a word from the blogger:

I’m usually a wo/man of many words, but I have been utilising them this past week mostly in curriculi & intimate spaces…..the earthquake shook out the raging fiya, now a single flame remains, focused, on the mass passing, and the survivors…..it’s powerful times….

because now more than ever, in this culture of fiya, concrete & metal, is a time of less words, and more action…….my tools of profession are my words, so I come to this space only to share the words of those who know better….who can guide our efforts at building solidarity….bring additional critical perspectives to the political disaster in Haiti that has erupted with the earthquake…..and the rest of the time I hustle for the money I need to give more back…and I write in the hours between.

I have taken to praying every day, again, I am after all an ardent believer in the Creatrix, and I try to do more….because every day now, the imperative to work harder on our unity grows….

this action alert is from the International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission….

By now, I’m sure you are aware of the heartbreaking aftermath of the earthquake that struck Haiti on Tuesday. The disaster has devastated the capital of Port-au-Prince and Haiti’s fragile infrastructure, with hundreds of thousands of people killed and countless others now lacking the most basic access to services, food and shelter. The earthquake has been catastrophic for every sector of society, including Haiti’s LGBT community.

Last year I was privileged to visit Haiti and to spend time with SEROvie, the main organization providing HIV-related services for men who have sex with men (MSM), transgender people and other members of our community. This morning, I received a message from Steve La Guerre, the dynamic leader of SEROvie, and he asked that I pass along a message about the tragedy’s impact on the group and its work:

“We were having our usual support group meeting on a quiet Tuesday afternoon when the worst happened. The sound is unforgettable. I can’t even describe the horror as the ceiling and the wall of the conference room started to fall and the chaos started. Fourteen young men were lost forever in the earthquake. Paul Emile, the leader of the group, and Stacy were the only survivors. ”

It is now more than ever that SEROvie and ACCV (Civic Action Against HIV) are needed to provide the quality services we have been providing to our beneficiaries: food, clothes, and any type of help is needed for our members. Any help will do.

Light a candle for these souls and for Haiti. Lord help us.

IGLHRC has sent funds directly to SEROvie to allow their services and supplies to continue to reach their LGBT and HIV-affected clients in Haiti. We are also providing funds to groups such as Colectiva Mujer y Salud, a feminist Dominican organization that has crossed the border into Haiti in order to assist with direct relief to our communities and to the many other victims.

If you are able to contribute directly to these relief efforts, please donate here »

One hundred percent of contributions made through this page will go directly to our friends and colleagues in Haiti.

In this time of crisis and need, please support the courageous and necessary relief work being done to help the people of Haiti, regardless of where you donate your money, supplies, or time.

Sincerely,

Cary Alan Johnson
Executive Director
International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission

Advertisements

the ripple effect: matrix of globalisation

to learn how to give love and to let it come in.

 in the spirit of love en resistance,

here’s another gift (yes yes y’all! tis’ the giving season)

more s/heroes waxing LIBERATORY  about  OUR  stories.

iS.I.S: you are beautiful

mark  Nov 21.

en come to (our PROTEST/BAHATI) party,

deep in downtown tdot.

 

 EN join us on DEC 18

( when the GALCK  resource centre officially celebrates it’s 2nd birthday)

in our  BIG LOVE  party,

 in solidarity with queer/trans activists & communities in East Afrika.

 

watch the streets, FACEBOOK,  en this blog, for more details.

 

S.i.S(tas) are organising a series of revolushunary fundraisers,

we warn you, we have (not) only jus begun……

 

 we’re  mobilising the resources necessary to serve the needs of queer & trans communities in Kenya & Uganda.

  

this revolushun will not be televised, en we will document it!

we’ll be shooting the party scenes for 2 upcoming documentaries.

R.A.H.P &

THE Q WERD (season 2)

 

 we need your bodies, minds en spirited selves. 

we need extras en artists,
we want poets, storytellers &  freedom singers.
we hope for at least a couple of comedians.
and we want to share OUR  stories,
en work on our unity!
 
we want U people.

 
we’ll have a silent auction.  on NOV 21
(photocopied) photographs & art work.
 

 consider this (not-so) UNDERGROUND  party,

                                                                                                         a gift exchange network!

