“You’re too sensitive,” you’ll say as you laugh and roll your eyes.
The words will linger in the air like clouds. Floating. Impossible to grasp.
I’ll look at you in shock, wondering if you heard them as they poured from your mouth. Wondering if you understand the way your words slice my skin, opening fresh wounds and reminding me of my scars.
No, it’s not funny.
No, I’m not laughing.
No, it’s not “just a joke.”
I’m not taking it “too personally,” and I’m not just going to ignore it.
I’m not going to laugh along, or nod silently.
I’m not going to sit here and listen as you make people laugh at someone else’s expense.
I’m not going to shut my mouth as you take years of systemic and institutionalized oppression and turn it into a catchphrase or a knock-knock joke.
Please don’t tell me to calm down, because it will only make me push back harder. Don’t tell me to be quiet, because it will only make me louder.
I don’t “get offended easily,” and I don’t take life “too seriously.”
I don’t “care too much,” and I’m not a “dreamer.”
I don’t expect too much. I just expect what’s fair.
I don’t want you to be a superhero. I just want you to be human.
So, no, I’m not “too sensitive,” you’re just a dick.