Serena Daniari’s (beautiful, powerful) Voice

I thought about where I was Friday night, not all that far from where Serena was attacked.

I thought about my subway ride home, late, how the car was full of men, how I tried not to be afraid.

How grateful I was to travel with a friend.

I searched for Serena Daniari, and I found story after story about the violent attack.

I learned she is a journalist.

She is supposed to write the story, not be the story. (“Sacrifice begets visibility.”)

But what we pay attention to, grows.

I read some articles she’s written. If I focus on stories she’s written, essays she’s written, maybe that’s what will grow, not the violence against her, against us.

Please read some.

She is so much more than the violence that’s been done to her.

She is also beautiful. What we call #goals.

I thought about when it happened, how I was seeing a friend’s show, and in our pre-show banter, my voice slipped a little. (Don’t catch you slipping now.)

Not much, but enough that the woman beside me noticed and started paying attention to me.

Staring, really. We call it ‘clocking.’

I could feel her curiosity on my skin.

You never know if it’s benign. If there is a benign.

I thought about passing. Sometimes, when I think of the safety of passing, I hear:

“When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.”

I hear this though I am not religious.

I thought about how well Serena used social media to rally what justice she could.

From the representative, from the mayor, from the governor, from all the cis men with power.

Sometimes people tell me how lucky I am to live in New York City.

As if anywhere is safe.

I’m writing a play about trans werewolves who use their power to establish a sovereign trans nation where we can be safe, be free.

I wish they were here, that pack of trans werewolves.

Queer and fierce and stronger than you.

I thought about vocal surgery, and facial feminization surgery, both of which Serena has written about beautifully (read what she has written, not just what has been written about her).

How difficult it is to get our medical care covered. How our care is considered ‘cosmetic.’

As if passing through the fires unburned is anything but life or death.

Werewolves, walk with Serena and with us all. Let us pass through the rivers and not be overwhelmed. Let us walk though flame unkindled.

Let all the clocks shatter so we may be seen.

Read her, please. See us whole. Let what we pay attention to grow.

Published by CorinnaSchulenburg

Artist and Activist

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