Queer, Gifted & Black
I love the way that Nick Cannon declares his love for Mariah Carey. I just finished watching the Kevin Hart series The Real Husbands Of Hollywood. A show that focuses on the satirical relationships between several hilarious and brilliant comedic couples including Tisha Campbell-Martin (from Martin). And throughout the show, the ongoing joke is about him being 'Miss Mariah', but he never rejects it. He in fact embraces it openly. The first episode he even wears an apron that reads Mr. Mimi while he is barbecuing, he sets his alarm to go home at midnight to see Mariah after hanging out with the boys, he just loves himself some her!
Regardless of the ways that insecure people criticize his 'masculinity', he opens identifies as Mr. Mariah Carey. Why would we be mad? Why would we shame this man over and over again for loving this woman so deeply that he reaffirms it in every public encounter.
This is so rare. And although I know nothing about their personal relationship, so often the image represented in corporate media, is that men don't love their partners, they think that they are annoying and they just put up with them. I have seen this 'joke' played out in sitcom after sitcom. And when masculine people love women a lot, it is always framed as a flaw, or a weakness like Steve Urkel before he became Stephan.
What is being taught, if masculine people are shamed in much media when they express open loving, declarative possibly even submissive feeling for women? What is being taught if the 'cool' ways and the acceptable ways are to be less attached and attentive?
All these things must be practiced with consent. Grand gestures without consent can be invasive and frightening. When we love each other with clear permission in the ways that we each individually desire and negotiate, that is a beautiful thing.
The medical industrial complex.
It is such a trip as I engage in this process of healing. It is a return to all the knowledge systems that are actually Indigenous to me as someone with South Asian, African and Indigineous heritages. And to watch the way that the White Able Bodied Capitalist Machine first decried all of our knowledge as 'voodoo' as 'pagan nonsense' as 'primitive' and now the most 'progressive of people rename and appropriate our sciences while simaltaneously othering and alienating us.
All the while, we are meant to practice this thing called western science, that from everything that we know has literally been founded on the destruction of the bodies of womyn and trans folks, Indigineous People and People Of Colour. From the founding of western science's modern gynecology with the forcible sterilization and removal of the uterus' of enslaved African Womyn to simply using a standard for treatment that is based on conceptions of what a 'normal body is'. Namely, euro-western, hearing, cisgender, heterosexual....
And we are shamed when we do engage our own practices. The yoga I practiced with my grandfather becomes 'new age' and the way we eat back home in Venezuala gets called 'macrobiotic'. And we stop being who we are, and they call us 'urban' as though we were grown from the concrete.
And they buy all our homelands and they call it 'cottage country' or 'private beaches' and we can't go home and we can't even drink the water because it's flooded with all these chemicals that your science said would be good for us and our sciences said all along - that no they would not.
And you call it 'organic' when all that really means is that it is without your 'superior chemicals' and then we are judged for eating white bread, when it was your science that told us that we should do it in the first place.
Powerful reminders are all around us that we know more about our own individual bodies than anyone else and that is a valid type of science, based on our own lived and embodied inquiry. Our communities also practice significant and varied types of sciences, there isn't one type of science that is better than all the rest, there are just different kinds suited for different experiences and purpose.
And if there was, it would not be funded by Monsanto, trust and believe.
Strange Sisters: Application FAQ’s
With just under 1 week left to submit your applications, we wanted to share some answers to questions that we have been asked most often.
1. Who can apply for Strange Sisters?
This is a performance showcase for Queer Womyn & Trans* Folks. We are prioritizing the experiences and artists who identify as womyn.
In recognition of the fact that there are hundreds of different ways to express gender and that gender for some is a fluid journey, we include trans folks in the broadest sense of the term.
You may have had the experience of growing up as a tomboy and then identifying as ‘femme’. You may have been mis-assigned as male from birth and have always sought spaces where you can be affirmed and acknowledge for the womyn that you are. You may be intersex and identify as exactly intersex. You may use masculine pronouns but still identify as a womyn. You may be 2-Spirit, or hijra or any number of gender expressions that are neither male nor female, and this space welcomes you.
2. Do you welcome artists from outside of Canada?
Yes we do! We have a small budget for local and some international bus travel to Toronto. We welcome submissions from Montreal, Detroit, New York, DC and other areas surrounding Toronto.
3. What kind of art are you looking for?
We offer honorariums (payment) to all accepted artists including visual artists, performance artists and movement artists as some examples. Please ask us if you have specific questions!
4. Is ASL confirmed?
Yes it is and we welcome applications from Deaf artists, as we all as folks with varying experiences and abilities.
5. Is Buddies a wheelchair accessible space?
Yes it is.
6. Can I submit film/video art?
We are open to it! We will definitely consider it to see where and if it fits and is possible.
7. Can I submit more then one project?
Yes you can.
8. Where is the application?
So unbelievably thrilled to be sharing this with everyone.
This is the 'Femme Science & Community Based Research prezi from the AMC and it abounds with a ton of femme wisdom that was shared in the workshop by the participants including strategies to negotiate institutional learning, how to nurture our intuition and so much more.
SO much special thanks to Eddie Ndopu & Chanelle LeLovely for all their work in creating this space.