You know how privileged it is to say to someone, particularly a poor, trans woman of color living in the South:
“Live Out Loud. Live your Truth,” etc.
I mean that sounds wonderful and inspiring in theory if:
You didn’t have to walk down the street in a neighborhoods inhabited by many ignorances of color (ignorance comes in every shade)
You didn’t have to take public transportation.
There she was.
6’2. Blonde wig, face beat with make-up done by the gods. Light eyes and a strut that could walk the runways of Paris.
She got on the bus and immediately, all eyes and all heightened senses of the monsters, peaked.
“You by yourself? Where’s your mama at?” She asked to the two children sitting across from her.
“No,” they giggled. They seemed to be between the ages of 8-11. “Our daddy is on here too.”
She smiled. Then proclaimed, “Ok good.”
The two ignorances behind me snickered:
“The end of days. You hear me. The end”
She proceeded to mind her business and look at her own reflection in her phones screen.
I believe she felt them:
The eyes. The hills and evil has them.
She continuously looked at her self, fidgeting and checking to see if her face (& indeed she) was still in tact. I could feel her discomfort. As ignorances piled up on the route, at one particular stop, she flung her 6’2 frame up and into the front of the bus before it had stopped.
The stares, the mumbles…pushed her forward.
Once at the front of the bus and her back facing everyone else, she took off her wig and proceeded to run her fingers through her own hair; which was about ear length and brown with purple streaks at the ends.
That mirror: her phone, which seemed to be her own saviour and comfort, she stayed looking into. Her legs twitched. She focused on her reflection the entire ride.
And I wonder, how difficult it must be to be her. In her shoes. In her own skin, where the world around her is a threat to her simply wanting to exist. To live. To be. To breathe and be in peace, as herself. How does she find the courage to walk in this world as a trans woman of color and NOT be effected by its ignorance. She can’t. She can’t even ride the fucking bus in peace.
God Bless the freaks.
Goddess Bless the beings who have to catch their breath in every moment; from a world where people are always trying to steal it.
*Featured Image* Viccky Gutierrez, a transgender woman from Honduras who was stabbed and had her body set ablaze inside her Los Angeles home on January 10, 2018.