Wombyn to WombMan

Being queer has no bearing on race, my white publicist said
true love is never affected by color

I curb the flashes of me crashing across the table
to knock his blond skin
from Manhattan to Montego Bay
to bear witness to
the bloody beatings of brown boys
accused of the homosexual crime of buggery amidst the new fangled fads and fallacies
the New Age claims that
sexual and racial freedom has finally come for all
these under-informed
pseudo-intellectual utterances
reflect how apolitical the left has become

It is now commonplace to hear young activists say
The terms lesbian and Black and radical
come across as confrontational
Why can’t people just be people?

Tongue and courage tied with fear
I am at once livid
ashamed and paralyzed
by the neoconservatism
breeding malicious amongst us

Two spirit
Non-gender conforming
every year we add a new fucking letter
yet every year
I become more and more afraid to say
who I am

under the pretense of unity I swallow something I should have said
about the epidemic of AIDS in Africa
or the violence against teenage girls in East New York
or the mortality rate of young boys on the south side of Chicago

even in friendly conversation
I have to reign in that bell hooks-ian urge
to kill mother-fuckers who say stupid shit to me

all day, all day
bitter branches of things I cannot say out loud
sprout deviant from my neck

fuck you, you fucking racist-sexist-turd
fuck you for crying about homophobia
while you exploit the desperation of undocumented immigrants
to clean your hallways
bathe your children, cook your dinner
for less than you and I spend on our tax deductible lunch!

I want to scream out loud

at the heart of every radical, political action in history
stood the dykes who were feminists
the anti-racists who were gay rights activists
the men who believed being vulnerable
could only make the entire community stronger

as the violence against us increases
where are the LGBT centers in those neighborhoods
where the assaults occur most frequently?
as the tide of the Supreme Court changes
where are the marches
to support a woman’s right to an abortion?

HIV/AIDS was once a reason for gay white men to ACT UP
now their indifference spells the death
of straight Black women
and imprisoned Latino boys
if the tragedy does not immediately impact them
they don’t give a fuck

a revolution once pregnant with expectation flounders
apathetic and individualistic,
no one knows where to vote
or what to vote for anymore

the faces that represent us
have begun to look like the ones who used to burn crosses
and beat bulldaggers and fuck faggots up the ass
with loaded guns

the companies that sponsor our events
do not honor the way we live or love
or dance or pray

progressive politicians
progressive politicians
still dance around the issue of gay parenting
and the term marriage is reserved
for those unions sanctioned by a church-controlled state

for all the landmarks we celebrate
we’re still niggers
and faggots
and minstrel references
for jokes created on the funny pages of a
white, heteronormative world

the current leftist manifesto is a corporate agenda

and outside that agenda
a young boy dressed in drag is swallowing someone else’s semen
so he can pay for dinner
a woman is beaten every 12 seconds
every two minutes
a girl is raped somewhere in America

and while we stand here well-dressed and rejoicing
in India
in China
in South America a small child cuts the old cloth
to construct the new shoe, the new shirt
the old imperialism held upright
by the misuse of impoverished lives

gather round ye dykes and fags and
trannies and all those committed to
radical social change

we are not simply at a political crossroad
we are buried knee deep in the quagmire
of a battle for our very humanity

the powers that have always been
have already come for the Jew
the communist
the trade unionist
and the terrorist
the time to act is now!
the time to act is now!
the time to act is now!

Now! while there are still ways we can fight
Now! because the rights we have are still so very few
Now! because it is the right thing to do
Now! before you open the door to find
they have finally come
for you

-Staceyann Chin


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