We Want the Airwaves: #23: Marcelitte Failla and Anoushka Ratnarajah Marcelitte Failla: I think in order for other

people to trust us, to share their experiences with us, we need to be the first people to put ourselves on the screen and sharing our own stories. Because we're coming from a very vulnerable place, and we want to be really honest. Honesty is something that we've been really centering in this project, like how can we really be honest with ourselves, and really be honest with our stories. The interviews with other women have been, I think, to broaden it to beyond our experiences. But at the same time, [to] talk about the variety in mixed-race experiences. Anoushka Ratnarajah: And it would make no sense, I think, for us to make this film and not be a big part of it and not be in it. Because our experiences are going to shape - they are shaping the way we're doing these interviews. They're shaping who is even coming to talk to us. The people who've reached out who've wanted to be a part of it, reached out because they saw a commonality between their experiences and ours. So for us to not be honest about our active role in shaping this story would be silly. As a creator of artistic work to pretend that you're not there, I think, is really irresponsible. As an artist, to not be accountable for your own subjectivity, about why you're making the work you're making; it just doesn't make sense. (musical intro) Nia King: Welcome to "We Want the Airwaves." My name is Nia King. This week on the podcast I interviewed the filmmakers for a documentary called "Toasted Marshmallows" which is still in the process of being made. In the film, audiences will follow filmmakers Marcelitte and Anoushka on a journey across Canada and the United States as they document the experiences of other mixed-race women and delve into their own cultural and ethnic histories. The film is an effort by and for mixed-race women to share our stories, to fill the gaps in the conversations about race and culture with our complexities. They interviewed me for their documentary back in August, I think, and then after they interviewed me, I interviewed them for the podcast. So this is a conversation we had about the project, how it's been going so far. I'm excited to see the final project when it comes out. And without further ado, here's Anoushka and Marcelitte. (musical interlude) Marcelitte: So I think I've been thinking, especially recently, about being the stereotype of the 'tragic mulatto'. How can I tell my story and be like, “Yeah, I had a hard time identifying as a black woman, and I had a hard time - I experienced a lot of turmoil in my teenage years, and I was led to a lot of different things because of this racial confusion and struggle.” And then doing that without being put in this category as like a “tragic mulatto” by the outside world. So yeah. Me and Anoushka have talked a lot about it and I think it's like, my experience is my experience, you know? My experience isn't representative of the rest of the world. I was getting feedback from teachers too, "Oh you're so sad, why are you so sad?" and I was like, “Well, it's my sad story.” I want to tell my sad story, you know? I don't hear my sad or happy story anywhere in the media. Even by just how many people have responded to us and wanted to share their story with us, I think it needs to be said. Anoushka: I think a lot of mixed people are sad and angry, and should be allowed to feel that. I think, yes, we need to get away from the narrative of the “tragic mulatto.” My mix isn't - I have no black in my mix. So I couldn't Nia: - be a “tragic mulatto” even if you wanted to? Anoushka: I couldn't if I wanted to! I could never use that term to self-identify, [laughs] and I don't want to. But I think the agency of us telling our story, of us telling this sad mixed story - sad and happy mixed story - is a step away from that. Because usually the person telling that “tragic mulatto" story is a white person - is a white guy. And it's within a very heteronormative context and colonial context that is not where we're [coming from] - I mean, we can't say that that's not where we're coming from because we are colonized peoples, so we have to decolonize our own selves in order to get away from that, and we're trying to do that. But I think it's important to tell of the sadness and anger as well as the love and joy because we need to get away from this equally harmful stereotype and assumption that mixed families are going to be

the end of racism. And that mixed people are going to be the end of race. And that we're here, as your brown saviors to fix all of your race problems. “D on't worry about it, we're just going to intermarry and have lots of brown babies, and soon there will be no white people and no black people, because everyone will be like beige or whatever. And racism will end, and it's all going to be post-racial and great!” Marcelitte: [sarcastically] “Aren't we all mixed?” Marcelitte and Anoushka: [talking over each other] Yeah, aren't we all - Everybody's mixed. Everybody! Marcelitte: No! No. We're not - [laughter] Anoushka: So we gotta break that shit down too. Because that's really harmful. And it's false too. And I think if people in mixed relationships and mixed families believe that, and don't talk about race in their own homes and in their own relationships, and how those power structures [exist]. No matter how much you love somebody, [the power structures] exist, and they exist in the outside world, and they exist in your home. Then you're just going to end up recreating that colonial trauma. So no, we don't want it to be ultimately tragic, like “mixing creates people who are like never going to fit in anywhere and are always going to be unhappy,” or we don't want the polar opposite, like “you're going to be great, and it's the best of both worlds. Don't even worry, everyone's going to be your friend and love you.” Neither of those things are true. You exist somewhere in between. And I think it's important to be able to tell both of those stories. Because we have a lot of happy memories with our families. But we also have a lot of sad ones. Yeah. Nia: Sounds pretty normal. [laughs] Anoushka: [laughs] Yeah. Nia: Doesn't sound too exotic to me. [laughs] I feel like this is going to sound like a stupid question. But the “tragic mulatto” trope is from the 18 [hundreds] - like it's really fucking old. Do you feel like it's still really pervasive? Like when you think of narratives of mixed folks that you've heard, do you feel like “Oh God, not this again”? Anoushka: For me, that experience of “Oh God, not this again” is coming more from other people of color and other mixed folks. Like, “Don't tell that sad story because it's going to make white people - “ Nia: - like the dirty laundry sort of thing? Anoushka: Yeah, “it's going to air our dirty laundry and it's going to make us look really bad in front of white people. And we gotta look good in front of white people.” So I feel like that is something that's coming - for me, from my experience - from communities of colour and mixed folks. Not so many mixed folks, but some. And not the ones we're talking to in this documentary. They're like really willing to talk about that trauma. And I feel like the other side of "But you must be so happy! And know everything about both of your cultures and be able to move through space with ease!" is coming from white people. It's this idea of like,"Oh my god, you're soooo lucky that you're half-this color, like half-this group, half-whatever," and the unspoken thing there is you're also really lucky that you're half-white. The privilege of being half white, I think, is something that's unspoken by white people. Marcelitte: I was raised in a very black nationalist home. When "The Color Purple" came out, that was a huge criticism, that Alice Walker was airing the dirty laundry of domestic violence in the home. And I think similarly, with us, it's like, "Well you're going to make black parents seem like they're not able to raise their children right," or "You're making us look bad." I think that's the fear. I guess I don't see that narrative - I just don't really see any narratives about mixed-race-ness in the media, really. I mean, like you're saying, everybody you see in the media is mixed, but there's no real discussion about their mixedness. It's just kind of like, "this is a black person, and they're light-skinned" or whatever. Anoushka: And I think that fear coming from communities of color of "don't air the dirty laundry" - that's not our fault. We're speaking our truth. And that should be held up, and appreciated, and reciprocated. The

fact that communities of color would see this as an airing of dirty laundry - that's white supremacy's fault. For looking down on us. And for automatically assuming that we would not be able to be the “right” kind of parents or the right kind of families. Because like, all families have problems. Nia: [laughs] Anoushka: All families are fucked up. And if you are pretending that you are not having problems, and that everything is hunky-dory, then you're a liar! [laughs] And we should be able to be talking about our pain as much as we celebrate ourselves. It's like the idea of - Stonewall was a riot, and now gay pride is a corporate parade. Like, we can't pretend that colonialism has ended. And that we can just pull up our bootstraps and be happy. And live as if racism doesn't still affect us. Marcelitte (in background): assimilate Anoushka: Yeah, assimilate. I think talking about trauma is important. And it's exhausting and sometimes you get tired of hearing about tired of talking about it. And that's fine. But you still gotta. You still gotta. You can't pretend that it's not there. Pretending that it's not there is what has driven us to make this film, to write about this, to perform about this, to talk about this to everyone that we know. It's because it wasn't talked about in our own families. You know, we never talked about race in my family. How can you not talk about race in your family when it's staring you in the face?! Every single one of us looked different. Me and my brother were a different shade of brown than my dad, than each other, and our mom was white. How can you not talk about that?! That just seems bonkin'! [laughs] And you clearly can't not talk about it, because now, I'm talking about it. Marcelitte: One of the interviewees said - We asked him to define white supremacy, and he said, "The fact that we're talking about these things is about white supremacy. That's a product of white supremacy. The fact that we have to think about the communities that we were raised in, or think about how racial dynamics play out in our families. The fact that we think about people asking us 'What are you?’, all those things are resulting from a society where whiteness is dominant." And so I think, also, it's important that we're grounding it in that analysis. This isn't blaming of any communities of color, or of our parents, or of anybody. But it's really rooted in [the fact that] it's a system of racial oppression that's making us have these questions and have these experiences. Nia: Yeah. I think it's interesting to hear you say that you never hear the narratives of mixed folks. Because obviously... there's