Speaking on the Edge of Silence
By Charlie Haddad
The response to the demand not heard is the accent of the reply not spoken. I know this now. My body has been the furnishing of psychiatric rooms while my demands have remained unheard. I have stung with my voice those practitioners of difference but heard only the accent of their unspoken reply. Their silence is the sound of a secret promising to be remembered.
So now I am speaking on the precipice of survival. And here I am speaking about the affliction of living a silence that has no name. I am speaking about that silence whose name must not be kept secret. I am speaking, now, to the silence that is the name of this secret.
I am speaking as a working-class person. I am speaking as a psychiatric survivor of colour. I am speaking as queer and trans person. And I am speaking under the weight of whose meaning understands that I am never speaking; that I was never meant to speak. So hear me, and not only my words, for they are merely the arrogated artefacts of a language I was never meant to demand. Instead, hear the name of my silence, for it is this eruptive constancy that will drown you.
And speaking with me, from the crucibles of a kindling resistance, is A. K. Prince’s film Suicide Note. It is speaking, I hear, to the tyrannies of silence, with a voice that has demanded its own survival.