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.

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.

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.

Last night I had a vivid dream about crema.  I was pouring shots and watching the thick caramelized sugar swirling in ribbons slowly dissipate over and over again, left repeatedly staring quizzically into the murky darkness of the coffee beneath it.  

I woke at 4:24 am in sweats and quickened breath like I had had a nightmare.  See, the thing is that in that little space between my ears, everything is tainted by death.  So even the most banal and insipid activities, like pouring shots, become about grief.

I’ve been thinking a lot about Mark and the people she left behind.  The family who is shaken to the core by their loss.  The ripple effects of suicide, the shockwaves that last for longer than anyone could predict.  The loneliness that echoes ruthlessly in the rubble that is left where a home used to stand.  I’m thinking of them.

As weird as it is, there is something precious and unique about the moments after death. The moments where we are frozen in place, stupefied by trauma.  The casseroles pack the freezer, the emails (even if it’s exhausting) pour forward with offers of support.  People drive you to your therapy appointments and help you do your laundry.  Your friends grief shop with you and let you buy cheap hot pink polyester dresses that you literally will never wear because they make you feel better.

Like the beating of her heart, and the beating of yours, everything just stops.  For a second.

Like the thick, creamy caramelized sugars swirling above the murky water below, we want to hold on to those moments. Because real life, life after death, when the dust settles, when the world goes back to work, when you have to pick your sorry sobbing ass off the floor and cook your own fucking casserole, when everything for the rest of your life is tainted by grief, when you can’t go 5 seconds without thinking about her, hearing her laughter echo in the chambers of your selfishly beating heart - is bitter.