If You’re Ever in Toronto, Canada…WorldPride 2014!

My first thought was “OMG, why didn’t I know about this event earlier!” It’s amazing! I just wanted to share the news of this event if other people didn’t know about it, too. I wish I could go! We shall see…Anyways, the Festival is from June 20-29. Check out the links below to learn more about WorldPride 2014 Toronto.

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Here’s the video about the WorldPride 2014 event, (Laverne Cox is even in it 😀 ):

And click on the following link here to learn more about the event:

http://worldpridetoronto.com/

http://www.seetorontonow.com/annual-events/toronto-pride-week/

 

Re: Mangos with Chili

I first heard about Mangos with Chili only a couple weeks ago from my friend Askari, who is actually one of the featured performers in their most recent tour. Askari told me all the wonderful things that this organization is all about: highlight queer trans people of color who are artists and was immediately intrigued. I think it’s so powerful for fellow QTPOC to see themselves represented not only in local communities, but also in positive ways–while these performers are being highlighted the performers as artists who are authentic. In these terms, I agree that Bailey’s concept of intravention is visible in the Mangos with Chili organization and I would also like to add that their promotion of community support is revolutionary: “We have always said that capitalism doesn’t love us, but our communities do.” I think this promotion of community support is so important in QTPOC circles, especially when thinking about Spade’s critique of abolition and working directly to help the community thrive. When people make personal connections on an individual level, then they are more likely to help each other because they truly care about the person and their happiness. This is similar to the example of helping your drunk friend instead of calling the cops–since they are a friend, you want to help them verses calling the authorities and possibly leading them towards a tricky legal situation. Therefore, Mangos with Chili not only exemplifies Bailey’s concept of intravention by recruiting and self-empowering QTPOC artists, but this organization also portrays Spade’s critique of abolition by using community-building and local representation for the heart of an abolitionist movement.

Discussion Questions!

Still at the Back of the Bus – Discuss Questions:

1. According to Gan Sylvia Rivera “contextualized political praxis, informed by her life experiences, both resisted and provisionally while simultaneously resisting reductive definition”. What is your opinion on this statement after reading the article and from what we have learned throughout the course?

2. As I was reading the article by Gan I found the comparison of Rivera to Rosa Parks to be very interesting. Do you believe that Rivera acts during the Stonewall riots are in fact comparable to Rosa Parks and the boycott in Montgomery Alabama during the struggle against segregation?

3. After reading the article, I was very intrigued by Sylvia Rivera and being a transgender woman of Puerto Rican descent but did anyone else feel that Gan almost made it seem that Rivera was the beginning of the trans liberation movement? I may be wrong but I wanted to get other opinions of this as well. After reviewing the notes the Dewey lunch counter sit in took place prior to Rivera

Comment #2- Response to KOKUMỌ: artist and activist by Tess

Let me begin by saying that I enjoyed your presentation on Kokumo. Her video, “There Will Come a Day” is powerful, sincere, and genuine. After your presentation I found myself thinking about how Kokumo’s video shows a different form of “coming out”. I am taking a Homophobia and Coming Out class on the consequences of coming out in one way or another. In Kokumo’s video she had to come out as transgender woman in order to feel faithful to her partner. She felt like she could tell him because she had already been through sexual reconstruction surgery, but her partner did not see her for who she was, instead he saw her as the sex assigned at birth. The dangerous faced by LGBTQ’s in everyday life is heart- rending.

After class I showed it to my roommates and my partner. We began discussing the repercussions of coming out as a trans individual. After discussing the video and the dangerous with coming out as a trans person I connected it back to Gwen Araujo’s murder/trial, Throughout the conversations I found myself thinking back at Gwen Araujo’s murder, Tyra Hunter, and Fred Martinez. In all three murders we see transphobic violence occurring because of the stigma society places on trans people and masculinity. The videos ending is open to interpretations, but because of everything we have read, seen, and heard throughout the course we can assume that the woman was killed after telling her partner she was a trans woman. If we go back to Talia Bettcher, Shorton C. Riley, and Jin Haritaworn readings we see how violence, physically, mentally, and or socially all are subjected when coming out a LGBTQ. Bettcher’s piece on “Evil Deceivers and Make Believers” talks about the double mind of disclosing ‘who one is’ or coming out as a pretender or masquerader (Bettcher,283). Going back to Kokumo’s video I am assuming that her partner felt betrayed and loss of masculinity. The idea of having to come out as transgender, gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, etc. is a western idea that unfortunately comes with physical, mentally, and emotional violence.

Still at the Back of the Bus – Discuss Questions:

 

1. According to Gan Sylvia Rivera “contextualized political praxis, informed by her life experiences, both resisted and provisionally while simultaneously resisting reductive definition”. What is your opinion on this statement after reading the article and from what we have learned throughout the course?

