An open affirmation to black girls & femmes embarrassed by their magic:

I know you understand that society has made a great effort to make you invisible, which is why we hold you up so high when your magic beams. Of your resulting embarrassment, we say "society taught you to react this way." And you are left ashamed of your internalized oppression, or collude to silence.

I affirm that your uneasiness is valid. There are lots of reasons why, sometimes, you want to tell your audience to stop applauding. Maybe you're not sure if they're clapping for the reasons you're performing. Maybe it’s the wrong audience. Maybe you weren't performing at all, wondering who built a stage beneath your feet and where these people came from.

The same society that taught you to "react this way" armed you with an oppositional gaze. In your "embarrassment," you interrogate the body politics of display, and that's a kind of autonomy that you very much deserve. We can manage to encourage shameless visibility while simultaneously respecting shameless, self-protecting, OR simply self-loving, privacy.

Your magic is foremost yours to hold and behold. You have the right to control where it flows and who it touches, who gets to see or experience it.

We love you and we want to love you in front of everyone. But only if you want us to.

(pretty please!)