I have been considering hard femme more and more as the identity that I occupy, and how much that feels related to my being a woman of color. I have been told countless time that my body as a woman does not matter, that I am not the right kind of woman, the kind who deserves love and respect and tenderness. That my body is inherently rape-able, inherently stitched into the necessary trafficking of violence against other black people and movement of bodies for cargo and labor. I use femininity as a weapon, to wear a look on my face that makes those who would rather have me and my loved ones dead to make them feel as though they have been spit upon.

This is where I feel I can recuperate a lesbian identity as a cis-woman who is also a transfeminist. Transfeminism and black lesbian feminism as its predecessor have grappled with intersectionality and living at the interstices of multiple forms of oppression as a way into “showing the strings” of power relations. There are sites of knowledge and forms of knowledge production that know more about how to stay alive and keep fighting than I have seen elsewhere. Both of these feminisms reconfigure a new femininity that does not code a particular kind of body as “female” and therefore in need of hetero-patriarchal State “protection,” thus rendering all bodies caught outside of that as useless trash.

These are just a few thoughts in progress, but I have been really reinvigorated toward calling myself a fucking DYKE in a way that I haven’t in years.

What the fuck was I waiting for?

 

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