I think of the story she told me of stealing fruit from her grandfather’s shrine to Ogun. I want to reach past her and my Christian grandparents, pluck that fruit, and make an offering of it.
Until a violent person takes accountability and creates change in their patterns of behavior, the best thing to do is limit the harm being caused.
Every day that passes, I have come to know who I am a little bit more, and I like who I am. I have a life and a future out there in the free world, and resting for resistance keeps me sane so that I can avoid any issues that might keep me here any longer.
The role models I had access to were white, affluent and held a lot of disdain for women with lives different than theirs. But back then they had an image, and their way to be trans was what I had.
You refuse to engage with your abuser. Their presence reopens old wounds. You try to heal but it hurts. You like a worm on a bamboo stick hooked on the teeth of lies. Pain pushes you to find silence somewhere.
When abusers deny us our reality, it’s gaslighting. When we enact that denial on ourselves, it’s equal parts survival skill and self-harm. Yet we have the ability to change how we treat ourselves, even if we can't change how others treat us.
Intersectional spaces are invaluable for creating a truly humanistic view of people whose voices and stories are often marginalized, distorted, or entirely erased.