i am a nasty woman

i am a brown woman, the daughter of indian immigrants, the granddaughter of a midwife who was born in disputed territory in what is now pakistan and who fled to india as a refugee & new mother in 1947, during the partition of india & pakistan in their independence from british colonization. i grew up & was taught to assimilate in a neighborhood that was 98% white and upper-middle class. i have a responsibility to stand up against islamaphobia with this brown body, to confront anti-black racism & hindu fundamentalism in my desi communities & the majority-white communities i grew up in & live in now.

i am a disabled woman who is less disabled now, after two reconstructive hip surgeries and two total hip replacements, than ever before. i take responsibility for straddling the line, teaching those more privileged than i about folks with disabilities, and supporting & advocating for those who are more disabled than i.

i am a queer woman who is straight-passing. i have a responsibility to stand up for my queer & trans communities, to fight for their health & identities & lives.

i am a reproductive health professional, a clinic escort, a sexual assault counselor, a sexual health & rights educator, a full-spectrum birth & abortion doula. one day i will be a midwife & an abortion provider, like my grandmother & great-grandmothers who have come before me.

this week has been hard. but as my mentors & professors have supported & comforted & reminded me–the work goes on, & we can never stop fighting. this nasty woman will always, always provide care.

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