Barack Obama. And I'm not trying to say that we live in a post-racial America and that everything's cool now. I went through a period where I was really exploring my mixed-race identity and reading like, black, White, and Jewish and Caucasia. I really liked Caucasia, I wasn't a huge fan of black, White, and Jewish. And [I was] looking for other mixed-race literature. And I feel like, today if I tried to put out a memoir about being mixed, nobody would read it, or care. Because I feel like the story's been heard before. Not so much about people who are mixed that aren't black and white. And particularly the stories of people who are mixed POC and POC are not really heard very much, except for maybe like Tiger Woods. And you know, he's got his own problems... [laughs] But that's interesting to hear, because I feel like it's been... You know, there's Melissa Harris-Perry, and Halle Berry, and - It's not that I don't want to hear more stories by mixed folks, but I think that there is something to get away from at this point. You might be the first people to make a documentary about mixed women. But this won't be the first time we've ever heard of mixed woman's story. Does that make sense? Anoushka: Yeah... I feel like with Barack Obama and even Melissa Harris-Perry and Halle Berry, and all these beautiful mixed people [Nia laughs] who have made it, those stories are used as a sign of success, of post-raciality. And we really want to press that there is no post-racism, there is no post-racial anything, and that we live in a white supremacist society. And that colonialism is still occurring. That is really important for us to say. And I feel like that's a really radical thing to say, because Barack Obama ain't going to say "We live in a White Supremacist society. I'm the head of a White Supremacist state." He's not going to say that! Nia: He's the head of fifty white supremacist states! [laughs]

Anoushka: Yeah! And Halle Berry isn't going to be like - when she won her Oscar, she was like, "This is huge for black women and I want to thank all of the black women who came before me." But that moment was seen as the literal light at the end of the tunnel, like that was it. [As if] we don't need more black women to win Oscars, we don't need more representations of black women. Nia: Yeah, and also black women who aren't half-white. Anoushka: Exactly. Nia: Black women who aren't light-skinned. Anoushka: Exactly, you know. So those are success stories. Those are taken as the sign of racism kind of almost being over. And our experiences have not felt like that. I personally feel like this feeling of anxiety, of “no home”, of uprootedness - not even “uprootedness”, I feel like I never had roots Nia: Rootlessness. Anoushka: Yeah. Like, I've never been of a land, or of a place or a people. That's never going to go away from my life; there's no resolution. And I think we need to admit that. We need to admit that some of these problems - not “problems” - but some of these experiences don't come with a successful [resolution] - "now you've successfully self-identified and you can go out and be a happy person in the world." You can go out and be a happy person in the world with that ambiguity, being in that ambiguity, and knowing that for me, that's going to be the rest of my life. I can go and see my grandmother, I can go and visit Sri Lanka, I can go and learn Tamil, I can become an expert on Tamil people, but I didn't grow up there. That's not my experience. I didn't grow up learning the language, the intricacies of the culture will never be mine from an insider perspective. I feel, now. I may listen to this podcast years later and be like, "Oh young Anoushka, you didn't know what you were talking about." And I'm allowed to have that growth, and I'm allowed to contradict myself. But I feel like, yeah we've heard these stories before, but there was an ending to them of like, "And now, America and Canada are great. So look at how our multicultural our states are. This is wonderful." But brown people are still oppressed, brown people are still poor, brown people don't get access to education and housing. Our militaries are killing brown people all over the world. So that story doesn't end. Nia: Yeah, recruiting brown people to kill other brown people. Anoushka: So that story doesn't necessarily have an [end.] There's no closing the book. There's only more and more chapters. I feel like, we can never stop talking about this. We can never stop talking about gender. We can never stop talking about sexuality or class or any of these things. Because the histories just keep building up on each other. And it's really important to keep going with the dialogue, and to expand it. Nia: I think that's a really good point. But do you think that having always been rootless that you can never grow roots? I feel like that's one of the things I heard you say. Anoushka: Maybe I can grow roots. I don't have - Marce, you may have a different experience with this than me - but I don't feel like I have a community where I feel whole. I haven't found that yet. And I don't know if I'll ever find it. And that's really sad. I can definitely build my own home. I can definitely build my own community, and I feel like I am doing that. I can build my own family. And that's a really great thing about being mixed; from a very young age I knew that family could be chosen. I knew that it didn't necessarily have to do with the people you were related to by blood. Because I don't feel emotionally connected to my extended family. But I feel like my friends are really a family and have been there for me far more than my biological extended family.

