The seeds of my struggle were planted well before I was.
They were planted when my 8-year old mother was running from the fists of her mother, and was too busy protecting her 2, 4, and 6-year old siblings to have the time to learn to read.
They were planted when my father had to flee his country alongside thousands of others, in a tiny wooden boat, floating on hopes and dreams.
They were planted when my parents, who felt the hunger pains of poverty as children, protected me from those pains with $1.99 Happy Meals, daily, as a kid.
They were planted when my 8-year-old self carried the weight of those meals between my chaffing thighs; thighs that were teased by peers, while they wore holes in old sweatpants.
They were planted when teachers at assemblies couldn’t pronounce my last name in front of the whole school.
They were planted when learning to read meant reading bedtime stories, bills, and report cards to mom and making sure she signed on the line next to the X.
They were planted when I stopped eating, or at least stopped eating without purging. And my peers stopped teasing me about my thighs. And the boys started talking about getting into these thighs.
They were planted when grown men got into my 16-year-old thighs without permission.
They were planted when I let myself love another female-bodied person without fear or guilt. But lost color in my skin and felt my family leave because of it.
They were planted when college granted me access to stats that revealed; to be a woman/person of color/queer/disabled person meant to be poorer, and sicker than the rest. This ignited my fire to fight for justice.
They were planted when I planted sustenance and saved myself with soil. And let the sun give me my color back and I began eating and feeding.
They were planted when I found my voice and used my voice.
They were planted when I felt empowerment for the first time through a community of brown/poor/fat/queer/disabled mujeres like me.
They were planted when we were tired of the fear, tired of the violence, tired of being invisible, and tired of being silenced.
They were planted when we used our voices to smash the silence, when we used our voices in unison, when we used our voices to get free.
The seeds of our struggle were planted well before we.