2. As I was reading the article by Gan I found the comparison of Rivera to Rosa Parks to be very interesting. Do you believe that Rivera acts during the Stonewall riots are in fact comparable to Rosa Parks and the boycott in Montgomery Alabama during the struggle against segregation?

3. After reading the article, I was very intrigued by Sylvia Rivera and being a transgender woman of Puerto Rican descent but did anyone else feel that Gan almost made it seem that Rivera was the beginning of the trans liberation movement? I may be wrong but I wanted to get other opinions of this as well. After reviewing the notes the Dewey lunch counter sit in took place prior to Rivera.

Creative Interventions.

 

Dean Spade’s essays, as well as the video clip discussions between Dean Spade and Reina Gossett create a vision and plan for a  “utopian” society. To me, many of their goals seemed out of reach and nearly impossible to achieve. The notion that prison systems and law-enforcement agencies should be completely abolished took me by surprise to say the least. If these institutions were brought down, what would be the punishment? Where would “dangerous” people go? As I read more and did some of my own researching, their tactic of “repairing” rather than “exiling” began to develop itself as a more concrete method.

The idea of being “Indisposable” is a constant theme throughout the discussions Spade and Gossett have. This simply put, means that everyone, regardless of race, gender, sexuality is “vital” to the community and to the world. Rather than exile people who have inflicted harm, their aim is to recover these vital individuals and create a space without the need for a formal prison system and police intervention. CREATIVE INTERVENTIONS, based out of Oakland, Ca. is a community program that aims to Shift the anti-violence movement away from individualized social services and criminalization towards community-based responses to violence. Creative Interventions provides tools, knowledge and PUTS THE POWER BACK IN THE INDIVIDUAL in preventing violence among many different communities. Creative interventions takes into account different realities and resources of each individual community and situation.

As recalled from the video’s, Gossett elaborates on the point that everyone should practice “ABOLITION” in everyday life. What abolition means is to prevent harm, intervenes upon and repairs harm that has been inflicted, and aims at transforming communities and relationships and stops harm and violence from passing down through generations. Practicing abolition in our daily lives will move us to a safer community and will lead us to a time when prisons and law enforcement agencies are no longer operating and inflicting harm.

Once the police are called situations shift dramatically. Gossett argues, alongside with Creative Interventions that those who are closest to you should be the ones intervening, not law enforcement or social services. Creative Interventions insists that friends and family that are closest to the individual inflicting harm have more power and impact than those (law enforcement) that are on the outside do to safely resolve the situation.

Spade laid out an important message when he claimed people look upon others as being disposable. Rather than want to help them, one usually thinks “make this get out of my sight, I don’t want to deal with this alone, I want the police to deal with this”. This is exactly what Creative Interventions is aiming to change. You do not have to go through this alone, this person is worth the time needed to heal and the police are not the ones who should be intervening, you are. You have  far more power and a greater impact in repairing this individual.

 

“Embracing the values of social justice and liberation, Creative Interventions is a space to re/envision solutions to domestic or intimate partner, sexual, family and other forms of interpersonal violence.

Creative Interventions assumes that the relationships, families and communities in which violence occurs are also the very locations for long-term change and transformation. It assumes that those most impacted by violence are the most motivated to challenge violence. It assumes that friends, family, and community know most intimately the conditions that lead to violence as well as the values and strengths which can lead to its transformation.”

http://www.creative-interventions.org

 

STOP (STORY TELLING & ORGANIZING PROJECT)

Hear and read stories from everyday people who have taken courageous and creative action to end violence. Stories range from ones from the point of view of the individual who inflicted harm and their willingness to participate in a recovery program, breaking cycles of abuse, why some rely on themselves and their community of friends before calling the police in a situation, creating and spreading the word about community outreach programs.

http://www.stopviolenceeveryday.org/

 

Creative Interventions ToolKit is guide to: help us figure out what steps we can take to address, reduce, end or even prevent violence—what we call violence intervention.

 

Discussion Questions for Bassichis, Lee, and Spade, “Building an Abolitionist Trans and Queer Movement With Everything We’ve Got”

1. How do Bassichis, Lee, and Spade describe the “dramatic shift in priorities” within the LGBT movement- between the “official” gay rights agenda and the radical queer/trans transformative organizing- and how does it relate to their critique of marriage equality rights as a way to address inequalities?

 

2. What are some of the radical lineages, movements which challenge the United States exploitation of marginalized communities, that have “nurtured and guided” transformative branches of queer and trans organizing towards the liberation of intersectional identities?

 

3. What’s the difference bettween “trickle-down” equality politics and radical “justice” politics, and what is the argument for “trickle up” social change as a transfomative solution??

 

Such a good article!