By Ava Tuitt

There is no name for what I am. 

But there is space. There is a boundless distance between the intervals of my being. I have counted the steps between my head and heart. Counted the breaths between my head and chest. Counted the tears between my head and gut, and Counted the stars between my head and groin. 

There is no name for what I am. 

But there is family.  I have never known loneliness that was not a lie. Have never been without a kiss on my forehead or arms stood opening. Never been absent a mirror to see myself reflected, or a touch to sigh relief. I have laid my head on a pillow every night of my life. 

There is no name for what I am.

But there is truth. Lover, Bitter, Other, Friend, Mother, Giver, Ugly, Siren. They all spill into one another and ring out singsong. Ring out like warning, like praise and lament. God is Contradiction and I find them in me, they find themselves in me. 

There is no name for what I am. 

But there is fear. No one will understand that I have mourned myself one thousand times because nothing this ; ephemeral, cosmic, constant and true should ever come to an end but death longs for me with erect jealousy. 

There is no name for what I am.

But there is love. I wanted so badly to want to kill myself but there was too much life. I would die a second death If I could not see him grow up. I would die a third if I snuffed out my light before it could reach the horizon. Every trans girl is a star. Every trans girl is a sun, there are no words for how brightly we shine. How we threaten to blind or irrevocably burn. But we exist. I exist, and if there are no words let there be feeling and heat.  


Born and raised in New York City, Ava Tuitt is a visual artist and writer based in Brooklyn, New York. A graduate from Purchase College with her B.F.A in Painting + Drawing her work focuses on the intersections of race, gender, religion and pop culture. Constructing what she calls “trans creation stories” her practice inserts and asserts the black trans body as a perpetual entity and explores the formation of both personal and collective identity. Ultimately seeking to both deify and humanize the black trans experience.