"No one will know the violence it took to become this gentle"
What does that title mean?
I was swiping on my socially dead but fully sensory, hilarious, and representative Lesbian apps, and someone had posted that in a messageboard. I have no idea what type of mood they were channelling, but it stood out to me, and I felt it.
In talking about violence, and working in an anti violence framework, I recognize and am sensitive to how violent our and actions are everyday, especially without immediate physical harm.
Examples: A gentrifying rent is violent to poor people and on occupied indigenous land / Giving an ahistorical presentation on police violence without starting with slavery and critically engaging with a basis of racial capitalism and white supremacy is violent. Assuming gender and imposing pronouns is violent. Gaslighting = making someone question their own sanity is violent.
I saw myself in that statement. Not because I’m just itching to call out past traumas and people that don’t matter. Because I recognize how sensitive, loving, and gentle I am, often expecting the bare minimum in return [and I still don’t get it]. I saw that statement as a declaration of wholeness. Owning your past trauma, addressing your current efforts and vulnerability, and setting the future. A future that either dismisses the past or moves forward with the lesson. The lesson being? that kindness is lacking, that empathy is rare, that violence is so pertinent in our everyday conversations, that your trauma won’t define you how people say it will, etc. There are so many possibilities I have projected. I hate complaining or speaking to hear myself talk. I actually hate the physical act of having to talk with people in general…But I value creative expression, communication, and validation of self others.
I have been reflecting this past month on my new declarations purely to my self interest publicly, privately, in work, and in relationships. Sooo, the truth is that I’m not a raging bull ready to attack everyone in the world. I’m not looking for ‘elevated’ ‘supreme’ beings to change my world and heal my traumas. I’m not a pessimist. I’m subjective, and as an ex has put it, down right unpredictable. I like to have fun, I like to synthesize, I like to make people feel seen, heard,and valued. I don’t call myself a positivist, because that’s one of the first archetypes I ever learned the language to hate. Inauthenticity is one of the grossest and most violent things one can be.
Ultimately, honestly, my caution and judgements is based in my protection, fear of stagnancy and retrogression, and my desire to consistently evolve and transform. All I have to be weary of is remembering that goal in a realm of balance, rather than a symbol of perfection. These are my everyday ideals, my life ideals. But, I do not remember them so clearly and positively as they sound right now. Often these thoughts plague me in my everyday actions, and I only remember this sublime vision every few weeks when I have the time and space to fully reflect.
In this astrological cycle, under the current guidance of the Black women invested in me, in the dedicated solidarity and care of my fellow poc and white friends: If it wasn’t for being apart of a small Southside non profit that is purist, and unwavering in centering Black liberation, Chicago would completely drain my soul. But, I’m still out here working on it!
Me&MyBois is a collective of masculine of centered people creating media outlets for LGBTQ people of color. THE BOI DOC utilizes dialogue to break the silence created by racism, sexism, gender expression insensitivity, heterosexism, homophobia, and transphobia. It is our belief that when people are shown images of people they can relate to or see positive and productive members of society who look or live like them, they will aspire to do the same, but even more they’ll see the humanity of the people whose story they’re hearing and see their own humanity reflected back. [source]
I saw The Boi Doc the other day, a documentary by Black genderqueer people, bois [insert definition], and their relationship to masculinity and femininity.
from the film: “BOI: born obviously incredible”
*pull out that thesaurus for my personal renditions:
born obviously idyllic
born obviously iconic
born obviously illusive
born obviously illuminating
born obviously imbricate
born obviously impellent
born obviously indigo
born obviously iridescent
Besides the greatness of the film content, I knew going to this event was essential because I needed to be around my community. Not as a boi, but ass a Black genderqueer person that doesn’t feel seen.
How was I seen in that space you ask? By a random white passing women there.
We were all talking about how the film made us feel, rather than the content. In opposition to someone saying how the film made them feel like they needed to go out more, be extroverted, and declare community, she said how it showed her the value in solitude, forced introversion, and being critical of who you let in your life.
two quotes that moved me in a recent reread
"'But Gennie, what about all of us who love you?'
‘Well, I guess you will all just have to take care of yourselves, now won't you?'"
-zami, audre lorde
"and in the brief moment that is today
wild hope this dreamer jars
for i have heard in whispers
talk of life on other stars"
-zami, audre lorde
This is when I knew the universe was speaking to me. Not because I decided to willingly engage in conversation with wypipo, but as a validation of my declarations in the past few months to my needs, wants, and desires. Interestingly enough, yesterday some loving advice I had gotten was to focus on the logic and not the feeling.
I wrote a personal, cathartic, #longpost that did not save about how I feel in and about Chicago, having being here almost a year. It was quaint compared to my normalcy of tension filled, direct confrontation, and revelations. It wasn’t meant to be posted. Toward writing the end of it, I came full circle as to what the purpose of my experience here was going to be on a personal level for the infinite cyclic time.
Many a universal lesson, I have been tested to has came back into my life. Yes, my identities ensure my oppression in this white supremacist settler state, but my resistance is the part I am currently thriving in learning is a profession sense, and I love it. Nothing makes me feel more alive than living out my values.
The everyday lesson I have been reintroduced to time and time again more recently is that my individuality is a subjective experience. Reading this back, it sounds completely obvious. But recognizing that individuality and embracing it is another. I accept myself for who I was and who I want to continue to be. The missing tier is who I accept my current self. I definitely love more parts than others, but have only more recently engaged with my favorite parts of myself and how they aren’t inherently objectively great traits. My empathetic, giving, loving nature is one that sits on a continuum of influence to abuse, violence, cruelty, lack of patience, and being hypercritical. This is not to be read in the essentialism that this has been done to me, but also that I have enacted it. That’s fine. What I value is not the instant conflict, but how we interact with the lesson.
I asked for a solid read of the current Hesna I know, and I was told what I already knew about myself. The lesson is that no mass will wholly accept or deny me, the same way no person has or deserves all of my love and efforts. My traits and practices are not to be demonized, but made livable and in contribution to my thriving. I cannot continually give when my needs are not being met. I cannot continually show unconditional love, when I do not receive it on any level. I refuse to hold endless space for those that I can’t be sure will even hold it for me outside of crisis.
Organizers are these people, maternity is placed in this category, this is the epitome of the expectation put on and enacted by Black women… And I’m not here for it. Being an empathetic bad bitch is a mood, and not an easy lifestyle. Now, being an empathetic bad bitch with a clear vision of their self interest in all avenue of life right now? Solid.
I don’t feel cr*zy, I feel unsupported. I’m not relying on my friends, or the unknown promise of new ones,. In this recalibration we remember who the fuck we’ve been, who the fuck we are, and what the disconnect is between our ideal and reality.