                                                                                                       tis’ the season to be giving

                                                                                                                                    🙂

 why?     because….

the most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love

and to let it come in……

 

dis revolushun is (a)LIVE!

here’s a(nother) juicy preview of the shows…..

matador!

will all real drag kings (en queens) please stand up?!!!

UNDER GROUND: Coupe Decale – Gwada

 

we want U people!

 

now sit down David Bahati, sit down parliament of Uganda,

(all homophobes line up here)

and just SHUT UP  en listen!

 

the most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love….

this is part of what I’m going to be talking about tomorrow at the, aforementioned, roundtable discussion……this interviews was part of the original series that I was going to release this week, but if you’ve been following the posts. there’s been drama. therefore as life is, as my pal lynn always likes repeating to me, everytrhing changes….nothing remains the same.

 

it doesn’t matter what I had intended. it matters what is important now. like that impending anti homosexuality bill in Uganda. have you heard the latest? I’m still waiting for more details, which speaks volumes about the gaps we face in organising, because, I for one, should know better.

 

my partner works in Uganda, has been dealing with repurcussions of all these acts. and yet we hardly talk anymore. we both so caught up. so busy. looking for money. looking for people to listen to the case of this person who was arrested for…..and this other one who was assualted for….and other one who dies….we are faced with the multitasking goliath of conferences, capacity building, fundraising, interviews, arguments, and ltos of fighting. you get used to secrecy.

 

if you;ve been paying attention, I’ve been exploring the subject of secrecy and truth telling. but enough about what was, or is, here’ something else…

 

another teacher.

we are the survivors.

we are the ones we’re looking for.

 in this post, I (re) introduce you to Audrey Mbugua,

one of my comrades, who’s one of the  foot soldiers & village intellectuals at the forefront of queer & trans activism in East Afrika today.

ase.

She is one of the founders of Transgender Education and Advocacy,

 the only organisation focused on working on intersex & trans issues in Kenya.

how can you help?

donate money.

donate your time.

share your resources.

find out for youself what you can do.

 

warriors

about the q werd.  An experiment in resistance and pan-Afrikan creativity

Concept Note

The documentary/serial soap/tragi-comedic depiction of the drama, politics, sex, loves and scandals that follow a group of young-ish (en older) queer/trans Afrikan friends.

[parabola treatment: the first release focuses on the stories & lives of not-so-random folks involved in putting this together, and all the people that have been influential and we’ve crossed paths with in life. These are the diaries and interviews with Akinyi, Alix, Anne M, Audrey, Blessol, Faith, illo, Kasha, Karie, Leslie, Nikki, Patricia, Po, Roxie, Sylvia, Valentine, Victor, Zawadi….to start….there are more interviews with womyn & trans folk of Afrikan descent in the second ‘season’]

Q werd positions itself in conversation with the (Western) L word in acknowledgement of its pioneer status in breaking through in/to mainstream consumer culture conscious.ness as a named/branded entity. It locates itself with/in a dialectical exchange of the construction of identity & the power of resistance & self determination.

It addresses the problematic and turbulent politics of race/ethnicity/sex/class/gender variations/ religion(s) in our society and interrogates the white/western/capitalist/imperialist/lesbian hegemonic thought that the L word (seems to be/) is based on. It explores the ruptures inherent in the U.S shit-stem, and neo-liberal petit-bourgeoise discourses in Afrikan countries.

[parabola treatment: the first documentary is more than Kenya, Uganda, or Canada…which is where the main stories are told…it is locating the political &pan-Afrikan in the personal. It is a direct result of working with what we got…we warn you, ladies & gentlemen (and those of you yet to decide), we have only jus’ begun…]

Q werd is a work/shop in progress. It is organic and collective. It is a living story.
These are the diaries of warriors en queer/trans rights activists (of colour/ed shades en vivrant revolushunary ideologies).
The stories of survivors & hustlers. Of youth en (not-so) single mamas.
These, are the days, and the night/scapes of our lives.
Of contradictions, in/hyper/visibility and fear.
This is nothing more than an attempt to share our realities,
For the purpose of Art (for social change)…
This is more than jus’ a(nother) video…these are our testimonies,
Documenting and archiving Afrikan cultures.

