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Queerness in the Time of COVID-19: A Reflection on My Life and Art

TW// sexual assault

I came out to myself in my sophomore year in high school. And it wouldn’t be for another four years that I would come out as queer to my mother. I spent a lot of my time during the pandemic at home, as did a lot of other college students, and this gave me time to reflect on what did being queer means to me.

I define queerness as a radical act of defiance against the heterosexist capitalist State; queerness doesn’t solely reflect my “non-straightness,” but includes a political act of resistance. UNC went on lock-down in March 2020, and I was forced to go home to the town where I was sexually assaulted due to the threatening nature my queerness presented to disgusting straight men. So, of course, I was very triggered during my stay home, but I gave myself a lot of time to process my trauma and try to find ways to empower myself. I went to therapy more often and I increased the dosage of my anti-anxiety medication twice. I was taking care of myself physically but not spiritually and emotionally.

At the advice of my therapist, I began to write poetry more often, and I have to acknowledge the fact that some of my best work was produced during this time. Not only did I write about my trauma, but I also wrote about my queerness and just how powerful it was. Yes, my unreasonable attraction to the most unattainable men was a big subject in my work; however, I was the one taking control of my queerness, and no one could take that away from me. I was even able to earn funding for my creative writing over the summer! Oh, how I fell in love with my writing.

I wouldn’t imagine ever having to come out as trans to my family, but I came out to my mom. I don’t know how long I had been on hormones when we had that talk, but it was nice to be able to have a personal moment with the woman I admire the most in the world. Although I was happy being queer and trans, I began to realize just how vulnerable I became to further exploitation from heterosexism and capitalism. Being undervalued as a queer trans person scared me, but I found solace in the radical weight my life carried with it.

The COVID-19 pandemic taught me so much about my life and art, and I’m incredibly grateful for the introspection I was given. My erotic body and art aren’t pornographic, but powerful in the sense that I can derive as much pleasure as I can from it without the exploitative State having anything to say in the matter. I still have so much more time and space to grow into the Ideal Queer I want to be, and I’m excited to see how I turn out in the future. To the stars and liberation we go, my radical queers!

hello! i'm a 19 yo queer xicanx poet who also doubles as an undergrad student with anxiety problems. i promise i'm the realest clown you'll ever meet. catch me yelling about how much work i have to do for my women's and gender studies & english and comparative literature majors, and for my latina/o studies minor (jk, i love it all). i hope you enjoy my work!
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