I see you putting my sisters on display, as objects of your fear. I see the way you paint us as serial killers in The Silence of the Lambs. Your cisgender heart skips a beat every time my voice drops an octave. I’ll admit I’m fucking with you, but maybe this is a reaction I shouldn’t troll from you anymore. It seems to frighten you so much. Are you worried that my heart holds some sexually motivated killing spree, just waiting for the right moment to spring forth? Is that why my elder sisters teach me to avoid you, to stand my ground when I’m around you, to always make sure you’re really, truly not afraid of me before I spread my legs for you. I haven’t the heart to tell you that every night I put on my makeup for your oh-so-cisgender-eyes to gaze upon, I have to suppress the terror that my face will instead be covered with bruises later. Or the sobering realization that, were it not for the lightness of my skin, I would have even bigger things to fear from you.
Your fear for me is so broad that I don’t know its bounds. You are afraid that I am hiding in plain sight, that the pretty girl you see might not have the right kind of flesh, in your eyes, to satisfy your lust. You are afraid to acknowledge that this is even possible, for fear that you might be admitting you were (accidentally) attracted to me. You are so afraid that you pretend I don’t even exist…even in a radical space, you seem to have this cavalier attitude about equating women’s liberation with your pride in your genitals. I’m afraid that I don’t share your ecstatic disposition towards my own genitals. I’m happy you’re happy. But I am afraid that, in the cornfield of your words, the only cobs to harvest happiness from are “cunt,” “vulva,” and “pussy”…and the way you quote Germaine Greer completes the field with a scarecrow. My corvid sisters and I are not welcome here. I am sorry you are so afraid of my genitals that you must expend time saying how your internal genitalia are oh-so-much-better than mine. No matter how afraid you are of me, though, it is nothing compared to how afraid I am of you. Just look at how I cower and cry out in terror when you, without consent of the audience or prior warning, flash a room full of people.
How afraid am I of you? So afraid, that I am speechless when you fetishize my upbringing. You say you want to be a girl, but have a male-assigned upbringing and a cock. Are you an asshole, or just so tough as nails that you want my life? I’d trade. I’m pretty terrified of anybody who wants that. Even just of thinking of the way that I was thrown to the boys like a piece of meat to hungry dogs, and left for them to shape me as they desired. You terrify me, my dear cis queer, the way you fantasize about that.
I’m sorry that you fear me. But you obviously don’t fear me enough to stop going to feminist events altogether. You invoke the words that refer to your genitalia but not mine, like a chant to keep away evil tr***ies, to remind me of the things that jab into my sense of self-worth like a knife, heated by years of self-hatred. Maybe, if you chant it long enough, it will scare me away. I’m so afraid of my needs slowing you down, that I’m afraid to speak up for myself. I’m afraid to be the inconvenient truth-teller.
But at this rate, pretty soon I’ll be too afraid to even show up anymore.