"Every creative act is open war against The Way It Is. What you are saying when you make something is that the universe is not sufficient, and what is really needs is more you. And it does, actually; it does. Go look outside.

You can't tell me that we are done making the world." - Jerry Holkins

Words are wind, and only ever seem to hold value when we let them. In my lifelong endeavor to discover the meaning of life, I've found it helpful to surround myself with the right kinds of words.

All of my tattoos are images; I've never gotten text because I worry about the finality of words. What if their meaning or context change? I've been burned before. What meaning will death incur when I am the author?

There is ONE phrase I heard my first year of undergrad that has stuck with me, and has always lived in the back of my mind as THEE phrase I'd etch into my skin forever. It was during a lecture for Intro to Women of Color Feminisms and taught by the first queer Asian woman I had ever seen in a tenured position.

"Survival is Resistance."

When it comes to the subaltern, the queer, the disposessed, the rest-- we were never meant to survive this world. Capitalism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, neolibralism, colonialism, classism, respectability politics, insert oppressive system here; each ideology is another brick in our socially constructed vernacular that houses perpetual spirals of power and pleasure and prejudice. I've tried and tried to change the world a thousand times over, but have failed and failed and failed. I can barely fix my own world.

The more I learn about the world the more I learn what I haven't learned. My self-conception contains MULTITUDES, my dude! I'm not NOT the
once-fourteen-year-old girl feeling dysphoric in a dress but still LONGING to be pretty. I'm both. I'm her and me and also likely someone else a few days from now. Fuck, I'm an absolute monster nega-self when I'm hangry. Context! Code-switching! Audience! How could I ever be expected to stay the same person? The trouble is containing them all in this tiny body. I can still be the overambitious feminist killjoy genderqueer transman I am today AND still want to be a pretty white girl that's nothing but legs. I can hold ambiguity in tension. Hell is other people. But I've survived, and that fucking counts.

Dissociation and memory issues are common side effects of complex trauma. Some things can be so bad our brains want to blue screen instead of process terrible things. If you can't remember terrible shit that happened, how are you supposed to make sense of events, or even of your conception of self?

Have you ever seen Lady Gaga's music video for Marry the Night? I'm convinced it is the best piece of art she has ever produced.

It's a great example of deviant historiography as a form of healing: a narrative of an abused woman broken, hitting rock bottom, and reclaiming her narrative in opposition to the systems that harmed and failed her. When I force my friends to sit down and shut up and watch the entire 13:50min video, I tell them "it's my story." If I want to watch Lady Gaga and put flowers in my hair and feel gender euphoria, why the fuck not?

The friends that stick around and dance are the world and home and family I'm building. I love the world I've built.

Why the fuck not?

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