- have a body.1
- abandon the gender you were assigned at birth.2
- name social structures which shape & govern your reality.
- name trauma. name the classes who inflict trauma on bodies like ours.
- remove a history book from its shelf and light a match.
- practice empathy.3
- walk naked into the street, demanding reparations.
- adopt english as a mother language, when you’ve no other choice.
- disobey the state by giving birth.
- talk in dialect, like you never left the motherland. learn to code-switch.4
- name the women you love & who love you.5
- design new vocabularies to voice your lived experiences.
- mourn the dead, thank them for what they left behind.
- demand what you are wrongly denied.6
- be vulnerable, sometimes. when it suits you. be kind.7
- protect what you love.
1 read: feminine, or other. a white body, for perceived vulnerability. a black or brown body for increased threat of violence, and structural vulnerability.
2 name your body’s sex characteristics after an old hollywood movie star or your gynecologist or your favourite day of the week: “touch my wednesday.”
3 say things like, “the moon & stars are all lesbians,” and “what’s your rising?” in public.
4 or, don’t.
5 mother, sister, friend, cousin, lover. we brush each other’s hair and hold marathon skype calls in mercury retrograde.
6 healthcare, free tuition, capital. space, light, love. longevity of life and work. your child’s safety; will he come home from the park?
7 your gentility, kindness, need not be universal, nor extend much further than the physical confines of your own body, if at all.
Kade Walker is a writer and artist based in South-East London, UK. She is studying an MA in Black British Writing at Goldsmith’s. Straddling multiple nationalities and heritages, she belongs nowhere, but she’s trying to make a home there.