this post is not meant to be antagonistic. these are true stories, but the you written may not necessarily be the same as the you experienced. this is an exercise in me trying to claim my voice. thank you in advance for listening.
- please stop referring to me as a lesbian. it’s wholly unnecessary and totally unbecoming.
- you do not need to make assumptions about my sexual practices, ever, based on my gender presentation or otherwise.
- it makes me feel helpless when told, “why are you wearing that?” whether it was in regards to an ill-fitting dress shirt or too short shiny shorts. shopping trips used to be traumatic for me as an adolescent and i would try to avoid trips, much to the derision of my mother and sister. the unwilling participant begging, “can we go now?” there were times when i ended up crying at the mall, i was so overwhelmed and unsure about what. it has taken me a long time to feel somewhat confident about the sartorial adventures i am comfortable in taking, and i need you to be gentle with me in your criticisms.
- there is a reason why my standard outfit is a uniform t-shirt and jeans. that does not mean i do not put thought into what i wear every day and that i do not go searching for different clothes that make me feel good in my body. the options are limited. hipster fashion helps, to a point.
- i’m tired of being present at meetings for women’s organizations where people lament the lack of participation/inclusion of men without checking in about who’s in the room and who is excluded from that binary.
- when i say that i am a woman of color, i mean it as a political identity, not as a biological matter of fact. there is privilege that comes with identifying with what society connects as gender to sex, but that does not imply that my personal narrative has been stable, nor finished at this point in my life.
- i thought it was incredibly powerful for our organization, centered around api women, to have introductions include gender pronoun preferences. and it took a lot of courage from me to say gender-neutral or my name. so it hurt when you slipped and referred to me with something gender-specific, which i don’t mind in and of itself, but rather the neglect through which you uttered it. and that you didn’t notice when i was taken by surprise and couldn’t listen to anything else you had to say even though i wanted to hear what you had to share, it was i who asked to begin with. and i wanted to correct you, to say that what you just did makes it difficult for me to exist, small as it may seem. but it was the end of the weekend, and i didn’t want to interrupt the session and put a damper on the mood, everyone was feeling so emotional from how beautiful this experience was, to be together in a space for and by ourselves, the connections we were able to make and encouraged to keep. and i do want to continue to learn from and build with you, but i’m less certain how, to undo this experience and trust you again.