Meet Malik

I have always expressed myself in a sort of androgyny that didn’t always sit right with everyone. I was raised as a brown/black “boy” with long “pretty” hair and a high pitched voice; my cheeks and facial features too “soft” to call anything but “girl”. I rejected this notion vehemently but with the same vigor, I rejected all the things that made you a boy, sports, violence, playing with other boys.

When I was in 5th grade my private and religiously affiliated school mandated that all “boys” cut their hair below shoulder length. My hair at the time reached my waist and was one of my most defining characteristics. I was forced to cut my hair and I felt like I had lost a part of myself, subsequently, I developed dysphoria. Dysphoria is an experience some Trans and gender-nonconforming folxs experience and for me it meant that I felt like there was something wrong with the way I looked. For a long time after it was very difficult for me to recognize myself in a mirror.

I was inspired by someone in high school to grow my hair out again, I did. I soon discovered poetry, then spoken word, and began a journey to naming and reclaiming my power and my struggle. As a poet, I tackle issues of identity, intersectionality, oppression, radical love, transcendence, and spirituality. I have through my art form accepted and built on my inner femininity and seek to decolonize my understandings of myself as a fxmmx of color and my spirituality as a goddess worshiper.

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