a sense of safety transforms the body, transforms the spirit

[sent out 19th June, 2016]

Hey pals!

It probably goes without saying that the past week has been incredibly intense and difficult for a lot of folk, so we’re gonna keep the newsletter on the shorter side today. Still, if you are braving your inbox, thanks for being here!

Although at this point you may be totally overloaded by everything related to the Orlando shootings, a lot of really important discussions are coming out of it and I wanted to share some that I’ve been taking in. If you don’t want to read about it  / deal with it right now, that’s cool, just scroll on down for some self-care tips. 

Resources on Orlando:

Justin Torres’ beautiful piece called “In praise of Latin Night at the Queer Club.”

You know what the opposite of Latin Night at the Queer Club is? Another Day in Straight White America. So when you walk into the club, if you’re lucky, it feels expansive. “Safe space” is a cliche, overused and exhausted in our discourse, but the fact remains that a sense of safety transforms the body, transforms the spirit. So many of us walk through the world without it. So when you walk through the door and it’s a salsa beat, and brown bodies, queer bodies, all writhing in some fake smoke and strobing lights, no matter how cool, how detached, how over-it you think you are, Latin Night at the Queer Club breaks your cool. You can’t help but smile, this is for you, for us.

In the first thirteen minutes of this podcast called MTV Speed Dial, the hosts Ira Madison III and Doreen St. Felix talk about LA Pride and some of the vigils held for the victims of the shootings. They also discuss the importance of not erasing the identities of the victims as PoC, and specifically Latinx people.

This is a brief but helpful piece on the term “Latinx” and how the “x” is used to include gender diversity.

This essay by Muna Mire “The Orlando Shooting is Proof that American Culture Fuels Homophobia.” 

To say that the shooter was dealing with “self-hate” is reductive because it allows us to dismiss the social realities that create violent homophobia even and especially amongst closeted gay people.

And another podcast: “How LGBTQ People of Color Are Dealing With Orlando” from Code Switch.

On vigils & the erasure of Latinx folk, people of colour & Indigenous peoples: “White queers, this is a betrayal.”

Self-care

#queerselflove (started by Dylan Marran)

– the Queer Muslim Visibility Project, and a short bio of Taylor Amari, the rad teen behind it

this tumblr post listing LGBT movies, playlists, books, webcomics & helplines

– Rudy Loewe’s Deadbeat Dad project on tumblr

this really beautiful photo series of LGBTQ Muslims by Samra Habib (also found here on tumblr)

this rookie article on making stuff for pen pals

this video about the casting of Auli’i Cravalho as the lead in the new Disney film Moana makes me really really happy

Other than that, I think it can be really helpful to unplug and also to journal / write a letter / draw a comic / make whatever you need to unload some of the stuff you’re carrying around. I am trying to remember to take deep breaths, get outside, let my feet really touch the ground and take in whatever sky is above me. I think it can also be a relief to seek out stories / TV shows / whatever from other periods of time, because they provide a small kind of refuge from the present, if only for a little while.

Tomorrow (Monday) is the summer solstice! Every year I mean to start some kind of ritual & never fully get there, but whatever you wanna do, it can be cool to connect into the wider web of earth-bound life forms, even just by watching the sunset or chilling with the ants in the garden.

A few months ago I went to this poetry reading by a local poet called Ali Blythe. It was part of a conference on trans history at my school & the atmosphere was very Girlcon, like ridiculously warm and accepting. He said something along the lines of “Without any one of you this wouldn’t fly, so thank you all for getting out and being here.” Ditto, guys. Wishing you all good things; stay with us!

k

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