When I was 14, I threw my pads at a crowd of men and watched them scatter like fish. Even the hint of my period was more terrifying to them than the gnashing of serrated teeth.
When I was older, the toying and teasing of lovers forced me away from parts that I should have embraced, feelings that I should have delved happily into.
The litany of horror and disgust built up quite a tab.
Reparations must be made. But it’s hard to know where to start.
When she was 14 she noticed the lurking presence of a security guard while she was with her friends at the mall. Eagle-eyed, he followed her, eventually stopping at the food court and chatting idly with her friends.
She felt guilty, though she had done nothing. She felt nervous despite her innocence.
Years later, these experiences compounded, she finds herself in a sea of flesh-toned people, voices raised, shoving herself at the gates of oppression and awaiting an answer.
The bias is so obvious. The litany of abuses have become a chorus against which she sets her voice.
Reparations must be made. And she has barely begun.
When he was 14 he found himself flat on his back, slurs and insults chanted at him. He was too different to be let alone. To strange for anonymity.
Now he stands on stages and announces his truth to the world. Makeup immaculate. Chin up.
When the show is over, he still feels the sting. Alone, his brave face cracks and runs in black lines down his cheeks.
Reparations must be made.
But when the list of abuses is so long and varied, when the charges are built up over so many years, it’s hard to know who should pay the bill.