How We Could Speak with Our (Queer &or Trans &or non-binary &or Black &or African descent &or Brown &or Indigenous &or Mixed &or Adopted) Children
by Tara Miller
When you introduce yourself, pronounce your name without pause, speak from your belly, think it clear.
On days you wake up feeling small, unsure, and unworthy of your gifts, whisper three gratitudes to your pillow, write your dreams in the air with your tongue.
Don’t fight every battle.
Listen more often than you teach, but don’t stand or sit there when told your experiences are not valid, your story is wrong.
Know that you will be told your experiences are not valid.
Know that you will feel your story is wrong.
This is how you let your body move.
This is how you allow yourself pleasure.
This is how you give yourself permission to love.
Learn your history when you’re ready.
Find your family when they deserve to be found.
When your friend asks how your mamas made you, say, love.
When your friend says your skin is brown, say yes.
When your friend tells a classmate to go back to where he came from, take your classmate’s hand and say welcome
or, I know you have always been here
or, take me to your grandmother’s home in Ohio.
Don’t be silent.
Be comfortable with silence.
This is how you take up space.
This is how you grow me.
This is how your mama and I love each other.
This is how you wash your laundry, do your dishes, clean your room, water the plants, in our house.
Hold mama’s hand when she cries.
Tell her you love her.
Tell me you love me.
Ask your grandmothers and aunties what they taught us. Ask your mothers what our mothers and aunties taught us.
Ask us what we wish we knew.
Be honest to yourself about what you want: out of life, to eat, to feel, to do in this world. Honor whatever it is, without judgment. Give yourself whatever it is you need. This is a process that takes time. It is the process of getting to know yourself, getting to know your body – without judgments or assumptions – learning to let all the parts of you be what they are.
Face them, hear them, know them, and find peace in letting them be.
Many of us work against ourselves – denying us pleasure, fulfillment, and fullness. This is no way to find peace. We are working for peace within our bodies and ourselves to reconnect us to our power center. We are learning how to listen to ourselves and honor our needs and desires.
Be kind, be gentle, be love, be open.
Enjoy your body.