This rhythmic rant was originally written after the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting. At the time, it felt too raw to publish then, but in light of the Gavin Grimm case, Texas gender inequality bills, Governors and Judges who are homophobic and many other LGBTQIA dismissals and injustices, I no longer have the privilege to stay silent.
How can being gay be compared to fear of flying or spiders or crowds? There is no phobia of gays and lesbians any more – there is only ignorance, self-loathing and fear.
I am from despair to righteousness swearing quietly to complacent privileged people. I am from claiming space and truth. I have marched for rights for women, for access to sport, for our right to choose, for our right to love. I have given money for and to women leaders, been in the trenches working on behalf of women athletes. I am from an activist mother who brought forth these skills.
I am from the particles that make up the bed I lie on as well as every idea and word that collides inside my body and mind. I am from atoms – free flowing energy and movement. I am from protons and neutrons.
My mind lives throughout my body hammering inside my heart, whimpering in my belly and starch drying my womb. I push and pull the particles depending on the wind, levels of self-compassion and the biochemistry of the day. A chemstrip is dipped into my chest like a chlorine pool test measuring my systems of hardness, alkalinity, and today, my sugars and testosterone. I am from lowered estrogen and highly elevated provocative words and acts.
My journey has included a stop or two to reboot my heart and reset my rhythm, flatten my chest, clear ugly growths and tighten up my knee. All of my particles are moving now – fully alert and radicalized. I wonder why my protons are so sensitive to violence and hate? Why do my particles crave tenderness and kindness? There are others who use the quantum physics of their atoms to hurt, violate and even kill. Who or what rearranged their innocent baby minds from affluence, love and potential to fear, anger and despair?
I am from the gay rights movement of the 80’s and 90’s – AIDS and siloed thinking and work. I am the daughter of Susan. I chose my own name Tuti at age 5 --- it means we all play together. Fitting for this intersectional humanist/feminist. My atoms have been complacent as they hyper focused on healing for a decade. Now they make up the design of a test strip to mark levels of sexism in a person’s psyche. The marker on my chem strip is dark red and bloody mad.
I am the daughter and granddaughter of artists and teachers – why wouldn’t my genes have cell memory of the themes of uprising? My epigenetic being is so tired of the lack of love and lack of acceptance, tired of bias and bigotry, tired of people’s rush to judge, tired of laws written because people have a ‘phobia’ of who I love, tired of people who hurt and threaten ‘other’.
I am from dumpsters of kindness and righteous hope standing proudly with dignity. When they put the chemstrip into my heart to test my levels today, they will find that balance and serenity have silenced any opposition. I am a spiritual being having a human experience. My atoms recognize their affinity with atoms in my fellow marginalized beings. I am the belief in attracting strong, powerful allies who will step out of their privilege and speak up for us. Join me.