I wanted to explain
Why I don’t pose nude for photographers
Why I don’t audition for commercial dance gigs
Why I made a burlesque show as a political critique of sexual exploitation in the entertainment industry
Why I look down and away from other people in class, in contact jams, in the street
Why I try to subvert common social dance poses and use irony when I dance at parties or clubs
Why I don’t like porn unless it’s made by empowered women who own their own business, and even then I wish they had some other well renumerated way to make a living in a capitalist society
Why I’m critical of traditional opera and ballet reproducing historical repertoire uncritically, romanticising sexism, classism, and poor mental health as “dramatic tension”
Why I’m afraid to be touched when I so desperately want to connect
Why I want to reclaim beauty as something I own and can share, rather than a value assigned to me by others
Why I am critical of and uncomfortable with labels and group identities
Why I am here
And I want you to listen… without self-judgement or fear… without demonising or dehumanising or dismissing me…
Without telling me to be silent because I’m making you feel ashamed, or drawing attention to you, or making you question things you never realised you needed to question before.
I don’t want to disappear to make things easier for you.
I cannot agree to be silenced.