QUEER INDIGENOUS GIRL ISSUE 4 Curated/Edited & Cover Art by Se'mana Thompson
CONTACT IG: @misssemee Twitter: @QueerIndgnsGirl Submit: mysterygirl-moongirl.tumblr.com/submit Shop: queerindigenousgirl.etsy.com Published by queer indigenous girl press, O'Otham Jeved, Arizona, United States. Copyright 2017 Se'mana Thompson. All Rights Reserved.
Table of Contents Issue 4 - Liberation Ashanti Marshall Sharnya Tileiya Herbert Melanie Fey Neuctli T. James Heather C. Lou & Shyama Kuver Veronica Saucedo Jorden Nancy Cardenas Kai Minosh Pyle
Celina La Flaca Keysha Rivera Jon Rios
Identifying with my Mother: a Conversation about Fear Pretty Little Doll Santa Julia de Burgos, a Selfie White Boy Malleability Liberation Womxn of Color Don't You Know You Glow? Coyote Mother Tonantzin Soy Yo Squaw Man: A Métis History Lesson/mihkihkwan (hide scraper) Indigenous Burden Resistance 24k God
Identifying with my Mother: a Conversation about Fear by Ashanti Marshall/@anotetozami I think the biggest discrepancy surrounding my upbringing was that I had these expectations of what a mother is supposed to be and do. Realization has allowed me freedom to be like ‘Yo, you have really had these expectations and they’ve influenced how you’ve navigated - a progressive action that allows me to hold myself accountable in the change. Mom: “So why didn’t you hold yourself accountable in the beginning?” In the beginning, the reason to change was happening. Realizations take time. Understanding myself as a person is admitting - I’ve been working on figuring it out and I’ve been working on coming to myself, about what the truth is and letting the truth be. All these years, I’ve been avoiding myself. I didn’t want to know myself as the pain I had caused. I was fearful of extending myself the opportunity to be more because all I believed I could be was painful, destructive, hurt. Now that I’ve come into being truthful, I’m beginning to realize and accept that there are some things that I don’t like about myself, here’s how I got to this unlikeable portion of myself, considering if I am truly willing to commit to changing consistently for the better. I had convinced myself of the difficulty to be compassionate and just and the comfort of selfishness and narcissism. Once I married the idea of faith and change, I trusted new definitions of myself. Mom: “I have no tolerance for BS, negativity. People always have a motive; I’m defensive [and] offensive. I can’t [just] open up and let you in.”
Identifying with my Mother: a Conversation about Fear by Ashanti Marshall/@anotetozami If you’re not looking out for yourself, how can you expect somebody to look out for you? Even considering understanding, you give people standards on how to treat you because you can not be treated any kind of way. Mom: “And I owned that.” When did you know ‘it’ was yours? How did you come into it? What developed it? You know what sucks? Losing out on time, the feeling that years have been wasted with no recollection of memory. Mom: “It’s gone. It doesn’t matter, you move forward.” Can we? Are you open to it? Be patient with building or rebuilding trust because it comes from me wanting to expect you to be as I am right now - to desire the outcome with me, immediately as I feel it. But, my urgency doesn’t constitute change or action on your part. ‘Hey, if I’m open and I’m ready, let’s do it.’ And Mommy’s demeanor is ‘No, we’ve had histories of me giving you chances and you’ve squandered them. And because of this course of action, am I hesitant with you.’ I don’t have the range to ask you to trust me at my urgency because I haven’t had this urgency with you. I haven’t earned, I haven’t done the work, I haven’t even asked you ‘What is your work? What do I need to do to allow you the room to even begin to trust me?’ I’ve wasted so much time. I wasn’t lying when I said I never would be in my right mind if I didn’t admit to myself the facts of my destructive actions and be brave enough to attempt to rebuild. I can no longer be willingly proud of using people for my benefit and then discarding them like an object. This is not the function of relationships, community or communication.
