On the eve of March 22nd, while a runaway youth, staying in Brooklyn with dear friends, I decided to create a photo-prayer to document and archive the resilience, faith and self love I vowed to maintain. This is me in my magic, my resistance and in my legacy.
Home to a nomad
Rest to the nocturnal moon
I’ll never surrender again,
When I know it’s way too soon,
Way too soon
And Yea, I fell
But I held—
Stuck my place
I cannot undate
The nights I was chased
By the state
The nights I’d prefer to sleep
Til the days
Would all terminate
The state cannot outrun, my expansive space
I am outer space
And if I must
Change my name
As many times as I must escape,
All these newer cages
All these neoliberal chains—
Know I am defiant and arranged
I have expansive taste
I was born resistant to states,
I belong in the outer space.
Somewhere in Brooklyn,
I am resting my head against the cool asphalt,
In the front yard of a new friend’s house.
Skull trembling from fear and a slight summer night breeze,
In small moments to myself,
If it wasn't for this peach E&J,
I might just lose myself,
concretize into the pavement.
I might just stay here
and remain in shock, solid.
Traumatized by the amount of helicopters
surveilling the night sky,
Traumatized by the possibility
Of my capture.
If it wasn't for this
This genuine love made with new family,
I might not find warmth from the telling of indigenx resilient histories.
The only thing, I will pull,
Is this vodka, my will and my Bronx accent.
I will choose nothing but being drunk and in love
With the vastness of this moment.
The moment has a heartbeat, and I will lay up against it, swooning.
Carrying the memory of Zayn Malik and punjabi mamas
The Memory of Cardi b discussions and passionate twerking.
Because I have been nostalgic of lost family,
Because I have been a nomad in search of home.
And new family will embrace, as we dance to milestones.
My Movement is survival
I came from,
the trance I’ve begun.
I’ve only begun
The infinite ways,
I’ve already sprung.
A brown-skinned person in a white shirt with a jean jacket and hooped earrings sits in a room. Their hair, both dark brown and dyed lighter at the ends, is worn in a ponytail. In image 1, their eyes are closed, hands clasped together, fingers pointing to lips. In other images, they stare directly towards the viewer, calm, but firm expression on face.
The second self-portrait has orange and yellow flowers in the background. The others show a living room with a fireplace with award plaques and a trophy. In the last image, the poet appears with Assata Shakur's autobiography on their lap.
We can't continue publishing without community support!
Articles and artwork like these are only possible through your contributions. Please donate today to sustain the work of artists, writers, healers, and everyday QTPoC.
About Alexandria Maya Gonzalez:
South Bronx native, afro boricua gender non conforming ghetto prince. Crafting through all mediums of art, working on an upcoming music project. If youre widdit, follow me via insta @thetowerrr.
Poem edited by Alberto Hernández
I was later to realize that it was all about control.
love demands time / to break borders and / to build bridges. / so give yourself time and / the honour to love. / so give yourself the care / to love your own soul / and oneness of existence.
I learned about Sufism, Jainism, Kemetism, Buddhism, Shinto, ancestor worship, Hoodoo, and many other ways of being. I learned about myself.
Each interview is a gold mine, a feast of quotes to be hung up on walls, tattooed on arms, and copied in notebooks. A flurry of words to hold close on nights when being seen seems impossible and it feels as if no one else in the world knows who or what you are.
I think of the story she told me of stealing fruit from her grandfather’s shrine to Ogun. I want to reach past her and my Christian grandparents, pluck that fruit, and make an offering of it.
The role models I had access to were white, affluent and held a lot of disdain for women with lives different than theirs. But back then they had an image, and their way to be trans was what I had.
You refuse to engage with your abuser. Their presence reopens old wounds. You try to heal but it hurts. You like a worm on a bamboo stick hooked on the teeth of lies. Pain pushes you to find silence somewhere.
Celebrating our struggles and successes, and what we can learn from them, is far more meaningful than a mere style parade that glamorizes binary identities, heteronormative rights, and impossible-to-maintain beauty standards.
When abusers deny us our reality, it’s gaslighting. When we enact that denial on ourselves, it’s equal parts survival skill and self-harm. Yet we have the ability to change how we treat ourselves, even if we can't change how others treat us.
every villain is often a caricature of marginalised identities, and every hero is a glorified image of the world that wants to destroy me and those I love.
a photo-prayer to document and archive the resilience, faith and self love I vowed to maintain. This is me in my magic, my resistance and in my legacy.
Those feelings didn’t come from some magic place that could be addressed by a back-to-school special and a hug. They came from racism, queerphobia and white supremacy.
We are divine. The barrier between us and divinity can be destroyed by the realization that our queerness is exactly what makes us worthy.
When we heal, we are able to be more to each other and ourselves. And not in that way where it eventually makes us good productive workers. We become more invested in ourselves, and we have more of ourselves to utilize in the ways that bring joy for everyone, including us.
In order to harm ourselves less and care more, we need to look at our relationship with the world around us. The problem isn’t how we’re hurting ourselves, but that we’re hurting ourselves at all.
Becoming sober has allowed me to discover who I really am and has allowed me to fall in love with myself. I still battle with thoughts of drinking because I live at home with my dad, but I know that putting my life in jeopardy and hurting my loved ones is not a risk I'm willing to take.
Our denial of our needs (and to be clear, needs, not wants) does not create a more just world. Food, shelter, safety and caring relationships are necessary to all.
We require physical rest, emotional connections, daydreaming, food, laughter, purpose. And all of these things prevent us from fitting neatly into a machine model.
Self-care is so simple it can also be simple to forget. If you need time to put down work and check out from life, then take it. Know that you are restoring your energy for the challenges of life.