Super Queer Open Mic, June 22 at the Center for Sex and Culture
“I was born at the Queer Open Mic” - Dana Morrigan.
Nothing says milestone like your first feature—featuring for the first time anywhere; Amy Dentata and Dana Morrigan! Both of these writers and performers have been regulars at Queer Open Mic for the past couple of years and have work shopped and strengthened their writing chops at our shows. We couldn’t be prouder of giving them their first gigs.
Come celebrate QOM’s 8 years of unearthing & empowering new queer voices in this Super Open Mic Anniversary show! Also don’t miss special guests, from past host/founder Cyndi Emch to Daphne Gottlieb and Regie Cabico – professional queer artists that have changed the world of spoken word, who have also featured at our show! Might you be the newest discovery? Sign up at 7:30pm to get a 5 minute slot and show us what you got!
BUY TICKETS! Brown Paper Tickets Link: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/246331
[TW: Childhood sexual abuse, rape, cissexism]
Apparently I’m staying up late online to avoid bad dreamemories and flashbacks. When I sleep I inevitably return to the scene(s) of the crime(s), over and over again. My father, the men who bought me, the women who used me, the other children who took their pain out on me, the shame I internalized…
We are approaching a precipice. Central to the core, the inner place we are heading toward full-speed, is a feeling of shame over being sexual. I was raped, which made me a precociously sexual child. Once the switch is turned on, it cannot be turned off. The switch would have turned on by itself in my teen years or slightly before, but instead it was forced on much earlier. I felt different than other children, an alien. While other children asked their parents to buy them toys, my father allowed men to buy me. I had a sex life and sexual desires when other children only knew of wooden blocks and tickle fights.
I acted on those desires spontaneously as any child seeks satisfaction for bodily needs. When this happened in private, among my abusers, they welcomed it. They had groomed me for this behavior. When this happened elsewhere, I was shamed and punished. The general public had groomed me for a different behavior. Neither cared for my actual needs.
I was a female, born with a penis and assigned male at birth. This became evident to others–albeit through the distorted lens of the cis gaze–via my natural, unaffected behaviors. When I acted naturally in private, among my male abusers, they welcomed it. As a feminine child with feminine tastes and behaviors, I appealed to their misogynist urges and heterosexist neuroses. When I acted naturally elsewhere, they shamed me. As a feminine child with feminine tastes and behaviors, I threatened the general public’s codependent sexual identities and irrational models of gender. Neither cared for my actual needs.
Those who raped me encouraged my natural behavior. The rest of the world? The ones assumed to be the “good ones” in this false-binary model of child abuse? They shamed me, erased me, replaced me with a fiction. Those who hurt me were the only ones who didn’t hurt me.
How is a five-year old supposed to tease that apart?
There were no good people in my childhood. There were people who abused me physically, people who abused me sexually, people who abused me emotionally… And then there were people who abused the very core of my existence.
I was sexually obsessed. Children aren’t supposed to be sexual. And even then, sex is bad and perverted and immoral. Therefore, I must be a freak.
All I knew of sexuality was rape. The two were equal in my mind. Yet, I was a sexual being. I had sexual needs. Therefore, I must be a rapist.
I consciously decided to never initiate physical contact. I kept my distance from other girls for fear of my shameful urges taking over. I was seven.
I grew from a precociously sexual child into a hypersexual teen. With no tools for communication, no ability to trust, and a completely shattered concept of self. I masturbated constantly at home. I fantasized throughout the entire school day. I even masturbated a few times in class. I must be a freak.
I knew I wasn’t a boy, but I wasn’t allowed to be a girl. By the time I reached sex ed class, I no longer felt human. I was an outcast. Sex ed dealt with humans. It taught me nothing about sex. And the curriculum contained zero instances of the word “consent”. But that didn’t matter, because I wouldn’t make the first move. I must be a rapist.
Instead, the girls come on to me. I enter a relationship. I am forced into the boy role by my girlfriend, just as I was by the women who raped me as a child. To deal with those women, I had developed a coping strategy: Come on to them first. “If I’m asking for sex, it can’t be rape. If I initiate, I am in control, not them.” Or so I could pretend.
I didn’t make the first move this time, so I could make the second and third move. Despite my broken mirror self-image, which had shattered so thoroughly as to become sand, our relationship progressed into physical intimacy like any other American teenage couple. First base, second base, shortstop. Then, on the school bus going home one evening, third base.
All of these were mutual and consensual. Play ball. My fears alleviated, I must not have been a rapist after all. I allowed myself to be spontaneous again. We shared many more sexual encounters, most of them in the back of the school bus.
Then, a hole in my memory. Arguments. Distance. Separation. Imminent breakup. I learn post-mortem that only our first trip around the diamond was consensual. Sex ed never taught me that silence doesn’t mean yes. I am a rapist. I am my father. I am my sister. I am my brother. I am a rapist.
I am fourteen years old.
My therapist reassures me that this is a very common teenage blunder. That teenagers are still learning about communication and these mistakes are bound to happen. That I didn’t mean to hurt her, and was in fact going out of my way to not hurt anybody.
If only my therapist had been there for my fourteen year-old self, instead of my thirty year-old one. If my therapist had been there, maybe that fourteen year-old girl wouldn’t have shattered yet again. Maybe she would have developed only 50 alters instead of 100+ motes of dust. Maybe she would have forgiven herself sooner. Or maybe not. My ex is still friends with me. I still don’t understand why.
Now I am thirty, and the roll call list has shrunk. Much of the damage has healed. And now I approach this new precipice, that is in fact the oldest. That original shame. Sex. And I have learned from my recovery process. I have tools, I have communication, I have the language of consent. I have self-love. And I have a plan. It is already working as predicted.
Sex was secret, shameful, abusive. Now I crave spaces where sex is open, celebratory, consensual. Where trust can be built. Where that child can be her spontaneous, glorious, radical, sexual self without fear of self-harm or harm to others. Without shame. Without fear. She broke into a million pieces and reshaped herself from dust. I am proud of her. I am proud of myself.
Hey people visiting san francisco for pride, ride with homobiles instead of homophobic cab companies
We are on yelp!