Firmly grounded in (pan) Afrikan/black feminist thought it acts as a portal and reflection of the diverse realities of black and Afrikan women and is being re/created in resistance to the marginalisation/exploitation and distortion of black/Afrikan experiences fe/male experiences.

This ‘conversation’ with the L word is a matter of talking back. Taking back and reclaiming our identities. It examines the (many) gaps and fills them in with what we think should be.
The ‘werd’ charts the process of the embodiment of particular/queer identities that are inhabited/rejected/disavowed/subverted and portrayed in (public) consciousness.

Like Bette, the ‘bi/racial/black’ one, being blacker……and, Papi, being there. It is more black butch women. And many different kinds of trannies. It is the Birkenstock/vegan/second wave white feminist, and the stereotypical ‘community’ worker. It is the activists and the freaks. The many, many, many, many people in the closets.

It is parading myriad identities. It is family and lies, and the truth of (the need for change en) compromise. It is fighting degrading influences, like the fascination with the West we grew up with. It is learning to love ourselves (again). It is masturbation and bi/dykes doing non-monogamy. It is education as the practice of freedom and listening to the lessons of the streets, and the village(s).

It is war. It is resistance. It is every day and every other thing that concerns as as queer women and trans folk. Ni mtaani. It is black ghettoes. Growing class divides. It is Fanny Ann Eddy and Audre Lorde. It is abuse en violence. Unreported hate crimes. Fucked up ‘behavioural practices’. It is self.defense. It is (about) freedom now. Tracy chapman. The ‘invisible’ face/voice of the WSW. It is reality. (necessarily) phantastical.

[parabola treatment: because as the story develops, as we get to more about the womyn in the Q word, we recognise that there is alot that can’t be revealed. We are bound by fear of the repercussions of ‘outing’ others and so we put ourselves on the line(of vision), so to speak, and alter/hide the names of those we’ve loved, fucked, worked, or crossed paths with…and yet, we speak…..)

The Q werd unashamedly tries to be many things for many people and it is singularly focused on the black/Afrikan experience as the central concern of it’s stories.

It is a multi-pronged political act that is about sharing the process of self-recovery, healing and positive living. It is about love. Mama Afrika. It is about loving ourselves, more than hating (on) any/thing else. It is about critical/reflective thinking and mostly it is about change.

The ‘werd’ responds to the paucity of re/presentation of queer/black/Afrikan brothas in the L word. It brings in more positive stories of darkness and being real. It re-politicises the commodified characters.

It does this through the subversive use of the resources available (to the writers/participants/theorists/actors, and, producers).

The L word. A few cameras. Many hours of interviews with many different Afrikan womyn, men and trannies. Lots of gossip and drama. A collective of womyn creating a tv show. Different media. Pen and paper. Cartoons. Private space & public ground. And all this ‘fiction’ is the Q. werd.

The Q werd is about womyn loving wom(b)en en trannies loving wo/men en men loving women. It is normal. It is troubled by all the shit. It is ‘other’ than. It is (some of) ‘the people’. It is about re/membering the past and using our reality to a portray a true picture of ourselves. It is rastas en beautiful (dark) dread lock sistas. It is tomboys & brazen femmes. It is immigrant/emigrant and migrant bodies. It is prisons and boarding schools. It is the girl(s) you (knew who liked other girls who you) played with in high school.
It is the chief’s wife and your aunty from ushago. It is the ho on K-street. The ones standing on the secretive corners of Arwings Kodhek. They are the ‘lesbian’ cliques of dandora, umoja, jamhuri & hurlingham. The old man (?) of the village of N It is ‘western’ gays and lesbians and conflicted Christians. It is queer muslims and Al-Lat worshippers. It is kinky. It is bourgeoise safety/urban privilege in just being ‘out’ and passing life’s existence in sharp contrast to other queers & trannies around the country. It is the contradictions of those ‘in the life’.

It is sh/itty living. Escape. Safe refuge(s). it is the (lack of safe) shelter(s).
It is endless conversa-shun. Specu-la-shun. It is ‘such-a-lesbian-ting’ processing.
It is fights and (adamant) denials. Its bruises. death. sacred ‘interverntions’ and being saved (again). It is something by an ‘other’ name. it is not lesbian. Tho many of the women innit are…

(repeat)
it is not the L word.

