“Checking off every box but belonging nowhere” & “Paradigm shift”

By Jia Yi Fan, @Norwaypheonix

Checking off every box but belonging nowhere

What makes me a local?
Living here for 10 years, a lifetime?
Why aren’t you treating me like everyone else
just because I look different?
Why are there rules
that only apply one-way?
Why are you still looking at me funny
even if I have adopted and breathe your culture like a native?
Where did the “don’t judge a book by its cover” go?
Or is it because you need someone, a population, to otherize
To blame for every ill, to exploit for your benefit,
as an excuse to wage a war.

Paradigm shift

White, western countries tout themselves as “progressive”
just for passing laws and bills
and many fancy papers written with elaborate words
advancing the rights of the queer community at a snail’s pace.
But did you realize
they are just catching up
On the indigenous people who already recognized the two-spirited
before colonialists even set their dainty foot on their territory
On the Fa’afafine (a third gender) integrated among Samoans.
But you probably “forgot” these facts
too occupied to write history
placing yourself in the role of the hero.