My child asked me this morning, at 10 years old, “Mommy, am I pretty?” and I want to cry. It’s a question that is inevitable and is too powerful. I have to say yes but I also say “You are more important than Pretty”
Pretty.. I wish I could say it doesn't matter, but I made a career of my pretty, my pretty enough. For so long, I was pretty on the outside and so fucking ugly, mean, and sad on the inside... When I see pretty, mean girls, I get it. I remember. You hurt because you were hurt and it all hurts when we are measured by PRETTY. Beyonce sang it best, but we've ALL (feminists and all the women artists/poets/singer since time began) been saying this same line for so long and will continue to say, because it's a cultural disease that isn't going away anytime soon. PRETTY HURTS.
I have stopped posting photos of my kids on social media and I will try to keep them from accessing Facebook and social media platforms as long as possible, knowing how these platforms are causing more pain to young girls than those supermodel magazines did to me and my generations. (Kate Moss led us all into starvation of self worth).
I am always posting about my work and community, but don't ever doubt that MOTHER is the most dear role I play in this world and in this lifetime. It's cliche' but... everything I do, I do for them. I wish I could always shield them, protect their bodies and minds with my own, but I know that, as they are full-fledged tweens now, the harshness of the world is upon them and our dark blood magic is flowing. But still I frantically carve at the world's edges, hoping to smooth a gentler space, sowing seeds of joy.
And always this goal, too:
One day, when the inevitable bully tells them that their mother is a whore, I hope that they will reply, "Fuck Yeah." -from my IWD speech 2019
Photo by Aeric Meredith Gordon
I've always wanted to be in The New Yorker-- my writing, that is. But my first appearance is as the subject in a thorough piece by Emily Witt. I'm proud to be part of it.
Read New Yorker Article HERE
We ask for sex workers
to have a voice in the government;
equality in social life;
and a place in the trades and professions, where we earn our bread,
because of our birthright to self-sovereignty;
because, as Americans, we must rely on ourselves.”
This speech is adapted
from a women’s rights speech of 1892.
It still holds true for all the people gathered here today.
Bodily autonomy and freedom to earn a living/livelihood is the American way.
We are not just outsiders.
We are part of the American fabric.
There would be no GAY PRIDE
without the blood and sweat of Brown Skinned Trans Sex Workers.
They ignited a movement for LOVE to WIN.
Stand with us to fight hate,
to fight violence,
to fight for basic human rights.
I am a sex worker and I am YOU, America.
I am a queer, first generation Chinese American.
I am your daughter. I am your sister.
I am a spouse. I am a mother.
I am a caretaker of an elder.
I care deeply about the victims of exploitation and trafficking.
but sweeping a whole society of workers
under a blanket of censorship and criminalization
escalates the violence done to all.
Shame and Silence equals death.
Feminists, Stop Shaming Me.
Liberals, Stop Saving Me.
GAY PRIDE, Stop ignoring me.
I am a tax payer, a voter.
I am on the PTA. I am a mother of two girls.
I care deeply about their future.
I stand here, not just for myself and for all of you,
I stand here for my daughters
so that one day when someone says to them “Your mother is a whore,”
They answer “Fuck Yeah.”
Solitude of Self (1892) – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
“The strongest reason why we ask for woman a voice in the government under which she lives; in the religion she is asked to believe; equality in social life, where she is the chief factor; a place in the trades and professions, where she may earn her bread, is because of her birthright to self-sovereignty; because, as an individual, she must rely on herself.”