Be Quiet, Behave

Art by Tyrell C. Marie Blache

Art by Tyrell C. Marie Blache


Throughout April, Rest for Resistance is proud to feature writing by LGBTQ+ people of color for Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The following content is related to sexual violence and processing trauma.

Sunday before the sun rose
white hands forced white pills down my throat
Male bodies intimidated me into black panties

My only garment
a hospital gown

They left me scanty
bare backed
and cold


I demanded a lawyer
I banged on metal doors
I cursed
I cried


I did away with appropriate
I did away with respectful
I did away with obedient


I screamed until I was freed

I've given up on quiet
Quiet has not served me well

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Image description:

Three short-haired Black femmes are illustrated with vibrant purple, blue, and pink skin, respectively. They are all seated, with only torsos showing, and arms folded in various positions.

Behind them is a white background with black text, both typed and handwritten: "Black women have had to perfect shifting... Chipping away at her sense of self, at her feelings of wholeness and centeredness... shifting is often internal, invisible. The loss of my voice was gradual, beginning in my childhood... Listen for the silences -- pauses, hesitations, and interruptions... faith-based suppression: God didn't intend, man over woman, we need to have faith, let's pray - not talk to each other... ignore a comment you believe is racist or to address it in a way that you aren't labeled threatening of aggressive... embarrassed... Being smart: predominantly..." The rest of the text is obscured by the three figures.

Tahirah Alexander Green

Tahirah Alexander Green

About Tahirah Alexander Green:

Artivist and storyteller Tahirah Alexander Green is interested in crafting nuanced works that reflect the complexity of identity. They are prone to dark humor and an unashamed fanby.

About Tyrell C. Marie Blache:

Tyrell Blache is a poet, artist and healer recovering from trauma while growing up in the Midwest and learning to breathe again, deeply. Their collective For Brown Bleeders is a gift to other qtpoc who are learning to breathe again.