The ABC’s of Life: Authority, Borders & Constructs

Nhawndie Smith (Greensboro, NC)

I denounce the state for its continued violence on the oppressed. I denounce capitalism, the ways it exploits labor, consumes bodies and lays waste globally. I denounce colonization in all forms, specifically the false ownership of native lands. I denounce the repression of sex positivity and gender roles. I denounce the nuclear family and understand that communities of love exist beyond blood. I denounce the social constructs that do not allow us to coexist and know freedom.

My family, friends and strangers I do not know have been criminalized and killed for not having the correct skin color, gender, religion or class. Authority restricts my ability to move my body and express my full self, white supremacy and cis-heteronormativity has influenced me to be an oppressor to my kin. Borders has caused me to forget the histories of the places I am privileged enough to travel to and the lives that stewarded this land. Constructs have made me become disconnected to and question pieces of me that I thought I knew. Black, gender non-conforming babies from the South have reminded me of where I come from but also where we all must go to survive.

Respect the boundaries of this world and bodily autonomy of those around you. If we are gentle and intentional with ourselves we will shift culture; we will bring my ancestors, elders and grandmothers wildest dreams to fruition. Plant this seed to 3 people in your community. As you nurture and watch this person’s transformation ask them what freedom looks like to them. Ask them to plant love & support into 3 new people. Remind them to share what freedom looks like to them and to support the next generations’ visions for the future.

Warmest Regards,
An Angelic TrouBLMaker


Smith is a Greensboro-based social justice organizer and the 2017 QueerLab & IDDB Education Coordinator.