artwork by Rommy Torrico
I’m going to say this once & I’m speaking as a brown boi, as a former AG/stud/butch now as a transmasculine gender non-conforming american-born disabled adult. I’m not Latino. I’m not Black. I’m light skinned Brown & mixed race Pin@y. I don’t know Jesse Hernandez personally at all. This is all terrible & unfair & again enraged by the terror of this police state. This might be my mercury in retrograde voice in full effect:
1) I’m noticing far too many cis gender conforming white & POC, who are quick to saying #JesseHernandez‘s murder didn’t have to do with gender or sexuality or race. That it was because she/they were perceived as a cis straight man of color. So, race & brownness somehow TRUMPS gender and sexuality. Or because they were a perceived lgbtq youth, no racial dynamics at all? This is divide & conquer. Stop.
2) I’m noticing a juxtaposition of cis black and brown men’s lives like, “Jesse was perceived as a POC dude, so violence.” Violence happens to QTPOC everyday, gender checks/profiling are connected to racial profiling is connected to classism, is connected to ability, is connected to citizenship status & policing, is connected to size, is connected to religious affiliations, and in no particular order. It happens frequently & disastrously.
3) Do we have to compare & equate queer brown masculine boi, butch, AG, or gender non-conforming lives to cis straight ones to be fought for? To be desired? To be celebrated? To be mourned? To be valid?
4) Cis straight gender conforming white & POC people need to stop treating all QTPOC identities as mutually exclusive. Stop. Guess what, all parts of identities are considered resistance & in effect, targets. It happens all at once when people are being policed & eradicated. To minimize that oversimplifies lives, our movements, & deeply underestimates how much the state, this empire is at war with obliterating us, obliterating those that don’t conform to american white able-bodied straight cis wealthy class.
4.5) if someone thinks otherwise, they are mistaken. The consequences for this mistake are grave.
5) Rest in power, dear one. I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry.
6) I’m using *she/they* because I’m not sure what your pronouns are. You look like my fam, my students, my homies, the folks I grew up with, the community I still share poems with. All with your fitteds, sideway smirks, proud selfies, and irrevocable steez. You probably had crushes, talked shit, drove around with friends for peace of mind, had loving & difficult moments with teachers & parents, had a charmingly shy laugh. You deserved those things. To be who you are. You deserve more.