So, I went and got my Bitch Planet tattoo today, and someone in the shop asked, “That’s pretty… Visible. Aren’t you afraid of being that obvious?” And I replied, “I’m pulling aggro.”
But the more I think about it, the more this metaphor fucking works. I’m a white middle class woman with low expenses, no criminal record, and I live in liberal-ass New England (or at least, I thought I did before the Trump/Pence signs cropped up like fucking forsythias but that’s a whole other post.) I’m safe. Even if I get in a knock-down-drag-out, I’m not going to be seen as an agitator, or a troublemaker, or the “problem.” I have money for bail. I am privileged.
While I have physical disabilities, they actually don’t get in the way of me feeling like I could get in a scrap. If anything, the opposite. I have this whole other post (yeah I think of more all the time like this) about the genetic evolution of Ehler’s-Danlos Syndrome but suffice to say, you can’t hold on to me and you can’t break me easily. I have martial arts training, but I look harmless, so even if I did get in a scrap, the cop is going to go, “You got in a brawl with a 35-year-old fat woman… Yeah… whatever.”
I have mental health limitations, but they actually don’t get worse from being exposed to this shit - I’d feel way worse and more anxious if I didn’t step in. I’m the kind of person who would just second guess and eat themselves alive in thinking of how they should have jumped in to help someone.
I’m a tank. I’m tough, I’m bendy, and bigots aren’t going to shock me or hurt me.
Not everyone is a tank. This is super fucking important. Some people are healers. They deal with the fallout when someone like me comes home shaking and breathing in a paper bag because holy shit I just took a picture of a guy in a CVS who tried to grab my tit. Some people are DPS - they leap in and fucking maul people with cited facts on Facebook arguments and are physically imposing and probably could punch a bitch out.
It’s okay to be what you are. And it’s also okay to take care of yourself. If you’re a tank, you gotta heal up. You need downtime, or you get hypervigilant and debuffed and you’re too fucked up to help anyone. If you’re a healer, you need to get your resources back so you can do what you love without taxing yourself unduly. It’s like that.
So I’m a tank. And I’ll wear my Non-Compliant Genderqueer tattoo with pride. I wear my “Respect Existence or Expect Resistance” tattoo the same way. I wear them so that the girl with the neutral gender haircut who just wants to fucking ride the bus isn’t as inviting a target as I am. I pull aggro. I don’t want a fight, I won’t start a fight, but you better fucking believe I’ll step in the way.
Taunt, pull, peel, sustain, rest, drop your stacks, and fight on.