the fact that i have so often longed to be invisible in my own city. over the years, i’ve come to realize that my presence as a woman of colour will always be noticed - except of course, where it matters (as queen bey said, “f you pay me”). there is no cloak strong enough to shield people like me from the consequences of being marked as different. consequences that range from the blood-boiling indignity of being called a “china doll” to the sudden and life-ending. and so while i know there’s no escaping the gaze of those who see me as other, i also refuse to be complicit in my erasure. i’m done with making myself small, censoring my curves and drowning my body in neutrals, all to play the part of someone i’ll never be. instead, i’m going to stand defiant, wear the colours of the tropics and collect the stares like diamonds.