I think I’ve all but given up on trying to organize around something so annoying to me as sexuality

the idea that having sexual urges toward any given type of person somehow aligns me to anyone else who has even vaguely analogous desires to someone who is vaguely analogous to my desire object is boring

I don’t care about identities, I care about lifestyles

I don’t care about your urges, I care about your agency

gay is an unsatisfying category to me

faggot comes closer

Be Ugly

If you are an artist, listen the fuck up.

If you have ever held a paint brush and felt the possibility of creating a window to a world that only you have ever seen

If you have ever seen colours that haven’t been named yet

If you have ever had the privilege of exploring photography,

Of being able to hold the tangible likeness of a loved one in your hand

If you’ve ever taken a picture of a flower bloom, a crinoline, or a pretty girl

(and you all have, so don’t lie)

If you’ve ever held a sculpture in your hands, rippled it’s skin and smoothed it out,

Just because you thought it would look better that way

Then you listen too.

I’m urging you to be ugly.  

I’m asking you to look at the things you create, these tangible, useless, objects

That have no greater purpose than to reflect our whims and fancies

And then end up at the bottom of a donation bin with other discarded items, purposeless

Unless you, the artist, give them purpose.  

I’m asking you to give yourself acne with Photoshop.  To let underwear lines be seen.  To allow thighs to rub together.  I’m asking you to stare at bellies that hang out.  Let stretch marks shine in sunlight like the shimmer of translucent water.  Let hair grow and be seen. I’m asking you to embrace wrinkles and cellulite like they are the direct result of laughing, and talking, and loving too much, because they are.  Have scars, because they tell your stories better than you can ever say with words.  Have bags under your eyes, because they show that there is no time to sleep in a world of people lacking love.  

God, I’m begging you to be ugly too.  

I’m pleading with you to remove this burden of perfection that you’ve saddled us with

This task at which you knew we’d all fail.  

I’m begging you, because of the transgendered goddess in Chicago

Who I knew as a powerful goddess of the internet, ruling over her blog without apology

Who lived her life like a beautiful contradictory blemish upon the Earth

Who took their own life because we artists only make spaces for beautiful things 

Beautiful, marketable, things. 


Be ugly.  

Own a body that bleeds, sheds, shits and dies.  

Artists, we have the privilege of being seen and heard

And we have the responsibility to speak words which are true.

Ugly is the word we have saddled upon truth

Like a cosmetic application of lipstick

In a garish green hue.

She wasn’t a teenager, but I believe that she was murdered by a white, cis and fatphobic society. But that society will not succeed in wiping her from the face of the earth like it so desperately wants to. She is just as powerful in death as she was in life.

ugh I don’t know why people are so fixated on weight. I was talking about how I’m not desirable to this one person, and they were like “well you could always lose weight” and it’s like I WASN’T EVEN TALKING ABOUT THAT THANK YOU THOUGH it’s like what the fuck just stop just like, ugh, why is everyone so awful, like, UGH. I don’t tell people they look a mess unless they ask, and even then I don’t talk about their weight in a negative way. Like, let’s use positive or neutral tones, please. There’s this one guy who I’m friends with who’s gaining weight and he jokes about it because he’s kind of into it and I’ll playfully rub his belly and he’ll talk about getting fat and it’s like, pleasant which is this weird shift compared to how most people talk about fat. Doctors tell me to lose weight, half my family are doctors and they talk about fat in this really policing way which is like, fine, whatever, but shut up. People in general are so fixated on keeping their bodies in line it’s really distressing. Over the holiday i was watching the New Year’s Eve special with some cousins and they KEPT PLAYING the fucking Jennifer Hudson weightwatchers commercial and my cousins kept commenting about how good she looked and thank god she lost weight because now she’s not hideous and now she has like a shape and now she has cheekbones and I’m just like, UGH SHUT UP.
—  Mark Aguhar in their last message to me regarding a discussion we were having about weight.

Today a former friend accused me of having gotten “a tattoo to commemorate the fact that you only care about yourself.” She said, “I would never get something so bitchy tattooed on myself, even as a joke, even to honor a dead person.” 

Let me be clear: my tattoo is a reference to Mark Aguhar’s Not You (Power Circle), which reads, “WHO IS WORTH MY LOVE, MY STRENGTH, AND MY RAGE?” It is a piece about love and dignity and perseverance. About working together. About finding what works. My best friend has a tattoo of those words. Call and response. Working together. 

The same former friend, in the same message, said she didn’t think I’d changed that much in six years, that “all that changed was that 1) you became more confident (realizing that people were attracted to you and that you would be considered cool and would be popular no matter what) and realized people would like you even if you weren’t nice to them.” This is not true. I am a trans person. I am a person of color. I am a person who chooses, in spite of their trans identity, to move through most of the world as a woman. I have had to change so much to become the person I am today. And I am always changing. It is always work. It is hard. 

Mark Aguhar played an integral part in my becoming the person/thing I am today. She taught me awareness, self-critique, how to survive. I didn’t know Mark personally, but I love her and I grieve her and I am thankful to her for what she has given to so many of us. Mark showed me myself. So I got this tattoo. 

NOT YOU because me. NOT YOU because both of us. NOT YOU because everyone. NOT YOU because my love is bigger and stronger and greater than any one person could contain.