woman off colour • person of culture

 the (in)visibilised is politicised

"I am not superwoman. My mother is not superwoman. My mother’s mother is not superwoman. I am, we are, soft. Can shatter. Crumble in your hands. Our survival does not mean we prosper. We are like other women but unlike them. So do not tell us we can handle anything. We only seem like superwoman, a figment of your imagination, because you have forced our lives to be perpetual labor with only seconds of relief. If we carry the world on our shoulders and the children on our backs, what are we but your glorified mules slapped with guilt praises of perseverance and strength. Our bones and our blood and our sweat have built the wealth of nations. Our burial should not be the first time we rest."

— Yasmin Mohamed Yonis (via what-do-u-wanttt)

(Source: ethiopienne, via processedlives)

Feel the texture of your hair. Trace the outline of your face. Clench your fists. Breathe into your hands and feel your warmth. Pinch your legs. Stretch your arms.

Depression causes us to negate ourselves and so I fall back to these little routines to keep myself grounded and assure myself that I do exist.

Thus my body becomes my salvation, even though it has contributed to my demise.

dialled the suicide prevention lifeline number, but hung up when the recorded message mentioned that they’re also serving the veterans’ crisis centre.

that’s just too much shit to unpack about militarism, mental health, isolation and state-manufactured brokenness.

I want to destroy something; preferably myself.


Let me be clear where I do not offer my body, where we as women do not offer our bodies: as sexual sacrifice. To men. To men of color. To African or Afro-Diasporan men to “feel better” from the horrors of colonization. We—women and men—have endured them together, and we fight them together, but we women will not be your soft landings, your buffer zones, your intimate tissues where you reach into us and let us absorb the tears you are too cowardly or discouraged or numb to shed. Grieve, dammit! We cannot win against colonization if you are constantly betraying us and our movements by accepting the blood money of patriarchal entitlement to our bodies.

Our bodies are not soft couches for you to lounge on but hard desk chairs for you to learn from: learn the lessons from our bodies. Women know how to grieve. Women know how to hold each other in sorrow. Men need to learn these lessons—how to turn to each other in sorrow, how to reveal their broken, brown hearts to each other—or you will keep turning to us, to our women’s bodies, with a glint in your eye, a groping arm in your sleeve, your too-close breath smelling of the colonizer’s rotting humanity. Stop betraying us, yourselves, our movements, and our people with your misogyny and cowardice. Heal.


— Aya de Leon, “In Praise of Shailja Patel and Calling Out Sexual Predators in Our Movements”

"The Prophet once said that dreams are a window into the unseen. I have been told many times by family, friends, colleagues and strangers that I, a black African Muslim lesbian, am not included in this vision; that my dreams are a reflection of my upbringing in a decadent Western society that has corrupted who I really am. But who am I, really? Am I allowed to speak for myself or must my desires form the battleground for causes I not care about? My answer to that is simple: ‘no one allows anyone anything.’ By rejecting that notion you discover that only you can give yourself permission on how to lead your life, naysayers be be damned. In the end something gives way. The earth doesn’t move but something shifts. That shift is the layman’s lingo for that elsuive state that lovers, dreamers, prophets and politicians call ‘freedom’."

— Diriya Osman, ‘Fairytales for Lost Children’

I thought that a change of place, a change of scenery, a change of routines, might help in making the depression more manageable and in quelling the suicidal voices. But in fact it makes them even more jarring.

I miss the safety and comfort of the routines I had created the little sensory acts I would rely on to keep myself grounded. But without that sense of familiarity, I feel very fragile and vulnerable.

"possessing a female body is weird: discursively, my body doesn’t entirely belong me. it never has. when i was a minor, it belonged to my father (see: the idea of purity pledges where young girls pledge their virginities god and their father, “the high priest of the home”). as i grow older, it will belong to my partner, as female sexuality ultimately serves to complement the male counterpart, but only in moderation. now, my black female body belongs to me even less: it belongs to the state and to science (see: henrietta lacks and the black female bodies on whom experimentation helped to advance our knowledge of human physiology) to the white gaze, to society (see: miley cyrus and the myriad other individuals and institutions who reduce black women to an aggregate of consumable physicality and profoundly untrue stereotypes). when you really get around to unpacking the gendered politics around the corporal ownership of female and feminised bodies, it’s understandably difficult to love yourself. particularly when your sexuality is being policed and we’re made to feel shamed and scandalised by it"

Zoe Samudzi, nudes and female corporal ownership

read it!

"I propose that queer activism, culture, and its scholarship should be grounded in the lived experiences and strategies of those who do and do not necessarily identify as gay, lesbian, or queer. This means subjects who reside within and at the periphery or the margins of a globalised epistemology of gay and human rights discourse."