So I don't know what roots mean yet. I'm trying to figure that out with this project and we're going to be going to India in January, and hopefully Sri Lanka, and Malaysia where my dad grew up, soon. So part of that journey will be figuring out rootedness for me. But I also kind of already know that those experiences are going to be jarring. I've been to Malaysia before, and that experience was very jarring. And I felt very much an outsider. And I am an outsider there. So I know that that will be a part of forming who I am, and a part of my foundation, upon which I build myself and my life. But not necessarily that I'll go there, and all of a sudden like magic, I'll be like "Oh, I know who I am! It's all solved for me!" There's no real home-coming. There's home-making. And home-building. But there's no home-coming. At least for me. I don't know if that kind of answers [your question.] Nia: That totally makes sense. Anoushka (to Marcelitte): Or if you have stuff to add about your own - you probably feel a little differently about those things... Marcelitte: Yeah. Like you [to Nia] were saying about finding queer and trans communities; I've really found myself in those spaces. I found that I could be “of color” in them, and accepted, and like some kind of brown. And I think I've also, in New York especially, I've found a community of other black queer women, and also mixed women - a lot of mixed women, that I've built for myself there. I mean in terms of culture and histories, though. Similarly, I want to go to Louisiana where my family's from, but I think that most of the people that are there have probably passed on, and the culture - I don't speak the patois, I don't know any of the cultural mannerisms or foods or music, or any of that. In a sense of prior belonging, of ancestry, a sense of place and home, that doesn't really exist for me. It hasn't, and I don't really know if it really ever will be able to be created. I think it's a spiritual journey as well, so it's about connecting to spiritual land and spiritual ancestors. I think it's really what I'm creating for myself in New York. It's what I'm creating for myself in my community, queer community, and that has felt more home than anything I've ever known. Nia: Yeah. This question isn't all the way thought out yet... I think sometimes there can be a sort of romanticization of indigeneity among - I don't want to say among mixed folks, I'll speak for myself... For example, my grandfather's from Lebanon, I've been told that I have no living relatives in Lebanon, that they all immigrated to Israel, and I have really complicated feelings about Israel. [laughs] I think I'd like to believe that I could go to Lebanon and have family there and be welcomed with open arms. But that's never going to happen... What am I trying to say? I think I went through a period of wishing I was all one thing, wishing that I looked black and was read as black and grew up in black culture. But I think now I'm in a place of - I should be grateful for the privilege I have? I used to want darker skin so that I would be read the way that I felt. And now I realize how much harder my life would be. I feel like it's easy to say "Oh, I wish my family had never left," "I wish I was one thing," "I wish I felt authentically something." But at the same time, a lot of times, I think when people of color marry white folks or leave their country of origin, it's to access opportunities for them and for their children that otherwise they wouldn't have had. And also, what's so great about being just one thing, you know? I feel like I need to acknowledge that we're all here on colonized land and there is no one place - I'll speak for myself - for me to go back to. Part of my family's from Africa, part of my family's from Eastern Europe, part of my family's from Lebanon, and who knows where else? So, how do you make sense of that as a person who is anti-colonialism and anti-US imperialism and not indigenous, and… what does that all mean [laughs]? Sorry, that's not really a question. Marcelitte: I had a situation with my uncle. So my mom's family doesn't come from a lot of money, and I went to go see my uncle, and I was doing a film about the Newark riots in '67. And I was interviewing them for the film. And he was like, "Oh, how's your mom, how's your dad?" I was like, "Oh, they're good, they divorced a little bit ago, but they're okay." I was like, "Oh, I really wish that I had come back to see you

more, I wish that I'd stayed in Newark or been around you guys." And he's like, "Yeah, you leaving meant that you could make movies about this stuff." And I think that that was so spot-on. Although it was really really difficult living in a white environment and I experienced a lot of racism and a lot of identity issues, I don't necessarily think that the complete opposite of Newark was the right option either. There are other happy mediums. But it did mean that I went to college, and that I know how to be a filmmaker, and I can come back and make movies about things that my other family members are experiencing on the day-to-day level, that's more about survival. So it's a certain amount of privilege I have, that I have to be accountable for. Anoushka: Yeah. As a daughter of an immigrant, I know how much that struggle meant for my dad, to be able to give his kids things that he wanted them to have. He was a son of immigrants also. My grandparents settled in Malaysia. So nobody's been back on the "homeland" in three generations. So I come from a long history of settlers. And my mom's side of the family is umpteenth generation colonial settlers on indigenous territory in Canada. So I know that that immigrant narrative of "Why would you want to go back to a place where genocide was so immediate, and is so immediate still? why would you want to go back to