Self-Love is a Revolution

Above my bedroom wall you will see a piece of paper and written on it is Love Yourself. It serves as a reminder to do just that, love myself. There is no magic book, no magic cure to self-love. Self-love can only come from one source and that is you.

You are the person that is going to get yourself out of bed, that is going to look at yourself in the mirror and give yourself the love that you deserve. As a self-identified queer Xicana, it can be hard to wake up and see the beauty in myself. As anyone who identifies as a Latina in this world, it can be difficult to see the beauty of who they are when the world is telling them that their bodies, skin and language is not enough.

You have to realize that you are worthy of living, that you are capable of fighting your past and present and that you can give the love that you’ve always needed. Whether it be repeatedly going to therapy, setting your limits, telling others to respect your boundaries, taking some time off, exercising, writing your heart out, whatever it may be, do it.

According to Ovc.org (Office for Victims of Crime), it is possible that “by the year 2050, the amount of Latinas who have experienced some form of sexual violence could reach 10.8 million.” Toxic relationships, abusive households, are a result of this sexual violence. Let go of toxic relationships, people and places that give you no growth. Realize that you are made of pure gold and deserve the best. Self-love is not easy. You will fall down, you will relapse, and you will question yourself. And that’s okay. That’s more than okay. You are a complex, multidimensional human being and with that comes flaws, mistakes and regrets.

Remember that your being is a revolution. That your hair, your body, skin color, everything that you are made up of is a revolution. And when all aspects of your life are telling you otherwise realize that self-love is an extraordinary revolution.

And We’ll Keep on Dancing

On June 12, 2016, 49 Queer Latinx and Black people were killed in Pulse, a popular queer POC nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Several news outlets deemed it as the worst mass shooting in United States history. * As soon as the news was heard, several individuals and communities came together to host vigils for the 49 Latinx and Black Queer lives that were lost to violence. To grieve, to mourn, to be angry.

However, mainstream news outlets such as CNN automatically pointed to the mass shooter and his relationship with Islam. Conversations about gun control and Islamophobia were the main concerns about this tragedy. How about the deep homophobia that was the anchor of the shooting? How about the toxic masculinity that the shooter was obviously dealing with? How about the parents who’s biggest fear of losing their child to explicit queer violence actually came true? How about how ethnicity and race were at the forefront of this tragedy?

To all the beautiful queer Latinx lives that are no longer with us, to the lives that were lost to the homophobic violence, to the lives that got whitewashed by the mainstream media, your lives mattered and they still do. The queer latinx communities all over the world will never forget the beautiful, complex, and resilient lives that were dancing and living their queer Latinx lives.

Your lives will be honored by one of the greatest revolutions: dancing. Our souls will remember the fear and systemic violence that was enacted on our communities and dance with even more joy and resilience. We’ll dance the salsa, the bachata, the merengue with the bodies that we were given and always remember to be free whenever we have a chance. And we’ll honor you with honoring ourselves and our true queer, Latinx selves.

 *The Wounded Knee Massacre that happened in South Dakota in 1890 has been the worst massacre in the United States.