— Alicia Izharuddin, “Double marginalisation: postcolonialism, queer studies and decolonisation as metaphor

De-Stabilizing the Emergent Binary of Empowered Girl vs. Muslim Girl

Producing Malala as the exception is a technique of power. Exception proceeds by individualizing and abstracting her from the local environment and cultures, and connecting her positive attributes to another source, such as her formal education, desire for success, and ambition. Her courage is, then, not read as grounded in local cultural practices that valorize social justice. Instead, she is positioned as a singular force against local customs and cultural elements. Marking Malala as the exception sustains the trope of the “oppressed Muslim girls” against which the concept of “empowered girls” is maintained. The discourse on empowered girls, thus, rearticulates Malala in its own terms, and distances her from other Muslim girls. She is made simultaneously to stand in for, represent and symbolize the oppressed Muslim girls, and positioned as the empowered girl who is not one of them. It denies other Muslim girls similar forms of empowered subjectivities. More importantly, it sustains the façade of Islam as an oppressive religion, making interventions—such as through universal education of girls, or empowerment projects—necessary and even ethically imperative

fr muslim girls who considered suicide when the ummah wasnt enuf


fr mariam , khadijah, fatima, hajar, alla , yall,

fr our communities that hold us, 

recite algebraic formulas against evil eye

2 × al fatiha plus 3 astaghfirallahs =

your eyelashes wont fall out

written with such love and concern

fr when we struggle w them

against islamophobia , 

racism , the revolution

do our dawah n make

dua fr you, me, the deen

thinkin abt the dirty linen

we spent all night

folding with our teeth clenched…

this is fr the muslim girls who are nvr

gna marry  

fr the ones who infuse their every day

w islam but still 

arent muslim enuf fr

the ummah

fr the ones who cldnt wake up

to pray because they cldnt

get out of bed

fr the ones who feel like khadijah would understand their hustle but that imam jones wont, fr the ones wearing hijab because its easier than not, the ones who want to and the ones who are tired of talking about it all again, 

the ones in the short skirts and the ones in the lime green abayas , fr the ones in all black, fr the ones who know how to cover up a black eye before the halaqa, 

fr the times we wondered if rape counts as zina, and if it’s double sins because it happened inside the ummah,  

fr the ones who cut themselves open to feel sumthin already lost

fr the ones who skip prayers to smoke, who dont pray unless reciting al fatiha during sex , fr the ones who dont want to talk abt sex 

the ones holding hands in the mall, not bc theyre cuzins but cuzz they find luv in it, the ones who find revelation in the lines of their sweaty palms after reading poetry, playing music, singin more than nasheeds

this is fr the muslim girls who want more than taqwacore, who are stuck somewhere between gnawan night visions in moroccan dance clubs, beanpies n biryani street corners, the ones struggling to fuse worlds apart into peace be upon you and pieces be into me

the ones who experience violence

bt never said alhamdulillah

who arent humble or thankful or patient

fr the ones who are sick of ur shit

bt are too exhausted to say it

we survive on intimacy and inshallah’s,

our spirits are too ancient to understand

the separation of god n growth, 

my faith is too delicate to have thrown back on my face, my faith is

too beautiful to have thrown back on my face, my faith 

is too raw to have thrown back on my

face, my faith is too magnificent to have

thrown back on my face, my faith

is too magical to have

thrown back on my face,

my faith is too pure. 

too mine,

too nuthin,

too everythin, 

to us,

to have thrown

back on my



"Israel is well aware that using sexuality as tool of extortion and entrapment strengthens the fabricated link between non-heteronormative sexualities, practices, and identities and Israeli colonial oppression in the eyes of a broader Palestinian public. Indeed, this pervasive linking of non-normative sexuality and Palestinian collaboration has become a term and identity of its own in the Palestinian imaginary and reality: isqatat [publicly discrediting a person on supposedly moral grounds].

While it is sometimes true that Israel succeeds in using sexuality as a lever to coerce some Palestinians into becoming collaborators, this is not the primary way in which collaboration is enlisted, nor is it the only option for living a viable queer life in Palestine. This false connection with Israel and collaboration associates queer people with treason, dishonesty, untrustworthiness, and fraudulence, and therefore works to substantiate a very specific kind of homophobic fear within Palestine."

— Statement by alQaws for Sexual & Gender Diversity in Palestinian Society

Reading “The Color Purple” again

Reading “The Color Purple” again


i think ppl fail when they try to put my experiences in the context of larger narratives abt queerness and islam, sex and sexuality bc its too fused together for that to work
i am constantly surprised by ppl who i consider to be close friends who explain my erratic actions and behaviors via flat narratives abt coming out and acting out as a sign of immaturity or not healing the right way. im always shocked by how pervasive linear narratives of healing become internalized to the point where i cant share my craziness and contradictions w those that i trust n love w o them attempting to copy and paste those complexities into a framework of lung constricting heart censoring overly intellectualized pathologized discourse