One Zapatista philosophy says that a community should move as quickly as its slowest member. When people first see me, many falsely assume I’m that slowest member. Within the United States our language, our economy and our norms are part of a legacy of conquest that pushes me to that abject space—a place in society, in our communities, in our homes—that few embrace, initially anyways. I limped through the margins, silently fearful and with the world’s weight on my preadolescent, adolescent, early adulthood’s shoulders. The veil was in place, and I couldn’t have dreamed an alternate reality; this is life, and I am powerless. Or so I thought.
I needed that authority, college, to begin lifting the bandana situated over my eyes. Fuck, I’m so privileged. I needed those “experts” to tell me good job and validate my queer, my krip, my brown, my poor, my violated existence. No teacher ever pushed me to think of myself as powerful. My mama, tias, primas, Yaya, and sister validated me all my life—but their opinions didn’t matter though because our concerns came second, third, or never. Mentors—brown, poor, (dis)Abled, rich, white, hetero, queer, abled, angry, abused, tired, frustrated, powerful—people took my hand and pulled me from the outskirts, walked me to the podium, and told me my voice mattered.
Theory in the Flesh. The Personal IS Political. Your Voice Matters. You Are Unique and You Are Alike. It’s Okay to Dwell en La Frontera.
And I learned how to be powerful. I learned what power is. I learned that I have an important place en el mundo. And I will keep learning.
MalintZINE is an open space where that “slowest” community member can shout out, “slow down and wait for me” and the community stops to listen to that individual’s needs. The community does not try to throw out excuses for the community’s (in)actions, justify its too-fast pace, or ignore that individual. In fact, many within the community are thankful that the brave “slow one” spoke up and expressed a need or needs because others within that community were too scared, too intimidated, too hesitant, too unsure to speak up themselves. MalintZINE limps along with me declaring that it’s okay to slow down. It’s good to voice your concerns, needs, dreams, and desires.
She is a space where mujeres all over the world can feel validated and safe from ridicule, rejection, or retaliation.
Our Voices Matter.
Nuestras Herstoria es Importante.