when the dehumanized throws daggers

since birth, the world has worked to convince me to deny my own humanity.

from dress code,

to penmanship practice,

to english as a second language courses,

to early childhood bullying,

to shouts of "go back to your country" by white people at the store and white men at marches,

to the demand of my "coming out" story as a pre-condition to a job offer at a queer non-profit center,

to the catcalling and grabs at my body by strangers on the street,

to the fetishization of my identities by white bosses, artists, councilmembers and pastors.  

since birth, i've learned that the personal is political --

that my being is politicized. 

when colonization, migration, exploitation, and war

write themselves in our histories,

our existence is political.

as we grow more keen to the world's interactions with our bodies and histories,

we grow well-practiced in seeing ourselves first through the eyes of our oppressors

and this becomes a lens through which we respond to and interpret the world around us.

buried under these layers and bearing these lenses,

i am both made and am encouraged to reduce others to an object. 

what oppression does well is cut us into parcels,

and through this infliction,

we learn to throw daggers.

i've lost friends and comrades in this struggle,

not only to mortality, but to ego and trauma. 

little is glorious or easy about this struggle,

but i see no other fight that can be won before the fight for

my own humanity and gracious and critical spaces

where our full humanity can be held,

where our bodies can be free,

and where our love can grow radically.

thy nguyenComment