the philosophactivist

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Me and TasZlin from Blaxploitation at my Book Launch/Benefit
What can I say? It's been an interesting ride this past month fundraising in various ways for Resistencia: Sangre.

Notes from an Afro-Genderqueer 2 Book Launch/Punk Show/Benefit at MonkeyWrench Books

These past couple weeks of the indiegogo campaign have been interesting. Crowdfunding can be a real challenge, especially when you are talking about race, gender, sexuality, ancestors and the reclamation of heritage, and sovereignty. It dawned on me that the very reasons I am writing this play- to talk about suppressed brown, queer history and resistance- are probably the very reasons that make raising funds for Resistencia: Sangre difficult. 

Liberatory art is in a league of its own. As much as folks want to be all "hip" and "in the know" and supportive of "radical" art, the truth is- it's got to look a certain way most of the time. And that look is not usually brown or queer. That look also isn't about dismantling systems of oppression and helping folks to find their innate power and work toward sovereignty.

When you use the word "anarchy" in a description- you can't use it lightly. It attracts a certain crowd. Right? It conjures up a certain image. Probably a white male with a mohawk, living in a housing cooperative on one of the coasts. Am I right? 

That's exactly why these brown radicals had to be committed to a similar philosophy. So that the audience can see that before anarchy was anarchy,our brown ancestors were committed to independence and freedom from colonization. Resistencia: Sangre will explore slave revolts and indigenous (Taino) rebellions and, though it is set in Puerto Rico, it's all of our story. This resistance happened all through the Americas and the history has been suppressed. In order to understand ourselves, our present and move toward the future we've got to understand our past. White allies included. Understanding our past and reclaiming our heritage is a form of healing and resistance.

So why are the main characters punks? Punks are white. Punks are racist. Punks are about fashion...they're not really rad. Some people may already be aware that punk music actually has some roots in Jamaica. Yep. Punk culture took its cues from rudeboy culture and rocksteady and ska music. During the 60s the Jamaican diaspora to the UK led to influence in fashion and music. The social and political commentary in punk music was definitely influenced by this Jamaican least until it became black nationalist. Can't be white and influenced by and talking about black power...can you? Perhaps that's why some of the skinhead culture became neo-nazis and all about white power. Who knows. All I know is...I've seen brown folks in other countries talking about white power and heil hitler and I find it a little strange...but that's just me. Also, did you know there was an all-black punk band, called Death, that was around before the Ramones? 

There were also other influential black and brown punk bands in punk's early days who many don't hear about.


So, reclamation. Reclamation. Reclamation. 
It's a form of healing and resistance. No more suppression. No more appropriation. Resistencia: Sangre seeks to talk about our ancestors' resistance. It seeks to talk about present day resistance to the still existent colonial powers. The same colonization. This story is about decolonization in its deepest sense. It's about regaining autonomy and realizing our inherent power. It's about looking to our ancestors' struggle and healing all of our wounds.

So this is the final day of the campaign and I hope that those of you who are inspired or curious will invest in this liberatory art that will create some powerful dialogue about race, gender, sexuality, spirituality and so much more. 

Malcolm X said that the future belongs to those who prepare for it today. This is my contribution to that preparation and to a future where we know our histories of resistance and our capacity for justice and freedom today and in the future.

Here is the indiegogo campaign page:

EVERYONE who contributes will have online access to the play. For a $10 donation you'll get a 50% discount on the novel/play and for a love offering of $20 you'll get physical copies.
Will you be a co-creator and a co-visionary?

I want to give a COLOSSALTHANK YOU to these co-visionaries for walking with me on this journey:

Elisha Lim
La Loba Loca
Lizanne Deliz
Anika Fassia
Lisa Schergen
two Anonymous folks
Lotty Ackerman
Leila Plummer
Bunny Burrows
Angel Gonzalez

Shane Whalley
Isaac M.

Kit Yan

and offline contributors:

Kevin Thomas
Matt R.
Bob J.


