The phrase comes from an interview with a lesbian woman in occupied Palestine. It strikes me as a powerful phrase. I do not imagine me.
Who of us live so far beyond the margins that people must imagine our existence? Or, more often, who of us live so far beyond the margins that people refuse to imagine our existence? In the preface of the poetry anthology Inclined to Speak, Hayan Charara quotes Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad saying “In Iran we don’t have homosexuals like in your country”. Actively dis-imagining a people. I do not imagine me.
In a Bible study I led, I had a friend tell me “I don’t think I could have a gay Bible study leader. I just don’t think that would be right.” Such an offhand remark for him, but I remember it two years later. He didn’t imagine that he might already have a queer Bible study leader. I do not imagine me.
Who of us lives so far in the margins that no one imagines our existence? But still, we exist. I do not imagine me.