Identifying with my Mother: a Conversation about Fear by Ashanti Marshall/@anotetozami People have the same feelings that I do. So if I cut my feeling off to people, I do myself a disservice just willfully existing when I could be full with life and be here, be present. I’ve missed out on life. Mom: “And that was your choice.” Knowledge is being open to understanding that you don’t know everything. And that comes from what our past is and how our ancestors created the influence that became us today. Our intelligence is that we have the bravery and the strength to be willing to understand, to extend our sincerest compassion. This takes a lot of trust as life skills function to teach and show gratitude to our unique and resilient survival. Mom: “So now that you comprehend thoroughly - it should have never even got[ten] to this point.” But, I don’t discredit anything that’s happened because at least I got here and at least I got here with you, presently. In your physical body, I can still reach out and touch you. I can still call you up. There’s still a possibility of establishing and maintaining a healthy relationship. It’s going to be work to rebuild twenty-two years of trust. Mom: “Not just with me. Because Mommy don’t live by herself, so that can’t just be with me. That has to be with every individual in this household.” I can’t singularly impact you without affecting the people that you love. The minute you decide to love somebody and be there for them, you have to be there for what is and what isn’t, all of their world too.
Identifying with my Mother: a Conversation about Fear by Ashanti Marshall/@anotetozami This is a huge responsibility and honor because you are yourself at the end of the day and that’s special and that’s important. The minute you decide to become something to somebody else, you alter them and yourself. For better or worse. Mom: “You kinda messed up but nothing can be unfixable.” That premature disbelief in your success as a parent was a direct response to my disbelief in truly owning up to my potential as a human being, even if that meant failing. This was the easiest way to relieve myself of the feeling and action of limiting myself and my potential. Fear was my unsafe safety net. Mom: “I never had disbelief in my success.” I did. I did! I projected this by speaking it to you, on your life because misery loves company. I didn’t want to be alone in my fears so I brought the closest person to me down with me. Mom: “You can be fearful but you can’t control my destiny. You can not say ‘Oh, you gon’ fail because I’m afraid to even try.’” That’s how afraid fear is. What an entry point, a way made, a possibility to believe.
Pretty Little Doll by Sharnya Tileiya/@Tileiya
You don’t love me, You love my aesthetic You don’t want me, You’re in love with the thought of me An idea of perfection that none can achieve You tell me how different I am from other women How beautiful, intelligent, well spoken and “perfect” I am You claim me as yours, without mutual agreement Like I’m some sort of conquest to be had Not a path to walk or a mountain to climb I feel like your property, a collector’s item A “Pretty Little Doll” sitting on your shelf You tell me not to move, Speak when spoken to “Don’t question those older than you” Sit and smile, wave , always be ladylike I have no sense of emotion, thanks to you I live as a slave in your precious variant “love” I’m not valued nor honored, my sacredness is no longer I exist only to please and serve you Be at your beck and call Sit straight, cross your legs, never frown at all Such a pretty little doll So quiet, timid and meek Public never knows you cry in your sleep All alone on your shelf Silently growing darker as the light of her soul goes out And her eyes dim Simmering with latent anger others experience through your distance
Pretty Little Doll by Sharnya Tileiya/@Tileiya
You’ve done this to me You’ve broken my being You’ve shattered my confidence You’ve initiated my anxiety You’re the reason I attach to those I trust so easily You’re the reason it’s hard for me to trust You’re the reason I have trust issues I learned from you How to be cold and heartless My disappointment and “attitude” is a creation of the damage you caused to my spirit, you destroyed my entire spectrum You treat me as anonymous A figment of one’s imagination I don’t exist in your reality, as I’m a reminder of your sins The sins you have yet to repent for but want me to forgive The sins you’ve left on my body That I have no choice but to deal with You’ve aided my hurt with every bruise and welt Lava hot water rising as I try not to weep “Go to sleep, little doll” it’s just another week
Santa Julia de Burgos, a Selfie byÂ Herbert
