of homosexuality in these images is not unique: patriotism and empire have always been the result of men jerking off together. Our attraction to you, therefore, is because your body has been branded as part of a militarized national project that keeps us sexualizing the very institutions that annihilate our capacity for social change.

What you mistake as dancing is indicative of how severely white supremacist patriarchy has incarcerated your body and quarantined your mind from your hips. Your pathetic attempt to ‘twerk’ to “Run the World (Girls)” is neither suave nor becoming because 1) You do actually run the world 2) Your situational appropriation of black womyn’s lexicon and experience to fashion your identity is not a deployment of anti-racist allyship, but rather is a part of a structure of global anti-blackness that oppresses millions of people across the world 3) It speaks to how boring you would be off of the dance floor… So imma take this ‘friend zone’ as a site of resistance from you and your basic PH18 ass.

To the femmes, the sissies, the fags, the gurls know that your beauty cannot be translated into gender. Never forget that the reason they hate you is because they have built a cage around their heart and called it a six pack. Never forget that your ancestors were once regarded as holy not only because of the composition of your body, but because of the way you gave healing to your communities. So see your femme as a collective process of empowerment not a hedonistic guise of neoliberalism. Despite your glory do not forget that you are not a queen. This sacred position is reserved for your mother and all the womyn who have paved the way for you. Never forget that your femme may be more palatable than others’ because you have the privilege to have been assigned male as birth.

The revolution will be fabulous: it lies in your strut, your drop, your limp wrist. So keep doing your hair, keep clashing those colors! Your body is not frivolous or excessive, but rather the canvas where you can show what is to come in a world without time or labor. Nevertheless, do not let material possession restrict the way you articulate your femme – that feeling deep inside of you that cannot be bought at Urban Outfitters or any other corporation that profits off of self-inadequacy.

August 19, 2013 (c)

Republished with consent from Alok’s tumblr.


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