Without a doubt, a strength has been this kind of resistance that is forged in us from early ages, almost as a collective spirituality; we resist racial discrimination even at home, then at school, at work; the segregation that condemns us to peripheral neighborhoods or areas of overcrowding, and of course, none of this by chance, the depressing economic situation and access to a better quality of life. I’m not saying here that white people are exempt from these situations, but I think that if they had been born black, they would have experienced twice as much.
It has also been helpful to spend time reading literature on black feminism, intersectional and decolonial feminism. These readings have served, although to train me and occupy so much free time, also to develop and give strength to this kind of resistance, and thus survive these changes, my own hormonal changes and extra situations that I deal with as a transgender woman, the confinement and the networked attacks on the activisms that interest me: transfeminism, anti-racism, LGBTI, etc. not free of personal attacks as well. Having taken refuge in these texts and other support networks among peers and people with a counter-hegemonic discourse, have been other strengths.
The fundamental weakness has been in the remoteness of the area where I live from the center and the difficulty in accessing a variety of food and basic necessities. The unequal distribution of inputs in stores, farms and other sales establishments is a real problem. It has become very difficult for us to get products that at least for me are necessary, for health and to accompany my hormone replacement.
The opportunity to take a break from everything, to create conditions for introspection is one of the positive effects that I highlight at least in my personal life. However, it has also been a hindrance to my personal projects. And I think that I will also have many visits with my psychologist…
If I have achieved anything with this pandemic, it has been to reaffirm the need to continue training and fighting against all the inequalities and discrimination that I have been denouncing for some time, or at least I am trying to denounce with the resources and means that I have at my disposal. The covid has accentuated the inequalities that we already knew existed and has brought us other problems. We have seen the increase in gender violence, domestic work by women and manifestations of racism, homophobia, transphobia mainly in social networks, television programs and at institutional levels. It seems that the excess of free time has made many people hold on more tightly to these historical discriminations and oppressions; a way to have fun and entertainment.
I have also seen, with the pandemic and all the deaths and people infected, how fleeting and fragile our existence and all the plans we build can be. The most certain thing we have is that we have nothing certain.
The first family strategy I had to do was to go home. Had it not been for my family and some friends, my confinement would have been worse. A month and a half before the physical separation and closure began, I had been fired from my job, a non-state job; the reasons were unclear, but not hard to guess. It was not the best place for a person like me or for my pronouncements. I was working in no less than a center of the Catholic Church.
When I set out to look for a new job, to evaluate a job offer and another possible source of income proposed to me, the coronavirus arrived in Cuba and the confinement began. I was left in nothing, totally dependent on my mother, my sister’s husband and the generosity of some friends.
That’s how I had to give up my plans to become independent -since the real conditions to do so were not there and the Covid made them worse-, and become economically dependent on my family and other friends with the anguish and shame that that entails, so that I could sit down and write something that could be an economic incentive for the coming months, look for options, ways.
I aspire first to finish my university career and fulfill my literary, intellectual and activist interests. To deliver in some contest, in some door, to someone who is interested, the book of poems that I have been writing all this time, some personal chronicles, and to work in other texts that I have in mind; to write, study and investigate about the issues that move me, the different levels of oppression that cross the same body: race, ethnicity, social class, gender, gender identity, sexual preference, etc. To devote myself to all of this, if possible.
From the State I expect a Gender Identity Law and another one against Gender Violence, that attention is paid to the plan against racism that they themselves announced and that it is not written down; we want to see actions, opportunities, initiatives; that they listen to the activists, that they do not exclude them. It is very discouraging to know that gender violence, racism, LGBTI rights, the animalist cause etc. will be legislated or brought to the table and that the people who have dedicated part of their lives and efforts to such causes and to seeking solutions through civil society initiatives will not be called upon or considered in the shaping of such laws and programmes. It is a way of annulling the work that these activists have done, that if today a political will has been announced to give a state response to such problems, it has been partly because of the push with which the activists have placed them in the scenario of the networks, in their community projects, in their jobs, universities, even in their businesses, turning them into an interest for a good part of society.