crawling toward the gold-fringed morning rain shatters on steps like sheets of glass I slipâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; on this peaty underbelly pierce my heart on the bottle that keeps me blood ribbons on obsidian pavement, my last star quenched houramber glazed purgatory prayinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; for entry into the infinite cerulean where I can finally be paper and holy water
White Boy by Melanie Fey/@sourpuss3000
There'll be no white boys coming to rescue me this time around My brown skin will stretch on miles and miles, I'll travel the distance all on my own Don't even bother unpacking your white boy dreams here at my house, my temple of curved flesh, made clean by generations of sun-kissed melanin I step out into the red, hot sand, brown heels dig into the earth and I drop the shawl of white boy savior I am free
Malleability by Neuctli/@lajaranera
Lusted by My skin the color of gold coveted by my conquistadors Eyes not a pale shade of indigo but a hue of honey so sickeningly sweet it could bring a thousand men to their knees Hair strong enough to prevail turbulent winds cast upon alien ships The moon my mother The sun my father The stars nothing but foreign cousins. The sky the grandfather i never had to which I look up to on days of despair A earthly being composed of a vicious cycle of death and life of the angelic/demonic, the good/narcissistic, the empathetic/ the indifference, the stale courage/vagrant fear two snakes fighting for the feeding hand Red rum words slipping from the tip of my tongue living in between my teeth, stuck between the gap of self control and sobriety Nectar dancing between my legs encapsulated in carnal thoughts venom infiltrated in every exchange of that alien The rivers of consciousness flow through my soul, only to be dammed by the mind and polluted by the heart. Island remnants of past errors clouded by smoke of this blunt but still my blood rages my skin the color of la tierra where my ancestors are buried my eyes their daggers My spirit strong enough to prevail the nastiest of tormentas and tormentors of the mind and of the soul My skin the color of gold
Liberation byÂ T. James/houseofyemanja.com
Do the work. You must always be willing to do the work. Reach down to the deepest parts of yourself. Pull out your demons. Your skeletons. The words that still haunt you. The wounds that still lay open festering. The delicate parts of you that were abandoned. Face them. Leave no parts of yourself untaken. Heal. It is the beginning of freedom.
Womxn of Color by Heather C. Lou (poet) & Shyama Kuver (artist)
womxn of color. you are brilliant. you are strong. you are fierce. you are resilient. you are powerful. you are valid. you are a force to be reckoned with. you are radical. you are the change maker. you are a challenger. you are complex. you are everything. you are creative. you are the weaving voices of your ancestors for liberation. you are enough. do not let them convince you otherwise. do not let them convince you otherwise. do not let them convince you otherwise.
Don't You Know You Glow? by Veronica Saucedo/veronica-saucedo.tumblr.com
Coyote Mother byÂ Jorden/@jordyquinn
Tonantzin Soy Yo byÂ Nancy Cardenas
Squaw Man: A Métis History Lesson/ mihkihkwan (hide scraper) by Kai Minosh Pyle
Indigenous Burden byÂ Celina La Flaca/@noodleofthedead
Resistance byÂ Keysha Rivera/@hoodsensitive
24k God byÂ Jon Rios/@ralyralz
ASHANTI MARSHALL is an essayist and digital archivist from Chicago, Illinois. They catalog and analyze various forms of literature and other medias at anotetozami.com. Their goal is to share room for and with the uniquely abled, the mentally ill, the fat, the femme, the brown paper bag black and blacker than that, the forgotten, the lonely, the tucked away within their existence. Respect and unconditional love is the root of their intersectional personhood. SHARNYA TILEIYA is an Afro-Indigenous woman of multiple cultures and is currently residing in South Carolina. She often speaks of her experiences as a Black WoC with a multiethnic background and is brutally honest about her upbringing/life as this. HERBERT (he/him/his) lives and works in Spanish Harlem at a senior social service agency non-profit helping older adults live independently for as long as safely possible. He is Salvadoran American and shares a birthday with Mariah Carey. MELANIE FEY is a Diné (Navajo) writer, zinester and Indigenous Feminist. She hails from the Navajo reservation Dinétah, Arizona but currently resides in Portland, Oregon where she works as a public library book minion. NEUCTLI (she/they) is a 19 year old queer artist, located in the capital of California. T. JAMES (she/her) is a poet who sometimes makes homes out of people. A woman who finds her way back home on the paths she has left on the spines of those who have touched her. Her favorite thing to do is create love in action and in words. She knows that the magic lies in words and intent. She is a woman interested in breaking down the social constructs of society. She is not looking to be seen. She wants to be felt.