It is a parody of the parody of a parody of queer reality and re/presentation in film.
It is multi-dimensional.

The show (also) places itself firmly with/in the contradictory position of refuting the existence of lesbians. This is it’s ‘achilles heel’….so to (western) speak. It might be it’s death ultimately.
It refutes the existence of lesbians – naturally in Afrika; where wo/men were loving wo/men from ancient (times) en we knew different….
where Great Gawdess was prolly a dyke hirself too, somewhere in the beginning. Same-sex. And n’way that woman sappho only went over to that isle of lesbos not even a few centuries ago…

There was a light and then there was the (q) word.
(the) Qore
(of new beginnings and endless repetitions).

It is re-inscribed,
from (Pan) Afrikan landscapes
and the L word…
this diction/stories/poetry of life/death/life cycles.
It is controversial.
and as much as it tries to give space to the largest number of views and interpretations of the state of world politics and (oppressive/necessary/positive) relations with each other.
It is (avowedly) revolutionary.
It is anti-capitalist/pan-Afrikan/anarchist in it’s narration of the issues as (the collective) and ‘particular’ oppressed people(s) see them.

It is hip(s). sex in the afternoon.
It is cook(s)in. steamy kitchens.
Mchuzi wa samaki na mahamri.
It is mango kisses and ejaculating cunts.
It is locked on the floor, reading poetry to each other.
It is the mundane.
The clothes that need to be washed.
It is work. It is necessary.
Unfolding quest of (re) building (communities).
Growing (old) together.

It is beauty.
Incarnate in sistas loving each other,
(re) learning our groove(s) and
sticking up for the ‘other’
sista…
more fiya \sista….

en brothas loving each other,
questioning dem (much) maligned (dark) selves and
looking out for the ‘other’
brotha…
more fiya/brotha.

It is hip(s) rocking against each other. Tight embraces..
It is activism. Battling conformist tendencies.
Shunning the ‘politically correct’ in favour of ‘the truth’.
It is the soul of (queer/trans) folk.
People’s movement.
Searching for a new soul.
Gathered to the beats of (wa akina) mama (wa) Afrika.
Young and old, black and proud (new) Afrikans.

Indigenous.

It is reflective. Reflexive. Introspective.
Remembering the sacrifices of our ancestors/their lives/once/shattered,
From glorious (inter) connection(s)/peace (pipes)
Ruptured from (the) connection with (the) divine,
Distracted by petty wars and insidious presences.

It remembers the prophecies.
The sangomas and (wota) priestesses,
(earth) healers en magic(k)al herbalists,
the warriors who fought and died for (our) freedom.

It is…
(repeat) not the ‘L’ word.

It is…
(tinged) perceptibly with (self) consciousness.
Ni ma kucha na ma sagana…..
Ni ma shoga na mabisexuals.
Na ma pansexuals na MSM.
It is questioning and curious. Womyn. Men. Trannies.

It is conflicted.
Working on self/social acceptance and fully involved in the struggle for (Afrikan) liberation.

It is…
(repeat)
Pan-Afrikan(ist). Black nationalist.
It announces it’s feminist/wom(b)anist/anarchist intent in the shots of contested terrain(s).
It is talking (sharp) with each other.
It is not about (hating) the (white) man or excluding the white woman.
It is just that we need to talk amongst ourselves. Put ourselves first.
It is blood.(claat.) shedding and (shifting) public spaces.
It is subjective and communal.
It is bedrooms and the state(s) of (dying/thriving) nation(s).
It pokes its nose into every oppre-shun.
Doesn’t (necessarily have to) stick to the script.
The stories are old, and many of the characters (un)predictable.
All are contradictory and all a dem harbour (not-so) secret fantasies and wild dreams.
Some of the womyn have learned to ground themselves, are eager to share with others;
Others run (like luna-tics) in those ‘mythical’ red shoes.

Red (black & green) is the motif.
Blood. claat present in every episode,
Coz as the opener declares….

[opening quote subject to change]

‘as long as (one of) my sista(s) and brotha(s) is oppressed then so am I…
to be a true revolutionary one must understand love.
Love. Sacrifice. And. Death

(sonia sanchez)

This is the poetic capsule of a conversa-shun with the L word.
This (en so much more) is the Q werd.

