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
I demanded a lawyer
I banged on metal doors
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
We need community support to continue publishing!
Articles and artwork like these are only possible through your contributions. Please donate today to sustain the wellbeing of artists, writers, healers, and LGBTQ2IA+ people of color.
You can also support our team by picking up
a Rest for Resistance print zine.
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.
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.
I’ve finally allowed myself to be honest with myself. And as a result, I’m able to be honest with my partner.
I proceeded to tell them what happened. I didn’t have much in the way of details—believing that’s what they wanted to hear—but what I did share left them in a state of slack-jawed shock. They asked me to imagine for a moment if I had done to her what she had done to me, where I might be at that very moment.
I know few get the opportunity to heal. That’s the motivation that drives me to do healing justice work. But in offering community support, I often forget that I’m part of the community too, that I deserve access to heal from trauma. And those “I don’t deserve _____s” are all giving voice to my survivor’s guilt.
Past experiences of broken confidence held me back, and I had even less confidence that I would be able to find a queer competent, POC identified behavioral health professional with sexual assault experience who was worth investing time, money, and trust in.
Communication is super, super important. Yet no one really taught me how to communicate about sex. I’ve begun to ask myself why I am so afraid to be seen.
Often, I wonder if I love women because I’m tired of being hurt by men. In effect, I have the same question many queer survivors have: am I queer because I was abused?
I’m not doing it on purpose, I promise. But when I’m in the bathroom alone I look at myself in the mirror and I go to a dark place within my own body, somewhere that I haven’t yet exorcised and burnt incense in.
It took me a long time to adjust. To re-adjust. To redefine. The moment I started to speak in a language for myself, that was crafted around the way I want to understand myself, the clock began moving at a pace that felt eternally sacred.
When we heal, we are able to be more to each other and ourselves. And not in that way where it eventually makes us good productive workers. We become more invested in ourselves, and we have more of ourselves to utilize in the ways that bring joy for everyone, including us.
Whether you have a little privilege or a lot, it’s easy to feel helpless when considering the scope of systemic oppression. Growth is always possible, so once we accept the need to change, the only question is how.