Letter # 9
Imagine this. It’s Sunday. Your favorite show comes on every Sunday evening. You’ve cleared your schedule. You got your iced cold sweet tea in hand. The brownies are almost done. You’ve already cooked dinner, devoured it, and washed the dishes. The house is clean. The smell of pine sol is overwhelming…but you live for it. It’s 6:59. Your show comes on at 7pm. You’ve been waiting all week to see if finally they……..
It’s a re-run followed by “new episodes in two weeks”.
I’ve always hated that shit. So for this week’s letter I decided to revisit all the letters and share my favorite excerpts below. New letters coming soon.
From letter #1:
But I ain’t even stress that because I knew where the money was going (to Us). And ultimately I was certain that if any of us needed help or a bail out, the community would rise. And she did. I was there. Fully present. And I realized how easy it was to be fully present, and to breathe when I am surrounded by flowers. So, Imma keep this same energy. I will intentionally put myself in spaces in which there are only flowers. Spaces that don’t require me to expend precious energy on defending and/or explaining my humanity. And when I struggle to find such spaces, I’ll create them. Surround yourself with flowers, you'll breathe better.
From letter # 2
I’m sorry. I attempted to erase us, transform us into Caspers. I disregarded our humanity. Our gifts. I overlooked our sight, undervalued our insight. I looked in the mirror and saw nothing. No me. No you. No us. I closed my eyes to Marsha, Miss Major, Pepper, Audre, Deborah, Bayard, Willi, James, Perry, Joseph, Richard, Stormé, you, and so so many others...
I held on tightly to the idea that we were invisible because nobody saw us. Clinging to such an arthritic lie nearly paralyzed me. Believing I was invisible and that I mattered to no one, I used my hands less. I created less. I gave less. I took up space less. I ignored my imagination and creativity. I couldn’t find any use for my hands or any other part of my body that wasn’t self destructive. Whew, I was so misguided. Ignorant. Drunk on the illusion that we were not here.That the intimacy we shared wasn’t an expression of love.That Us showing up for one another was meaningless. That Us speaking our names was no more than just a warming up of our voices to say something greater, more important.
I will actively work against allowing folks outside of us to shape my perceptions of us.They cannot define us. They don’t have the range. We are much too large for their eyes and much too human for their egos. And cuz I am aware of their limits, I will be more mindful about using the ways they see/don’t see me to see myself.
From Letter # 3
The pain became too much, and you finally surrendered. The heaviness won. The emotional levees your ego created broke. However, you did not break down... but vulnerably you teared up. It was truly something to see, even better to feel. Water everywhere. You had been in a desert state for so long, you had believed it was who you were. You had forgotten that you, yes You were an oasis rich with water, longing to be released in small drops that could lead you back to yourself. Mini cascades that would make the desert no longer a desert. Returning you to an oasis. And on that tearful day the world witnessed the most marvelous thing it had ever seen: Healing.
From letter # 4
We’re worthy of more than just being written and spoken about, we’re worthy of being spoken to.
I’m not not interested in trying to explain our humanity to anyone who isn’t us. I’m much more interested in talking to us about our humanity.
We are not just here to be used,abused and discarded. We are here to take up space. To share. To love. To learn from…..
From letter # 5
Your understanding of someone has no bearing on the fullness and validity of their humanity, especially those to whom you owe any rights you think you have.
Thinking there isn’t enough peace, joy, and happiness for all of us is not the move. whiteness is at the source of this scarcity mentality. whiteness has led some of us to believe in a hierarchy in which some lives are valued over others. whiteness has coaxed some of us into thinking we must compete with one another for its acceptance. And I could sit here and enumerate all the reasons why we must honor the humanity of BlackTrans individuals, but sharing one reason is and will always be enough.
Reason # 1: We should honor, respect, and protect the humanity of BlackTrans people because they are human. PeriodT.
From letter # 6:
we are the tempo
Blackness be the hook and the timbre
our resistance became the beat
we substituted our joy for instruments
& our blood functioned as interludes
we composed our own songs
From Letter # 7
I love us for real!
From Letter # 8
It will be a struggle but you will eventually learn how to not obsess over the future so much to where you leave those in the present, forcing them to become just things of the past.
And lastly, I want you to meditate on the notion that you are enough. You Existing in your current state is enough. You do not have to do anything to be worthy. As surely as blood runs through your veins, you are worthy. As surely as you wake up each day, you are worthy. Worthy of joy. Worthy of peace and happiness. Worthy of breathing. Worthy of love. And Worthy of all the most beautiful things life has to offer. Wait for them, they will come. In fact, you already have them. Stop. Open your eyes. And feel what it’s like to just.be.with.them.