kama-la-mackerel:

TRIGGER WARNING: transmisogyny, trans women dying…

[FULL TEXT OF THE PERFORMANCE BELOW]

Dear Trans Sisters,

I write this to you because I want you to know that I will remember your names, AND that I will find you and hold you.

Last week, from my dimly lit room in northern Tio’tia:ke/Montreal, as I was working through my own pain and helplessness where words to the page could be the only way of processing my feelings and figuring out how I even felt; my dearest, most loved and respected Sister Kai Cheng/Lady Sin Trayda was doing the same thing from in a darkened room in the South West.

I highly encourage you to read this *very*powerful* piece that Kai Cheng wrote on xojane: http://www.xojane.com/issues/someone-tell-me-that-ill-live-murdered-trans-women-2015

In Kai Cheng’s words: “Young trans girls, I have a story to tell you: Ever since I was a tiny child, I knew I was girl. Everyone I knew tried to convince me otherwise, and when I refused to be persuaded, they told me I would die. But I didn’t. I found a band of audacious sisters, and we lived, laughed, loved, even in the midst of all that hatred. I am looking for you, looking out for you. We can change this story together.”

Dear Trans Sisters, living and dead, this piece is dedicated to you.

Dear Kai Cheng, I love you.

– Kama La Mackerel

*******************************************************

FULL TEXT OF THE PERFORMANCE:

It is 2015, the year of darkness, they say
And yet, when I look at the night sky
All I see is beautiful bright lights
Twinkling stars like diamonds
That just sprinkle their beauty
Over us mortals.
I see against the black velvet sky
Benevolence, love, kindness, compassion
Stars so bright looking down us.
I wonder: have the stars grown brighter as I have grown older?
And yet on this earth, on this earth, on this earth
On this wretched earth
When I look around, I see darkness
Clawing it’s creepy fingers around my ankles
It wants to catch me, and hold me and bring me down
Pull me into the depths of its bowel…
2015, they say, the year of darkness.

2015 and it’s just the end of February
And I’ve already lost so many sisters—
Weeks after weeks, we hear of transwomen
Being murdered or “dying mysteriously”
Cases after cases of mostly Black and Latina transwomen
Whom nobody cares to investigate
This is not your Charlie after all,
And I wonder why my sisters are not deserving of at least a hashtag…

And as I cry, and I weep and I tremble
For a death that could be mine,
As I hurt my way through resilience
Prayers on repeat
Seeking enlightenment
From the Goddesses and voices of our ancestry
I feel the fingers of darkness
Creeping up my feet and my ankles
Trying to spread its fear within my veins

Those hands of
TRANSMISOGYNY
Those hands of
RACISM
Those hands of
WESTERN COLONIALISM
Those hands of
WHITE SUPREMACY
Those hands of
WHITE COMPLICITY AND CIS COMPLICITY
In the murders of our sisters
Making our lives and our bodies disposable…
Those creepy, creepy hands
That violate my being
And my ability to dream
And be and thrive in the world
Those creepy, creepy hands,
That penetrate my body without my consent
And suffocate my breath
And try to shut me up, to shut me up, to shut me up…

My trans femme sister of color,
Who always holds space for me in this wretched
Racist, trans misogynist colonized land on which we live
My trans femme sister of color,
Whose words weave themselves like silk around my feelings
Every time I feel low
My trans femme sister of color,
Who taught me so much about loving myself,
And inspires generations of children yet to come….
My trans femme sister of color tells me,
That every time she sees a post about transwomen being killed,
She is reminded that someday she may die that way too.
She then tells me that the average life span of a trans woman
Is 23 years old, and that this year she turns 23,
And she wonders whether she’ll make it until next year…

Every time I hear her words
Every time I take in her fear
I want to say that I will not let this happen
That I have two strong arms
That can push and hit hard and punch even harder

That my resilience and my strength have been passed on to me
By generations of femmes
By a lineage of resistance
From whom I’ve learnt to fight back;
Like a warrior woman
I will invoke our history
I will ground myself like an old immortal tree,
I will peel my skin and cover you with the softness of my armour
I will turn my hair into braids of care for you to hold on to
When the pain becomes too intense to bear
And I will shield you
And I will protect you
From the darkness of this wretched
Racist, trans misogynist colonized land on which we live…

But deep inside, deep inside…
I know that I am just ONE pair of arms
I know that I am just ONE human being living in fear
And that I have failed so many times at being there
For my sisters when their freedom
Was being snatched away
By hands, blades and bullets…

And when I look at the night sky,
And I see is beautiful bright lights
Twinkling stars like diamonds
That just sprinkle their beauty
Over us mortals,
I understand why the stars have grown brighter as I have grown older,
And I ask you dear sisters to forgive me,
To forgive me, to forgive me
For not protecting you when you needed me,
To forgive me,
For not protecting you when the hands, blades and bullets came your way,
When your lives were snatched away from your youth
And your beautiful souls ascended to the skies
Shiny against the black velvet
Your benevolence, love, kindness, compassion,
Looking down on us…

I hope you will forgive me,
But I promise, I promise, I promise:

That I will remember you.
I will remember every single one of you.

And even though I am just one pair of arms
Even though I am just one human being living in fear
I have a voice that has been passed on to me
By generations of femmes
By a lineage of resistance
From whom I’ve learnt to fight back;

I will speak out loud and I will remember your names

Lamia Beard
Ty Underwood
Yazmine Vash Payne
Taja Gabrielle DeJesus
Penny Proud
Bri Golec
Kristina Grant Infiniti
Sumaya Dasia Dalmar
Aubrey Mariko Shine
Melonie Rose

I will speak out loud and I will remember your names
I will speak out loud and I will honour your legacy
I will speak out loud and I will celebrate your lives
I will speak out loud and I will do you justice
I will speak out load and I will remember your names…

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