This is the product of a collective imagin-ashun.
The dreams, wishes en collected conversashuns,
Of super sistas, queens en kings,
struggling to rebuild their communities.
These are the challenges and achievements of (all) the people.

This a proposal and a call (out) to join the process of participatory research and co-operative publications.
the (living) framework that guides our search for truth, justice, peace…
En freedom…..

To speak in our languages,
Mould the cultivated tongues,
This used to be the master’s language, en the mistress’s tools,
This English version of a plea to burn all dem lies,
En rediscover (black/dark) self/communal love.

This is for the ancestors,
In memory of great gawdess,
I pray,
I release all disappointments,
Coz I know that spirit guides me
And love lives inside me,
That’s why today I live life as it comes,
Trusting in each moment,
That Jah, Al-Lat, Asiis, Yemoja provides,
Authentic love.

What I’m searching for,
This feeling in my heart,
That brings joy to my soul,
I found it…

This prince(ss?) that me want/ed in me life.
I found you,
Quite unexpectedly,
love was ntense/a sweet surprise,
So good,
So everything that I’d been looking to be(come)….
You changed me…

This is a tragic (love) story,
[and not even]
Translated into (not so) convenient fictions.
It is the diary of one luna/tic warrior,
The ravings of a cheated/lover.
This is hot, hot, hot off the press of current reality…
You want to know what it’s like being queer in Kenya….
It’s mostly hell,
Borrowed terms & radical inclusions.

It can be (like) heaven
Found in secret places,
And growing communities
Mis/placed with (little) knowledge & obscured intentions.

We’re still in the process of finding ourselves.

You want to know what it’s like?
It is a contradiction in itself,
Being queer
(and writing about it)
In Kenya

And, dear viewer, to waste no further no time in introducing the plot of this story,
My conversation with you, this guided tour of the complexities and boundaries of the communities across my country and the continent…

This is the q word, yeah, and yet really, if we’re going to be (about the ) truth/full here, it’s mostly my werd, see this isn’t some fanciful/bourgeoise/western interpretation of what it means to live as a ‘sexual minority’….this is best practices in implementation…if there are so many people in the closet, if it’s so un-african, as most of these religious/fundamentalist brain washed bigots keep foolishly repeating (being little aware or posturing ignorance of the weakness & glaring Achilles heel of their oft repeated argument – there could be possibly nothing more borrowed, distorted & un-african than the modern version of Christianity: the very same agents who were trekking into heathen lands, not far away from the explorers & the anthropologists & all the hungry prospectors, carrying the bible in their hands and proclaiming divine justice, if only one believed in jesus Christ, the only son of God……those are (some of the) ones responsible for our fall and rapid destruction….

We were among the first to fall,
Which is why the best i could come up with for myself,
So far,
The most fitting and convenient,
Remains to be queer – i can move within the contours that were shaped in resistance to hate & oppressive language

The ‘q word’, like I told you before, is not what you think it is, it’s really just about me, and my group of friends, revolushunaries and lovas, allies & enemies i’ve made along the way…
To keep this simple and submit to the dictates of economics & available resources, I’m gonna try not make up (too much) of the gist & chronology of events….
To keep this simple, i’m just gonna walk you through my journey in the last year…

I have officially been back for (just over) a year….
And I am still one of the few people that I’ve met here,
That even call/identify themselves as queer,
A radical/questioning/anarchist/
Fervent afrikan liberationist.

I choose to stand on the fringes,
All the better to see the crowds, and the capacity of….
Resistance, and the people,
with….

I have under gone a meta-morphoses in it/self,
Sacrificed many privileges,
And the truth is I’m struggling,
And I’ve had my heart broken, adjusted to ‘pseudo’ po living,
And working mostly alone,
Battling with a few brave others,
And finding allies where I hoped I would….

I warn you,
we have only just begun…

living document…….amai, blessol, cindy, nadine, nina, po, krys, akinyi, anne, anyone else who’s interested…..let’s continue with the editing…. we’ve got a bunch of interviews collected….we’re going to have alot more in toronto…..we want all this to be participatory and tied in to other educational & arts initiatives…..how can we work together? what are your ideas? how can we help each other share our stories, for art, for social change…