HEATHER C. LOU, M.Ed. (she/her/hers) is an angry gemini earth dragon, multiracial, asian, queer, cisgender, womxn of color artist based in minneapolis, minnesota. her mixed media pieces include watercolor, acrylic, gold paint pen, oil pastel, radical love, & hope. each piece comments on the intersections of her racial, gender, & sexual identities, as they continue to shift and develop in complexity each day. her art is a form of healing, transformation, and liberation, rooted in womxnism and gender equity through a racialized borderland lens. find heather’s creations at: etsy.com/shop/hclouART SHYAMA KUVER (she/her/herself) is a radiant introvert. tender and fierce, she is a queer indo-fijian woman born and raised in san francisco, california, now living and learning in washington, dc. she is a self- and community-taught artist whose work focuses on our spiritual connectedness to each other and to other worlds – past, present, and future. her art explores nature, futurism, marginalization, decolonization, activism, politics and society, spirituality and prayer, selflove, and community. her passion and purpose is to depict the world of the soul in graphite and ink and to reflect the diverse and conflicting realities of the mind and spirit. priority: to believe in the power of love and playfulness, to encourage others to pursue their passions, and to always resist erasure. find shyama’s creations at: heartovercrown.com VERONICA SAUCEDO is a queer Xicana from Tacoma and is waiting for the clouds to stop blocking the sun. JORDEN is an Urbandigenous Writer/Blogger/Artist of the Schitsu'umsh Nation or Coeur d'Alene Tribe out of Plummer, Idaho. S/he was born in Coeur d'Alene but grew up in Seattle. S/he currently resides in London with her partner and child.
NANCY CARDENAS, born in Guadalajara, moved at a young age to San Diego with her family. She was born with Spina Bifida and has used a wheelchair for most of her life. She has an Art degree from SDSU and is currently working on her Masters in Chicanx Studies. She hopes to inspire & empower disabled brown women through art & activism. KAI MINOSH PYLE (they/them/theirs) is a MĂŠtis/Anishinaabe writer and disabled 2spirit geek. They currently are living and learning in the homelands of the Dakota people. CELINA LA FLACA is an aesthete/academic who works in animation, film, and TV. Their work is largely inspired by their Mexican, Japanese, and German heritages. They love to explore intersections and grey areas with their work. KEYSHA RIVERA (she/her) is an Afro Taino descendant, femme, queer bruja living in Massachusetts. She focuses on Sumie Ink pieces. JON RIOS is an artist from Colorado. Follow him on IG and FB: Rios Art and Design.
About the Editor Se'mana Thompson
Yá'át'ééh. Shi éí Se'mana Thompson yinishyé. Kin łichii'nii nishłį dóó bilagáana bashíshchiin. Kiis’áanii dashicheii dóó Naakétł'áhí dashinalí. Ákót'éego diné asdzáán nishłį. Gila River Indian Community dęę' naashá. Hello. I am called Se'mana Thompson. I am of the Red House People (my mother's clan) and I am born for the White People (my father's clan). My maternal grandfather's clan is the Hopi People and my parental grandfather's clan is the Flat Foot People (Pima aka Akimel O'Otham). In this way I am a Navajo woman. I am from the Gila River Indian Community. I am the creator and editor of queer indigenous girl, a zine by and for queer, trans, 2-spirit, non-binary, neurodivergent, chronically ill and disabled black, indigenous, people of color. I also edit the zines Black Indigenous Boy and Decolonizing P@renting. I am an artist, queer disabled femme and mother of two children (7 & 10) who happen to be the creators of Black Indigenous Boy.