You can call me Alex or Alexandra

The first time I said I liked girls my voice broke
Everyone turned to me as if I had cursed at the dinner table
My mother told me to go take a shower and think about it 
But mom, you can’t wash off who you are
And yes, I have been thinking about it
A lot

In a small town news spreads like wildfire
I was the walking disappointment in the middle of town square
I had been reduced to it till I was purged of this evil that threatened to claim my soul
No one would sit next to me in class
And everyday after the assembly I was taken aside and told I would burn
Hell had no mercy for those like me 
But people, you don’t tell a sixteen year old child that she is possessed by the devil

And the other day when I went to get my hair cut
They loped it all off
And they said there you like to fuck girls now you can be a man
But a bad haircut doesn’t make me a man 
And all the abuses you can throw at me won’t change who I am
And I stood there with their glares digging daggers into the back of my head
The old man cursed dyke, and the parents covered their childrens eyes
As if I had a disease they would catch if they looked for too long

And they threw a burning stick in my front yard and said burn you deserve to burn
So i did
I burnt
I burnt myself piece by piece till there was nothing left but ashes
But remember you can burn down one Alex, one dyke, one unholy sin but 
There will rise another and another and another 
Till this world will have to change and then 
There will be a dyke at every street corner and 
I will look you in the eye and say how many will you burn?

Le Leyanda Mestiza

Dreams of Anzaldua staring at me,
Channeling my destruction,
de que?
The interrogation of assumption
Validating a world for most complacent
The realities are tangible and often serene
Mis suenos
Mi cuerpo
A justification that is omniscient
You, I, reach an utopia
an epitome for gender deconstruction
A mestiza anatomy
esto es todo lo quiero
dream and I dream
an insurgence to intersections I will venture but never leave
los mayas
los aztecas y los mexica
todos los grita
“Fuck you i won’t do what u tell me”
por que?
ya basta
ya tu sabes
el mente machismo es el mente chiquito,
mi corazón, mi alma, mi cuerpo grito
know your enemy
i see visions
Y estas mujeres son la razón de mi sonrisa
I WILL take a path through my darkness
channeling your spirit
awakening to the enlightenment of truth
i bow to the knowledge of your couth
la leyenda de mestiza vive en mí

Response to Sean’s Letter: we call bullshit

This letter is merely an empty letter, a clear public relations statement so that, god forbid, you don’t actually look guilty of doing something wrong.  If you really believe in what you said and that this is sufficient, you clearly still do not get it. Your words are that of an entitled man that minimizes your actions. This is a clear statement of denial.

“no one has the right to engage in any conduct that is or has the appearance of domestic violence.”

This is absolutely disrespectful and is in fact domestic violence.

Oh and by the way…….
We will be critical of your work as an educator, “leader” or  ”mentor”. As you might recall a book called “Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Freire speaks of praxis and defines it as “reflection and action upon the world in order to transform it.” Through praxis, oppressed people can acquire a critical awareness of their own condition, and, with their allies, struggle for liberation.

In your role you have young men looking to you to teach them how to not only be powerful students in their schools and in their community but they also look to you to show them how to love, respect and support their mothers, sisters, daughters, partners and friends. They were looking to you to model for them how to be healthy men of color. They are still looking to you. What will you do? Praxis.

This is not personal, you just happened to make yourself an example. We actually write this for the 2 womyn who were killed at the hands of their ex husbands  in Tucson in the last 2 weeks and for the womyn in Delhi who was gang raped and beaten to death and although you may not see any kind of connection between yourself and these womyn, you need to. You need to see your behavior as a contribution to the maltreatment of womyn.

The letter you wrote is not good enough. If you care to truly engage in your personal struggle and evolution, you will not refer to your actions as merely “charges” but in fact state what you did and how you think it has impacted your family, friends and community.

You will include conversations of race, class and gender in your work.

You will begin to examine where you fall on the continuum of abuse.

You will begin to be aware of how you show up to your sisters in the struggle and give a shit about it.

Acknowledging yourself as macho will no longer cut it. You have a choice, now how you are going to put your reflection into action? People are watching you; many are hoping that you come through.

Accountability is hard and not for everyone.  So what will it be?