Singh is Queer
"I have seen the Bisexual world where
Gays and Straights alike have told me
That my orientation is NOT real
That my gender does not exist,
I have heard almost every single nasty slur
You can think of in the department of
Homophobia, Transphobia, and Queerphobia
You do not look like a Lesbian–
As if my long hair, red lipstick, and
Sharp heels invalidate my sexuality.
Have you ever dated a man before?–
As if dating a man is supposed to
Change the genetic make up of
My entire being.
Have you ever had sex with a girl before?–
As if having sex with a woman
Is supposed to solidify my sexuality.
You’re too pretty to be a Lesbian!–
As if women are meant to be attractive for men.
They learned to equate the
Existence and value
Of a woman to
What she can do
For a man,
And that was just the beginning"
My name is Manpreet Singh Virk, and I am 23 years old. I am a spoken word artist currently in my third year at CSU East Bay. I took a human sexuality class 3 years ago at Chabot college, and it made me come to terms with something: Myself.
I remember sitting in class one night, and the professor started talking about gender dysphoria. It hit home when she said, “Often times, people who have gender dysphoria can’t answer this simple question: ‘What am I?’” She added: “People who don’t experience it can easily say ‘I’m a man/woman.’ But people who experience it answer the same question with their own silence.”
That night, I asked myself who I was for the trillionth time in my life… like every night, I answered myself with my own silence.
I was in denial about who I really was because of how society treats trans people and people who don’t fit the “Norm.” I was scared because I didn’t want to get killed over something like my gender identity or sexual orientation.
I’ve known about my gender identity since the age of 7, but society decided for themselves that they knew who I was, so they assigned me with who they wanted me to be at birth.
13 years later, I finally came out with the help of my girlfriend; I was lucky when I was showered by support from my closest family members. However, at work, outside of home, I’m shunned by the outside world. It hurts to transition in the world we live in. That's why I decided to major in "Ethnic Studies: Genders & Sexualities in communities of color" at CSU East Bay. I perform spoken word for a social justice production called CSUFERGUSON, covering Queerphobia, rape, toxic masculinity, and issues in my Sikh community. CSUFERGUSON will be going to Washington for a festival in February. Through spoken word, I have found my voice and a way to express my pains and frustrations with the system and the people. I hope to publish a poetry book by the end of this year, highlighting my experiences as a Sikh (transgender) man.