DarkMatter Poets: Moving Past Trans and Gender Nonconforming Stereotypes | Mashable Docs


People are really fascinated in trans issues
right now. It’s like in and interesting. What only circulates about us is the most stereotypical
narratives and not actually the reality of what our lives are. The reality of our communities is one of incredible oppression. I am Janani. And I’m Alok. And together we’re Dark Matter. Over the past seven years now, we’ve been performing and writing together and we’ve
been touring together as Dark Matter for three. I think that there’s a thing that happens
when you’re a person of color or you’re trans or you’re LGT or whatever, where people think that all of your art has to be about your identity. It’s like I woke up and I eat trans breakfast cereal and then I had some South Asian coffee. People want us to say, like, we write about gender and we write about race. And it’s like, we do, but we also write
about, like, my ex-boyfriend or like being disappointed about life. People will want
to hear about our narratives of triumph, like, I overcame my dysphoria and now I’m living
this happy life, but we’re not actually allowed to talk about how violence against the majority
of trans and gender nonconforming people is an everyday reality, especially people of
color. Every single time I enter a subway train, everyone stops what they’re doing and
gawks at me. The world just has not often seen people who look like us and, unfortunately,
in this world when people don’t recognize something… Instead of being like, cool a new
idea! They’re like, what is that? Am I ready to get street harassed? Am I ready to be followed home? Am I ready to have people say extremely violent things to me? Am I feeling confident
enough in myself to be able to withstand someone telling me that I’m a piece of trash? These are the daily experiences of navigating the city, which is allegedly a “progressive safe haven”
as a gender nonconforming person. Gender becomes one of the ways that people’s access to very serious institutions, like, jobs and housing is regulated. There are much higher stakes to this than just people being allowed to express themselves. When I was a young person,
I had no one to actually tell me that I mattered and you internalize a lot of that. And I have to be clear there’s a crisis of suicide among our communities. Trans and gender nonconforming Asian Americans over 50% of us have attempted suicide. When you grow up your entire life
being hated by everyone, including your own family and your own people, of course you’re
gonna feel some sort of way, you know. Humor becomes a strategy by which we’re able to
turn something that’s like, are you serious like scary, whatever, into something where we hold at
least one of the cards and it’s the funny card. What about all the queers in prison, oh shucks,
we’ve been passing out the equal sign stickers the wrong way. When you turn them the convenient
right wing direction, they make a handy set of prison bars. Gay rights for prison strips. What about all the undocumented queer people? You know, the U.S. routinely deports hundreds
of thousands of them, but galle we don’t wanna ask if you don’t tell… about all the military
funding which creates new wars, which creates new migrants to begin with, but guess good
ole’ Uncle Sam didn’t tell you that when he ordained your wedding, now did cha? We need people, regardless if you’re trans or gender nonconforming, to show up for us. It goes such a long way, if someone comes up to me when I’m presenting this way on the street
and is like, “Hey I don’t know you, but I think you look great!” And I’ll be like, wow! Those moments of affirmation are so awesome and powerful for me. This has never happened,
but I dream of the day, where people, like just strangers, would like yell back at my
street harassers and be like, “That’s not okay!”

18 thoughts on “DarkMatter Poets: Moving Past Trans and Gender Nonconforming Stereotypes | Mashable Docs

  1. Their employment prospects declined when Barnum & Bailey shut down.

  2. Alok is an insult to actual trans people. There is nothing feminine nor womanly about "them." Alok's entire act is appropriative of the lives of actual trans people, and is nothing but a massive attention-seeking stunt.

  3. “Hated by his own family” there’s another video where he’s going on and on about how accepting his family was and how his auntie gave him bangles or some shit like that. Lying for the sake of his shitty narrative

  4. Love is the solution.
    Let them live, There not hurting anyone, Sheesh.💖😍

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