Joan Dark

Spoken Word: This is Not Normal

“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.