To All the Women Who Saved My Life

thank you

Thank you

to Mama, because you chose to stay
to Lingjin, when you were my only friend
to Mrs. Sattler, for letting school feel like home

thank you Hannah, mi gemela, mi best friend, mi everything
thank you Samrena, for inviting me into your world
thank you Alexis, for talent show tryouts and gossip on the bus

Thank you

to Adriana, you taught me to embrace both sides of every coin
to Maria, you pushed me to harness my power
to Candace, you remind me to use my heart as much as my head

Thank you

to Sarah, for that time I couldn’t walk from vomiting so much
to Bridget, for when we had to eat dessert
to Prativa, because I couldn’t have done it without you

to Betsy, for convincing me there’s always more to come
to Iris, for that time we skipped class and danced on the balcony
to Marissa, for every little thing that you do for me

to Chloe, for the terrace and for Paris
to Cortney, because our pain felt less heavy if we carried it together
to Val, for making me see my dreams as plans

to Oluwatobi, because my hope in you gave me some for myself
to Syd, for when we both cried and neither of us noticed
to my Sis, for every time we fell in love

to so many more

Thank you
You saved my life.

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About the author

Nava Mau

Nava is a trans Latina living in Oakland, California. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics in May 2014. Nava worked as a community programs intern at the Queer Resource Center of the Claremont Colleges, where she facilitated ally trainings and weekly discussions about the intersections of gender, sexuality, race, and other aspects of identity; she later worked at the Draper Center for Community Partnerships as a student coordinator of the Pomona ESL Tutoring Program and the Leadership and Engagement in Gender and Sexuality (LEGS) Program. She currently works at a non-profit that provides legal services to undocumented immigrants. She hopes to use the power of entertainment and media to increase visibility and understanding of multiply marginalized identities, especially those of trans and gender non-conforming people of color.

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