Written Works by Elijah Ndoumbé


"He... She... Whatever"

Originally published in the Stanford Political Journal on June 3rd, 2016

When Ben Jealous, former president and CEO of the NAACP, answered my question about Black trans lives last week at the Stanford panel on “Policy and the Path to Justice,” his answer left many in shock. To me, it was just a confirmation of an everyday reality. The following is not meant to “call out” Jealous for what he did. It is meant to call him in, to call all those who might have done or continue to do the same thing in. This is meant to shed light on the experiences of those of us who are stuck between life and death, between Black Lives Matter and the transgender tipping point... read more.

Rest In Purple

Originally published in the Stanford Arts Review on April 22nd, 2016

Prince was one of us.

I must’ve been about four or five years old when this happened– trailing in a music store (yeah, remember those? Wow…) waiting for my father to purchase whatever CD he was looking for. I stopped in front of an album cover on which: to my childlike eye, a man? a woman? Lay naked across and atop enlarged flowers, the entire image set against a white backdrop. The face emoted a softness matching the body’s– one leg was outstretched, the other slightly bent to cover whatever resided inside. Left arm propping the body up, the other crossed across the chest in a declaration of what I now choose to see as unapologetic existence... read more.


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(You Can't) Make Me Lovely

Originally published in the Stanford Arts Review on May 13th, 2015

You’re sitting in a room painted with people who laugh and drink and you are sure you are comfortable. She sits on the coffee table next to you, head bobbing to a beat, tender smile adorning a face that evokes curiosity, desire, a tightening in the space between your ribs, the space beneath your heart. She lets you touch her thigh and beckons you with an expression that – you are sure – has made men crawl towards her with tongues out, wetness leaking from their mouths. You wonder if she’s kicked them; you wonder if she’ll kick you, too... read more.