"The body as home, but only if it is understood that bodies can be stolen, fed lies and poison, torn away from us. They rise up around me - bodies stolen by hunger, war, breast cancer, AIDS, rape; the daily grind of factory, sweatshop, cannery, sawmill; the lynching rope; the freezing streets; the nursing homes and prison. African-American drag performer Leonard/Lynn Vine, walking through his Baltimore neighborhood, called a "drag queen faggot bitch" and shot six times. Matt Sheppard - gay, white, young - tied to a fence post in Wyoming and beaten to death. Some bodies are taken for good; other bodies live on, number, abandoned, full of self-hate. Both have been stolen. Disabled people cast as supercrips and tragedies; lesbian/gay/bisexual/trans people told over and over again that we are twisted and unnatural; poor people made responsible for their own poverty. Stereotypes and lies lodge in our bodies as surely bullets. They live and fester there, stealing the body.
The body as home, but only if it is understood that the body can be reclaimed. The bodies irrevocably taken from us: we can memorialize them in quilts, granite walls, candlelight vigils; remember and mourn them; use their deaths to strength our will. And as for the lies an false images, we need to name them, transform them, create something entirely new in their place, something that comes close and finally true to the bone, entering our bodies as liberation, joy, fury, hope, a will to refigure the world. The body as home."