Throughout April, Rest for Resistance is proud to feature writing by LGBTQ+ people of color for Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
The following poem contains graphic details of childhood sexual assault (CSA) as experienced by a trans woman of color.
there are different kinds of warzones
like the time i was thirteen and took
a twenty six year old dick
in the park at midnight
and i felt my world torn apart
not unlike the time my cousin
made me touch him at age six
in the family bathroom
now, i feel the deftness of a world
and into it i sleep without sound
so when the few friends i have
will tear themselves away
i remember that i’ve been torn apart before
i remember the time that you told me
to remember where i came from
and where i will go.
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An illustrated person is laying on the ground, surrounded by green leaves and yellow and blue flowers. They are crying, eyes closed, with sections of the neck, midsection, arms, legs, and ankles missing, cleanly cut with pink flesh showing. The green leaves cradle them and cover delicate areas.
About METAL FEMME:
metal femme is a queer trans south asian artist invested in deconstructing various neocolonial, imperialist traumas through radical healing and love. metal femme is a survivor and an eventual victor. you can find her on twitter @shezdying and instagram @metalfemme and read more of her poetry here on Rest for Resistance.
About Rajesh Saraswati:
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.