All those from the Austin community and beyond who came out to the Notes from an Afro-Genderqueer 2 Book Launch and Resistencia: Sangre Benefit at MonkeyWrench Books.


our very own awesome, local POC punk rock band

I am so moved by the support I've received from friends and created family and even folks who don't know me at all, but that believed in this vision. I have such appreciation for all the co-creators of Resistencia: Sangre and I can't wait for you all to continue on with me during this journey to creating a radical, liberatory, brown, queer play and novel about the reclamation of heritage, resistance to colonization, and rediscovering our inherent power as a community.

I'm leaving to Puerto Rico to begin my research and writing on August 8th. I'll be documenting my visits to taino villages, pueblos with people of predominantly African descent, conversations with professors, espiritistas and healers, farmers, independentistas, anarchists, students, and others. I'm so excited! If you'd like to be a part of the creative process of developing this play and novel please contact me at gqstreetpoet at gmail dot com.

Healing and Solidarity,


** Though the indiegogo campaign is finished, you can find out more and continue to donate at the Resistencia:Sangre webpage HERE**

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Hello, Hello

It’s been a few weeks since my last entry but for good reason. I’ve been artivisting, organizing and food justice-ing.  I’ve been helping coordinate a farm stand run by predominantly youth of color farmers in a marginalized community with limited access to food, protesting  and calling for the closing of the Polk Detention Center in Livingston, TX, protesting the assault on women’s reproductive rights here in our state capitol, organizing with other brown, holistic healers here in Austin to address wellness in our community, and last but not least… finishing up Notes from an Afro-Genderqueer 2 and starting an indiegogo campaign for my upcoming radical, queer play centered around  activists, musicians and independentistas in Puerto rico called Resistencia: Sangre!

Here’s the scoop:

Resistencia: Sangre takes you, the co-authors, deep into exploration of Afro-Boricua and Taino identity and spirituality while also exploring liberation- Puerto Rican independence and anarchy. We follow a group of radical, queer independistas involved in Puerto Rico's underground movement and music scene who are interested in the dismantling of the current exploitative system and the collective liberation of the island's People. The group find out that their current story is the continuation of a much older story told in a parallel by their ancestors and predecessors.

About Resistencia: Sangre

In Resistencia:Sangre you'll listen to the silenced voices of Afro-Puerto Ricans, Tainos and their ancestors through the story of queer musicians, organizers and visionary community members committed to their liberation. While searching for their own autonomy and independence they stumble upon suppressed histories, tragedy, triumph and Truth.


Cancilio Taino Guatu-Ma- Cu


The Characters:

A few of the main characters are part of a punk band, some are anarchist or anti-government , some socialist, some anti-capitalist, some are organizers and activists, some are artists, some are community members and visionaries, and a few are not political but one things for certain, the majority are about ending decolonization, "the Struggle", and their oppression and reclaiming theirbirthright: Freedom.

There will be scenes with their African, Taino, and even Spanish, ancestors and scenes with anarchist, feminist, and other radical and powerful predecessors. And the play will integrate the following themes...

Main themes:

  • Liberation
  • Independence/Interdependence
  • Autonomy/Sovereignty
  • Trans and Queer identity and injustice
  • LGBT/Queer Rights
  • Afro-Puerto Rican Identity-*in spanish, see above link for english 
  • Taino (indigenous) Identity
  • Land rights
  • Environmental Justice
  • Economic justice
  • Gender justice

I'm super excited about the birth of this play as all of these themes contain elements of my personal history and I know that you, too, will be excited and satiated by the outcome.

Why Resistencia: Sangre is important

This play is all about reclamation and resistance. For far too long, we've been denied our histories and forced to forget our roots and expected to assimilate. Afro-Boricuas and Tainos, especially those inhabiting queer bodies, have a rich history of political and cultural radicalism that is seldom told. Weaving together the stories of characters that embody contemporary countercultures, feminist and anarchist historical figures, and African and Taino ancestry, Sangre: Resistencia will help us uncover the more hidden side of the Island's rich culture of dissent.

Reclamation is healing. Healing is resistance.

Who is Resistencia: Sangre for?

