This piece is revised from a Facebook post I made. The night I wrote this, I was feeling angsty and I was hurting too much. I have no clue what set it off, but my usual chronic feeling of -part of me is missing and I need to complete it like I need to breathe, eat, or sleep- decided to push itself to the forefront of my mind/body. I decided to work on my little rant further because other people chimed in with similar feelings. Here’s to hoping that it’ll have a little more impact now.
I’m feeling really ugly right now. But not in the, “my physiological appearance is displeasing” way. I don’t feel ugly in the traditional sense too often anymore. Years of feminism and deconstructing toxic beauty norms has helped this. Finding clothes, makeup, and hairstyles that I want make me feel right in my skin. Having the right set of hormones and having certain changes to my physiology has been an exciting journey to re-discover a body that feels right cloaking my soul.
I feel ugly because I fail and am failing to attract healthy, amazing masculine spectrum folks who are monogamish/closed poly. I need folks who are amazed by who I am and are enthusiastic about spending time with me. I need to be appreciated for who I am. I want to be touched like something precious. Something worthwhile. And I want it to feel right in my bones.
I feel ugly because of street harassment. I feel ugly because of cis guys who don’t read my online profiles and send me unsolicited dick pics. I feel ugly because I don’t see very many transfeminine people, fat people, and visibly disabled people in happy, healthy relationships. I feel ugly because I attract so many gross cis guys who aren’t queer, aren’t interested in anything I am, but only seem to want me for sex or because I am their fetish. I don’t feel human, I feel like I’m a monster.
I feel ugly because I’m 27 and haven’t dated much. I fear I’ll turn into my mother and I wish fervently that I’ll never become the broken home and marriage that I was born into. I feel ugly because I’m the age my parents met and I’m constantly being reminded of this by the familial units and when am I going to find a nice girl to marry and procreate with? What about that nice friend of your’s that you’ve known since high school? (They’re all queer and it’s unfortunately rare for me to be attracted to cis women. But I can’t say that to Mommy Dearest…) My white cousins are almost all married with kids. And the only one not married is in a long-term relationship. I’m the freak of the family. The only one from a broken home, disabled, fat, queer, trans, and the first mixed race person on both sides of the family in living and documented memory.
I feel ugly because I’m never good enough. Mommy Dearest, lao lao, and lao ye all invested so much blood, sweat, and tears into me. They took shitty under the table jobs working as parking attendants, being asked to clean offices, crocheting hats for $2 a piece to be sold for $100 by white women, babysitting for wealthy Chinese families, bicycling 70km to Toronto to work in the back room of Chinese stores, washing dishes in Chinese restaurants, selling mirrors and makeup door to door… All for me. All so that I wouldn’t have to do this. And yet I’m making usually less than $1,000 a month and can barely sustain myself at an age where my lao lao and lao ye had fought in a war, had children, and were career people.
I feel ugly because of how my body was framed from birth. My mother’s first words to me was that she had wished she had listened to my lao lao’s advice and never married that man. And she cried. My body was reshaped with knives by doctors who believed they could save me from bullying and being disabled. Instead, they left behind scars both inside and out. I was taught from a young age to hide my disabled body, to be ashamed. And yet all I want to do now is show it off. Shave off the sides of my hair so all can see who I am, what I am, surround my scars with ink so I can show them off. And yet I’m sure some of those looks I receive on the street aren’t filled with the joy I feel for the body that I’m taking back.
I feel ugly because my thick bones and the bounty of adipose tissue on my body are understood as something that needs to not exist. Like my disabled body, my body should not be fat. My fat body is told that it can’t take up space. It can’t take up space as a leader of an organization. It can’t take up space in clothing stores. It can’t take up space in someone’s heart. It can’t take up space in academic spaces. It can’t take up space on a stage with a packed audience. And it can’t take up space as additionally disabled, trans, mixed race, and queer.
I feel profoundly ugly because there are parts of me that are terrible. There are parts of me that want to make everyone miserable.There are parts of me that want to get revenge on the world by either razing the earth to the ground or taking over the world and becoming a dictator. There are parts of me that are the fucked up family that I was born into. There are parts of me that are just as oppressive as the dominant culture. There are parts of me that feel broken and unsalvageable and will scare off anyone who gets too close.
And there are days when life is too much. It feels like the world just wants me dead. The world doesn’t want me to be content and have nice things. The world wants me to be alone. The world wants to shut me away where no one can see me, or put me in a cage to be stared at by others. There’s no place for me to dream. My dreams aren’t important. My dreams have been crushed and my will to fight back has been too. I was not designed to be loved, to be cherished, to be human. Yet I feel. I dream of love. I dream of family. I dream of changing the world. I dream of fame and comfort. I dream of home and making a home for others that I care for.
I was designed to be a monster. I was designed to be a zombie, already dead but still walking. And the zombie is a threat to humans. The zombie has the power to convert humans. So the zombie should be killed. The death of a zombie is okay even if it looks like a human. The death of a zombie is something to be celebrated because it’s the removal of a threat to humans. And above all, humans are to be protected and cherished.
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