Thursday, February 4, 2010
If Today Could Talk
"We have to ride this new wave of activism."
Today I woke up next to the right man, hopped on MARTA to the airport to Dallas to Creating Change to make a difference in the world.
I should say my journey began with a mid-flight realization that this fear of flying in planes is completely rational; it stems from a fear and discomfort with being out of control. On further inspection, I realized that I (as in the human population) are rarely in control of everything. Is that control really necessary to NOT flinch every time there's a bump or start prayin' when the plane jostles. Letting go of that fear, albeit hard, was such a relief.
When I got to Dallas, I was ready to hop in Mark's red-orange Hummer, catch up with him and Mario, and make our way to the W residency. When we walked into the lobby my first comments were, "I feel so privileged right now!" the residency is truly beautiful, posh, and hip. The windows overlooking the city are enchanting; the orchids are magical; the living space is divine.
Without hesitation, we made our way to the Sheraton for the conference. Mario, my companion in all this, and I wondered around running into wonderful people. The day proceeded as such -- every once in awhile grouping with folks from Radical Minds. It was just so refreshing to be around so many queer activists. I must have talked my ass off because my voice is so horse right now. It all started with our instantaneous screaming kiniption we had with Tanner and Michelle. it progressed with conversations with old friends and new faces -- all of which are beautiful and amazing. This is truly a gathering of fabulous souls.
That really came out tonight during plenary. It was started with aknowledgement that hearing and language barriers will not be present at this conference. This sentiment indicates the accesibility that Task Force is considering when laying the foundation for this event. The next was the aknowledgment that this used to be Native land. Then a progression of awards and speakers that inspired clapping and screaming and hollering and laughing. Kate Clinton is our emcee, and boy is she hillarious. Her advice? We need not only have sit-ins, but laugh ins. Laugh in? Next time someone says something ridiculous about LGBTQIA rights/equality, listen, but then start bursting out laughing.
Finally, the keynote speaker, Thomas Seanz, a straight ally working on immigration, made 5 clear disctinctions why bridging and recognizing the intersections of the immigration movement and gay rights movement coorelate. Though dry and academic, his message was very stirring. To think so clearly that despite different specific goals, different socio-cultural implications, the tactics implemented against LGBT people and latin American people are very similar and our experience of oppression has distinct similarities such as fear of hate crime, living in the shaddow, and being denied full citizenship.
This concept of intersectionality is popping up everywhere. It's as if people are finally coming out the wood work and recognizing the fact that we need to be doing this all together. Together, we can make a difference.
Highlights: Tanner Efinger and "Rock for Equality" campaign around same-sex social security benefits; free "Legalize Gay" t-shirt from CampusPride; Michelle, Shannon, Michael, Robin, Stacey, Mandy, and Marquez hug; Kyle and Noah; Mario's and Conrad's conversations; meeting up with GLSEN; randomly running into Angel and Paulina; talking to represenatives from the census about queering the census; plennary speakers; making friends with Andrea from the Trans Hospitality room; flash mob planning; literature from "Gay? Fine by me!"; and sex positivity.
Tonight we tried walking home. Epic fail. As we're mapping out which workshops of 17 in each session, we're also mapping out better directions.
I think what I've come out of today with is two things: Self-actualization works and queer activism does, too. Also, it's the best to have a lot of friends.
** SCREAM WHEN YOU SEE PEOPLE LOST TO DISTANCE
** VISIT ALL THE DIFFERENT HOSPITALITY ROOMS
** WALK WITH NUMBERS AND BUTCH DYKES
** RESIST THE URGE TO CARTWHEEL IN AN OPEN ROOM
** GET STRESSED OVER LITTLE THINGS
** DENY THAT YOU ARE SOMEONE FROM AMERICAN IDOL