there was a time they called us dragons, our breath hot and searing against tender flesh, our destructive power rivaled only by their own. in us they planted their worst nightmares: visions of a world engulfed, a Childless future, exploitation ground to a halt by the wrench of us caught in their works. when we were dragons our iridescent scales shimmered like rainbows in the sunlight and we lived together in the skies, without having to search for each other in park restrooms or on abandoned piers, without our ancestors having had to cross borders or die to colonizers or traverse oceans chained in the belly of ships heavy with dark bodies. we were more than the harbingers of their civilization’s demise, the mythic embodiment of their anxious death drive. we were families sewn from remnants, brittle but unbroken, scarred and surviving. we were the spark that ignited the flames of renewal, the tolling bell for the tyranny of the true. we were mythical, imaginary. not here, but there. not now, but then.
in this time they call us unfit, unreal, unworthy of life and liberty, unwilling to participate in the pursuit of Happiness. we, who love unabashedly, whose joy is unfettered by propriety, unregulated by chronology. we, who despite the binding of time to our flesh still shimmer with the brilliance of a rainbow, our scales faintly visible underneath the myriad of forms we can take: all human, all magnificent. we are so much more than capitalist-sponsored parades down gentrified roads paved on cis-white supremacy and pocked with ableism. we are the singular potentiality of a future yet unrealized, the roiling plasma current of a universe’s impending birth. they call us out of our names because they fear what we once were, what we will be, what we represent. we are the end of Happiness and the beginning of bliss.
in another time they will call us .
this name is not pronounceable by any language spoken today, twisted as these tongues are by the master’s tools, the colonizer’s sludge coating each molecule of the air we breathe. we are too heavy, now, too weighted by oppression, to visualize exactly what we will become. just know that when it is time, our name will flow from your lips as easy as a lingering kiss on a sun-soaked beach, as light as a goodbye kiss after a first encounter, as unnoticeable as flyaway hair in your mouth when you’re making out under the stars. the we of the future is the We, the spectrum of humanity: black and brown and indigenous and desi and white, queer and straight and cis and trans and men and women and femme and butch and every gender in the rainbow of Us. those of us who are cloaked in Whiteness shed that false skin with its stink of supremacy and become new, in connection with our ancestors, with reparations in hand for those we harmed, ready to be ecstatically merged into We. once we make ourselves whole, the systems that contain us into a form less bombastic, less revolutionary, less fabulous, crumble and fall at our feet. as if by magic, we are safe at last.
and what do we do? we throw a party atop the ruins, a javelin through the affective force field of the present, a slingshot from the past into the future. today, tomorrow, yesterday, we are sweaty under the lights, bodies of all shapes and sizes moving as one, breath heaving with every beat, and can you hear one of our voices shouting from a lifetime ago the revolution is here! even though it turned out it wasn’t there yet? it’s here, now. this is the revolution, a time and place we can’t even articulate, can barely imagine, but are grasping for, struggling towards each day together when we dream of a world where liberation is more than a marketing tool, where our lives and loves are exalted, where capitalism and imperialism and cisheteropatriarchy and ableist colonialist white supremacy no longer threaten the survival of not just queers and trans folks but all humanity. this is the revolution, a wish uttered five decades in the past and manifested numberless years in the future.
i can’t wait to see you then.
this piece is dedicated to and inspired by the amazing fierce queers i met in professor hakopian’s queer futurity class at UCLA. i’m honored to have spent my last quarter with such a radical group of young folks & i have such hope y’all will seize your joy and never let it go.