This isn't for broadway or fancy, inaccessible bookstores with coffeeshops in fast gentrifying areas. This is for the People. I want to bring this to queer communities of color, our families, friends and allies.

Sangre:Resistencia is meant to inspire dialogue that recognizes the significance of incorporating our spiritual roots, cultural ancestry and political heritage into our collective struggles to create a world free from exploitation.

While Sangre:Resistencia focuses on a specific group of Black and Brown Puerto Ricans, the themes addressed within are relevant to peoples of all racial/ethnic identities who are engaged in a struggle to dismantle oppressive hierarchies of power and reclaim their humanity.

Indigenous, Australian (Murri) artist and activist Lilla Watson once said:

"If you have come here to help me, you are wasting our time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together."

Our liberation is bound up together. And as Martin Luther King, Jr. said:

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

When we listen to each others' stories we begin to understand the complexities that have led to our oppression, our roles in the oppression of others, and what it will take as a larger community to heal from and transform a system based on suppression, invisibilizing, and invalidation.

Just as it took hundreds of years of careful crafting for this ridiculous system to dominate the world, it will be a slow process to dismantle it.

It starts with compassionate and transformational dialogue and blossoms into strategic action.

I know I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired...aren't you? Good! Please contribute to a liberatory play and novel about the by, for, and about the People!

Yes, YOU!

What's Needed to create Resistencia: Sangre

  •         Airfare - Roundtrip Austin- San Juan=   $350
  •        Lodging- $40-60 (avg $50)/nt. (hostels,paradores, etc) @ 10 days ~  $500
  •         Transportation  (cheap rental car -$200/wk, bus, metro) = $300

   (to Taino villages, pueblos of predominantly folks of African descent, University of PR campuses to speak with professors, sustainable farms and farms ran by women-"agro-mujeres" and visits to other sustainable projects, major cities: San Juan, Mayaguez, Ponce and mountain villages)
  •         Gas $200
  •         Food   $200
  •         Emergency Funds $250
  •         Fees charged by Indiegogo and Paypal- $200

Total: $2,000

What You'll Receive

As a co-creator of this work here are the amazing perks you will receive:

$5- Shout outs on the Afro-Genderqueer and Genderqueer Street Philosophactivist webpage
$10- above PLUS a shout out in the novel and play
$20- above PLUS a copy of either the novel or graphic novel and monologues from the play.
$50- above PLUS you get to name a character!
$100- all above PLUS you get to name the main characters' band or select scenes!
$250- all above PLUS a chance to contribute your art (poetry, drawings) to the novel and play
$500- All above PLUSautographed everything
two copies of play and novel
free tickets to closest show for you and your friends/fam
- All above PLUS you get to help construct a scene in the play!
$1000- Everything above PLUS
invitation to special AreĆ­to (ceremony),
invitation to pre-show
invitation to pre-release of novel.

YOU are truly an integral part of this work! Let's build this together.

The Impact

It's not easy to fund brown, queer liberatory art projects. There are few plays produced by and centered around queer people of color that are addressing similar themes with the intention of co-facilitating discussion and workshops around personal healing for collective liberation. You can contribute to this and be a part of the R/evolution.

Every single dollar toward this work is important and I can't wait to collaborate with those of you who are interested in collectively creating this story.

Can't Spare the Change? Here are Some Other Ways You Can Help

  •        Get the word out on facebook, twitter, tumblr, and even beyond social media! Please share this page with anyone and everyone!
  •         If you know of any community spaces, theatres, classrooms, etc. that may be a great place for this work, please get in contact with me so we can make it happen!
  •        If you'd like to be involved with production, readings, or artwork for the novels, please contact me:

When Will We See The Fruits of Y/our Labor?

I'd like to have a first draft of the play done by 2014 and a draft of the novel by May 2014.

But have no fear, I'll be blogging about my time in Puerto Rico and giving monthly updates on the play and writing process regularly between now and March and I'll be releasing scenes online for all who are interested in how Resistencia:Sangre is developing.



Thank you all for your support! Let's do this!