An open letter to Amy & Queer Femmes of Color

To: Amy & Queer Brown Girls,

I was born in San Salvador, El Salvador in the last few years of war - my mami went into labor during a 24 hour curfew 3 months early on December 27th 1989. I was meant to be a warrior from birth. I’ve fought for my life since the moment I came into this earth - I have always had the odds against me. I have also always had my ancestors with me - carrying me with their light through moments of complete obscurity. I have never known a time without violence -I felt it against the land in my mother’s womb. She tells me my lungs were underdeveloped. I stayed in the hospital for almost 3 months after on machines helping me develop them. I always feel a punch on my ribs when I allow myself to look back on my life and realize that I have survived the unimaginable so many times it is no surprise that I am here now - 28 with peace of mind for the first time. Peace of mind I have to protect at all times - peace of mind I can’t find some days, but peace of mind that stays in divinity with me. I was 5 years old in a shoe store with my mom staring at a tan pair of “Caterpillar” boots begging her to buy them. She would look at me handing me a hideous pair of black Mary Jane’s for school while saying “No! Eso es para niños”. I wanted the boots because it would match the fantasy I had as a little girl in my head - in the food court of the mall there was a little construction tractor I always asked my mom to let me ride- she did (surprisingly) I imagined myself going to “work” and having a "wife". It’s what I saw on tv - the novelas my mom watched always had the sweet beautiful girl in love with a masculine image. I wanted to be like them because I wasn’t interested in them. In this life I have also never known a time where I didn’t know I loved women. It was never not normal to me until I was 13 in the middle of gym realizing I had been outed by a boy who was friend’s with the only friend I had confided in to tell what I never knew the language to. I was gay. I had a name for it. I felt every stare, heard every whisper, and felt every little rock thrown at me during that mandatory track day. Girls would tell me not to look at them.


This world has been trying to teach me that I would never know love the way I saw it and felt it. I have never been told love could be divinely feminine. I fought to be able to know that too. The common thread in my life. I never saw my love growing up I never saw it on TV never heard it on the radio in songs I could sing along to. I didn’t see brown girls in love with each other - being soft and vulnerable, I didn’t see girls like me who struggled with what I had struggled with getting to “fall in love”. Everything was toxic and heteronormative. I was resentful of “straight love” because I didn’t understand how I was supposed to believe straight culture was normal. All romantic comedies, all comedies, all movies/tv that involved love had really toxic storylines that are romanticized because we are taught that love has to be difficult/ tragic / unkind / mediocre. I was angry that my love for a woman was questioned or made invisible and invalid, but the enormous amount of emotional labor women perform in these films & real life was normalized. I keep bringing up images because they are a part of what shapes a lot of our experiences. Now that I have fallen in love responsibly, intentionally, wholesomely, and so genuinely for the first true time I feel a new kind of necessity to create our stories. Our beautiful queer stories full of color. Queer love is sacred - it is the purest form of godliness in love. I’ve had a very rough road to love it hasn’t always felt easy for me. It was not easily accessible. I met love my guides have been preparing me for my whole life at 27- my golden year in a woman they led me to. It has been the most profound journey outside my self that I’ve taken.

 Falling in love truthfully without pretenses has required me to be present - to be fully vulnerable to all consequences. I have learned how truly revolutionary it is for girls like us to love so unapologetically & to allow ourselves

to be adored

to show our love.


Amy,

If you could feel the way my heart has made a home in you - you’d feel the warmth in my chest that drips like warm cinnamon & honey on my ribs every time you lay your head on my chest - your jaw resting right below my heart. I know that God has placed me between fire & serenity in your arms. I have trusted every step walking alongside you for the past year being  completely dedicated to growing this love, to knowing how to care & love you better and how you want to be loved- this love that blooms in every crevice of my being. Most of my life has felt like the tv surfing through a thousand channels - when you meet hands that touch your skin and make it feel like you finally fixed the antenna - you see the clear picture - the sounds suddenly make sense. En este momento en este dia contigo yo siento la precensia profunda de la tierra entre tus manos - todos los dolores que me traen a tus pies. Todo los rios que cruze para llegar aqui.  I know the rain on your skin - I know the sound of your hips when you’re mine. I know the arch of your back by heart. I know all the roads that have led me to hold this gift. I know the cherry & peach trees we’ll have with our babies in a house built out of honesty & time.




___________________________________________________

It takes time to unlearn patterns set for us, to be ready to receive & give love, but when it comes for you -let it be- let yourself be wrapped around its glory. You are meant to be exactly where you are. Let the soft parts of you be soft. Tell your stories, write them down, document the times you felt free to hold space for your love to be the loudest voice in the room. Your queer body is sacred. Your queer love is sacred. Your queer experiences are sacred.

In a world where we are not taught to love - with patience we teach ourselves and each other. 

You are resilience that only grows among flowers. 

Love is kind & love is ours.


Johanna

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