Identity Politic Confessional

How we read (or don’t read) work by marginalized identities

Noor Hindi
Gay Mag


Illustration by Carmen Johns

I’I’ve never been to Palestine though I write about it all the time. I don’t always know the difference between ع and غ in Arabic. I don’t know how to wrap a keffiyeh around my neck. I don’t like hummus. I’d rather read George Abraham or Lena Khalaf Tuffaha than canonical writers like Darwish. I am still trying to reconcile my identities. My multiple displacements. The difficulty of seeing (and unseeing); the desire to be seen (and unseen). The profound privilege of living in America, where a drone is a bird in the sky I look at while walking through the park. It is not a bomb, not a symbol of fear, not a cue to panic and duck. The loneliness of living in America, paying for the bombs that kill my people. My language a sound I reach for with my tongue, heavy and imprecise.

There is a photo I can’t stop looking at. In it, a 35-year-old Dareen Tatour waves at a crowd of camera men. It’s sunny. It’s September. Tatour is smiling. This is an act of resistance.

The photo was taken hours after she was released from prison. Israeli authorities claimed her poem, “Resist, My People, Resist Them,” incited violence. She posted the poem on YouTube. In the video, Tatour reads her poem against a backdrop of photos of Palestinians resisting Israeli occupation. A…