a place where your name and your face could put you in danger?" My dad has been really uncomfortable about me going back to Sri Lanka, like very afraid about that. And the fact that his family identifies very strongly as Malaysians and not Tamil. There's a whole unspoken thing there about fear, because of that history in Sri Lanka. And I have a lot of privilege, I have a lot of class privilege now. When we were growing up, we didn't have very much money, but moved up certainly a step as I got older. And I have citizenship privilege, big time. My passport can take me anywhere in the world and I won't get in trouble. And my citizenship also means that I had access to things in Canada that a lot of people don't have access to in other places. It's safe for me to be out, to be brown and out, in Canada. Safer. Like if I were to go back to Sri Lanka - quote unquote “back”, there's no “back” [because] I've never been. And even in Malaysi a, it's not as safe for me to be out, in either place. And I probably wouldn't. I mean, I'm out [as queer] on the internet, so if anybody looked me up, they'd know, but I wouldn't compromise my physical safety there. Here, I can come out, and it's okay. Nia: Yeah, but you're not going to take a giant rainbow flag with you. Anoushka: No. [laughs] I'm not. I don't even know how safe it would be for me to be out as Tamil there. Of course my name is going to give me away. And apparently my face is going to give me away; people say that I look Sri Lankan and Tamil. But I don't actually know what that means, because I haven't been around a lot of other Sri Lankans and Tamils, and I don't actually look like my cousins on my dad's side of the family very much. I look like my dad, but that's because he's my dad. So when I identify with him it's not because we're both Tamil, it's because he's my dad. Nia: That's funny, usually on the podcast, I try to avoid talking too much about identity and focus on the work. And I find that usually talking about identity comes out through the work, but since you're working on an identity-based project, we've pretty much just been talking about identity this whole time. I'm curious why you decided to focus the film on mixed women specifically. Marcelitte: First of all, I don't think women's voices are heard much at all in the media. Due to patriarchy we're not telling our own stories most of the time. And I also think that stereotypes, beauty images, and sense of self impacts women very differently than it does for people who - I'll say “men.” Men. Nia: It's not a bad word. [laughs] Anoushka: Also, we're women… Okay, I will be perfectly honest, I don't get men. Nia: [laughs] So that's why you didn't want to interview them? Anoushka: Well, no. I don't get them. I don't live inside that experience, so I can't even begin to fathom from an insider's perspective what men go through.

Nia: That's so interesting, because I think interviews are a great way to get inside people's heads. [laughs] Anoushka: I think so too. I think we also knew that this was going to be a really emotional journey for us, and we both feel safer with women. We do. Nia: [laughs] Anoushka: I don't know. Nia [to Marcelitte]: You made a face. Anoushka: I don't know, I shouldn't speak for Marcelitte. I feel safer with women. I do. There's an inherent physical fear that I can't get away from when I'm around men. Even men that I love and trust, that's there. And that's because of patriarchy and sexism. I feel safer being honest and talking about my own trauma with other women than I do with men. Nia [to Marcelitte]: You were saying you think stereotypes impact women differently? Marcelitte: Yeah. I’ll take me and my brother's experience. I grew up being very much an outsider in my high school and in my middle school. And I found out last week that my brother was homecoming king. [laughs] Nia: Wait, how did you not know that until now? Marcelitte: I have no idea. Nia: Is your brother still in high school? Marcelitte: No, he's twenty-four. Nia: Oh okay. That must be a mind fuck! [laughs] Marcelitte: It was a mind fuck. Nia: I was a punk rocker/anarchist in high school. My sister was a cheerleader. I used to like to think like, “Oh I'm mixed, that's why I don't fit in.” But here's my sister, with her pompoms fucking up my whole theory. [laughs] Marcelitte: Well, I don't know what was up with your sister. [all laugh] But I know with my brother, a part of it was, I think he was accepted more because he was a boy. I think he had an easier time because he was a boy. And for me, a lot of my mixed-ness was also tied in with my sexuality, with my body image, with my beauty. People would always comment on my behind. That was always a big - like, boys liked my butt. Because it's something that maybe says that I'm half African-American. So it's being sexualized like that. I think that that happens differently with women. And also what we see and what we're told in the media about what is beautiful, and feeling like needing to conform to that, I think [that] affects women differently than it does guys. Nia: Yeah. This is going to seem really tangential. But you're talking about guys liking your butt. [laughs] It made me think about - I used to have this friend whose dog would always freak out every time I came into the house, like it didn't bark at anyone else, but always barked at me to the point where it was embarrassing. I was like, “This dog thinks I'm a bad person! I don't know what's going on.” I found ou t later, after that person and I stopped being friends, that that dog only barked at people of color. And it was like weirdly validating in a way. [laughs] And I feel like maybe it's a little similar with the butt thing. “That's fucked up that you're sex ualizing me in this racialized way, but also it's like, this little bit of legitimacy that I have.”

