RUCKUS was just too phenomenal for words. Ruckus is a queer/trans people of color reading and performance series that is hosted by Victor Tobar at the radical and feminist bookstore bluestockings in Manhattan. There was such a vast range last night and I was inspired by Kit Yan's poems about his experiences with sexual identity and cultural identity, Cristy Road's reading from her upcoming graphic novel SPIT and PASSION about "coming out of the closet and being obsessed with Green Day", Elisha Lim's excerpts from their book 100 butches, and Victor's poems and excerpts from personal stories. It was all like a dream, being surrounded by people who really cared about culture,gender, and other intersectionalities. And we all "got it." I am so inspired to take my work to the next level even though my mother actually actively discouraged me from continuing to read my poetry and work on the creative part of myself. I told her "Look mom, I need this to balance me out." I do so much "heady" writing for academics, I need to just..breathe. Free myself. Even if I am writing about anti-oppression and social justice. Sometimes I need to get out of my head and put my emotions on paper. Just process by pen, I like to call it.
I realize I'm multi-faceted and people don't get all my facets. But, this is the year well I let people see as much of me as they care to. And I'm not worried about what is indigestible to some. I decided years ago not to compartmentalize myself anymore to make people feel comfortable. All it did was lead to me not being truthful to myself and taking longer to fully process who I was becoming.
I am an ordinary superhero who wants to be involved in as much social change as possible. Whether it comes through academic papers or art. I don't exactly seek to educate. It's just something that happens. It's like a calling. I want people to understand and understand each other. I want people to do more than tolerate or relate, though. I want people to see each other. Know each other so these injustices will stop happening. I want to be part of movements. I want queer people of color to be seen and heard and not just have to be relegated to the spaces they create, though I completely am behind these spaces, of course. I think their voices are heavily needed in other queer circles, though.
We need to build more bridges. Stop burning them behind us. Have dialogue. Be compassionate to one another. We can't make this society better alone or in silos. We need to know each other's experiences so that we can know how to help each other. So we can lend whatever privilege we have to others who are marginalized in a way that we are not. We need to be allies and allies of allies. And yes, we can do that in many ways- especially art. Art is how we express ourselves, find voices, and heal. Art gets the unheard heard.
We all have the ability to heal others- physicially,mentally, emotionally. We may not think we do- but it's true. Even a kind smile is healing.
So as I said, I was both inspired and satiated. I was hungering for this space and didn't even know I wanted this dish that I had sat down at the table for. That is the best feeling ever.
**see the "Words" section for the poetry I read last night.
-Thanks for reading.