“All of the experiences in this comic are either directly from my own life or related to me by people I know and care for.
I don’t know, I’m all mad today. In the elevator in my building a woman decided she had an opinion about something I was wearing around my neck and grabbed it so she could tell me what she thought, and got mad when I told her to fuck off. I’m on the subway and a stranger wants to touch my hair. Every time I fuck someone or love someone, 0r change my body or decide whether or not to wear make-up or talk about the people I love, I prepare for the cascade of opinions or tirades or thinly-veiled self-congratulatory tolerance and it’s easier now to just not share, to hold those precious things private.
I’m tired of my body and my life being public property, of my identity and choices being used by others for leverage, at that entitled hurt or anger in their eyes when I don’t want to play along. I’m tired of seeing the people around me get manoeuvred or manhandled or held up like fucking pariahs when they just want to be left in peace. I’m bored of being someone else’s politics. I don’t want to talk – I’m just reading my book while I’m on my way home”
From the comic Robot Hugs
In New York, more than a 100 Haitian-Americans, who were joined by a few Dominicans, gathered near the Consulate General of the Dominican Republic, demanding that a ruling by the country’s constitutional court be reversed. Retroactive to 1929, it effectively makes refugees out of nearly 300,000 Dominicans of Haitian ancestry if they cannot prove their parents were legally in the country.
"These people were born in the Dominican Republic, a lot of them don’t speak Creole and don’t know anyone in Haiti," said Barbara Saint-Louis, a protest organizer with the Haitian Diaspora for Civic and Human Rights. ”We’re asking for justice.”
Angel Vicioso, a Dominican living in New York, spoke to the crowd and was equally critical about his country’s ruling.
"They want to apply something back to 1929 and if they do that, I don’t even know if I’m Dominican," he said.
The U.N. on Thursday reiterated its call for the Dominican government to “ensure that Dominican citizens of Haitian origin are not deprived of their right to nationality.” The world body has said the court decision violates the Dominican Republic’s international human rights obligations.
But protesters had sharper words, calling the ruling a “racist civic genocide” as they waved Haitian flags and displayed English and Creole signs.
"It’s not a political situation; it’s a humanitarian situation," said Vilaile Charlotte, a Haitian-Dominican living in New York. He has six children who live in Santo Domingo.
Photos via Teresa Gutierrez