It's making me think too of this friend and I were walking down the street in the Mission. He's a trans guy. Someone called him a faggot. And he was like, "Oh, at least he didn't call me a dyke." Like that weird messed up stuff happening to you that you don't feel good about, but it's also like, "Whew! At least I'm brown. At least they don't think my butt is white." [all laugh] You know? Do you see what I'm saying? Marcelitte: Yeah, I feel like I get that. I feel like I get really excited when people think that I'm brown, and people see me as brown. I get Puerto Rican and Dominican all the time, I get people speaking to me in Spanish. I lived in a Dominican neighbourhood for six years, and it was fine and great. But I just get so excited because people think that I'm brown at least, you know? With the school thing though, I wasn't really white there. I was like an “other.” Like a brown “other.” Not black eith er. Just something other than white. So it didn't even affirm anything in me, because there was no black identity at that point in my life. So it was different. Nia: Yeah, that makes sense. Anoushka: And for me, as a mixed woman who is not read as being mixed; I have to come out and say that I'm half white. For me, it was about - you talked about being like, "Yeah I got a black butt." [Nia laughs] "I got a woman of color's body" and that being affirming. For me, my body never felt desirable because the stereotypes about South Asian women and Indian women is that we're hairy and smelly and gross. Or, fetishized on a different end of being very submissive and desirable for that reason. So I never felt desirable because I have body hair, and I thought it was really dark and gross and disgusting and I was so jealous of the white girls for having blonde legs or arms or whatever. Nia: And not having to shave…? Anoushka: Yeah. And dealing with the pressures of patriarchy to conform to a standard of attractiveness that was very much modeled on white femininity, and growing up with white femininity in my own home. Like I didn't have any older brown women around me to tell me that I was beautiful. When my mom told me I was beautiful I didn't believe her because I didn't look like her, and she was the ideal. And also she's my mom! So I'm like, I'm not going to believe my mom when she tells me I'm beautiful. [laughs] "Whatever. She has to say that." So I didn't have models of brown femininity around me. And when I finally got around other brown women who - I've said this before, but thank God for black lesbians who wrote about their girlfriends being beautiful, otherwise I never would've known that my body was desirable. I really wouldn't have. Being around other brown queer women who loved my body was a hugely affirming thing for me. It still is. Even though I have my mother's body. The reason that I have a big butt and am curvy in any way is because of her genes and she's white. So being affirmed for having a curvy body because I'm a woman of color Nia: Kind of ironic Anoushka: - It feels good, but it also it’s kind of ironic and fucked up because it's like, "But that's my mom's! Nooo, my ass is white." You know, and I even tell a joke about that in the performance piece. My ass is white! It's like this weird feeling of "Yes, approval! But also that's not quite right." That's really weird. But going back to the men thing. Again, I think it's really important as an artist to talk about your own - to be accountable for your subjectivity. And I have not gotten to a place yet where I feel like I can tell stories about men without that being colored by my own fear of men and my perceptions of men and my feelings about men. So I need to get to a better place with masculinity, I think, and being more comfortable with masculinity. Which is weird because I'm so attracted to masculinity, and I always date people on the more masculine end of the spectrum. But I'm also really scared of it. And I think that's something that's been instilled in me from a very young age, being afraid of men. And also my daily experiences of street harassment and sexual harassment. Nia: [That] probably doesn't help.

Anoushka: Yeah, probably doesn't help. The violence that I experience on a daily basis, in terms of my gender, mostly comes from men. (musical finale)

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful